2018 FIFA World Cup – Outright Betting Update

With the group stage coming to its conclusion, we’ve taken a look at how finalists in the last 20 years performed in their first three games to see if we can gain some pointers for the remainder of the tournament. Some key stats are shown below:

  • France in 2006 were the only finalists in the last 20 years not to have won their group
  • No finalist in the last 20 years has conceded more than three goals in the group stages
  • The last five World Cup winners all picked up at least six points in the group stages
  • The last five World Cup winners all scored at least four goals in the group stages

Of the main contenders, Argentina, Portugal and England are the ones not to have won their group and with Argentina and Portugal being handed tough last-16 ties, it wouldn’t be a great surprise to see them go out in the next round.

Spain have been surprisingly suspect defensively thus far, conceding five times in their three games and that will concern their backers given they’ve comfortably surpassed the three goals that finalists generally go under. The Spaniards also picked up fewer points than the last five winners, as did Portugal and Argentina. England haven’t conceded more than three times so far but after taking on two minnows and pretty much playing a friendly against Belgium, it will be interesting to see how they go against better sides in the knockout stages.

France in Group C have struggled offensively so far, managing only three goals as they’ve struggled to find the right attacking formation, which doesn’t bode well for them heading into the knockout stage. Argentina have similarly only managed three goals and so when they clash in the last-16, ‘Unders’ could be the way to go, contrary to the general expectation given the attacking players on show for both sides.

Of the leading contenders, Brazil and Belgium are the ones that closest fit the profile of winners at this stage, but they have a potential quarter-final meeting with one another. Selecao have been excellent defensively, conceding only once, whilst they’ve netted five times themselves and picked up seven points as they look a settled side under Tite. Of our recommended bets, Spain are nicely positioned in the bottom half, while Belgium go into the other half which looks the much tougher half to be in. Therefore, we’d advise those that followed our bets to get Brazil on-side too with the expectation that the meet Belgium in the quarters and giving us some cover in the top-half of the draw.


Recommendation

 BACK – Brazil Win at $5.1


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