Soccer fans and bettors all across the globe will have June 14 circled on their calendars, as that is the start date of the World Cup in Russia. We are now officially less than 100 days away from the start of the largest sporting competition in the world, and while it may seem like an eternity to some, it does give us plenty of time to look ahead and start making some predictions. For the purposes of this piece, we are going to look at all the groups to see if we can figure out which teams will move on to the next round. We will select a first and second finisher for each of the 8 groups in the opening round. Don’t forget to check out the latest odds to win the 2018 World Cup.
2018 World Cup Group Betting Predictions
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Group A – Egypt, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay
I think we would all be more than a little surprised if Uruguay did not win this group in convincing fashion. While the obvious choice for second would appear to be the host nation, I am not convinced that they are good enough to move on. They did not impress at the Confederation’s Cup, a tournament they hosted, last year, and I believe that Egypt are the better option here. Mo Salah has been brilliant for Liverpool this season and will seize the opportunity to shine on the biggest soccer stage.
Group B – Iran, Morocco, Portugal, Spain
One of the more straightforward groups to predict here, as this is one that Spain and Portugal should dominate. It may come down to goal difference to decide who lands on top, so look for both teams to light it up against Iran and Morocco. I am taking Spain on top and Portugal second.
Group C – Australia, Denmark, France, and Peru
Again, I believe we have an obvious winner in this group, as France are head and shoulders above the other three teams. Second place will likely go to either Denmark or Peru, with the deciding factor here being that South American teams do not always perform at their best when playing in Europe. Slight edge to Denmark for second.
Group D – Argentina, Croatia, Iceland, Nigeria
This has the possibility of being one of the best groups in the opening round, as you can make an argument for all four teams moving on. Lionel Messi will have what may be his last real shot at World Cup glory here, so look for Argentina to land on top. Iceland made fans from all over the world with their performance at the European Championships and may just do it again in Russia.
Group E – Brazil, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Serbia
Brazil really shouldn’t have any problems advancing out of this group, but we are once again looking at a bit of a crapshoot for second. It is likely going to come down to the result in the game between Costa Rica and Switzerland to decide who finishes behind Brazil, with my money going on Costa Rica.
Group F – Germany, South Korea, Mexico, Sweden
The Germans are stacked from top to bottom and could probably put two competitive sides together from their squad. They will run away with this group, with Mexico and Sweden fighting for the second-place spoils. Sweden are trying to lure Zlatan Ibrahimovic back into the squad, which may be a sign that they are lacking a little something. Let’s go with Mexico to finish second.
Group G – Belgium, England, Panama, Tunisia
Another group that is going to basically come down to a 2-horse race, as both Belgium and England should move on. Looking at both squads, it is the Belgians who have the better playmakers and game-changers, with Kevin DeBruyne quite possibly the best midfield player in the world right now. Let’s go with Belgium to finish top and England second.
Group H – Colombia, Japan, Poland, Senegal
This, foe, me is the toughest group to handicap, although I think we can eliminate Senegal from the running. Colombia are a talented group that should finish on top here, although they tend to be inconsistent at times. Japan and Poland are essentially neck and neck, but I am going to choose Poland to sneak into the second spot.