2018 World Cup Preview

The World Cup kicks off on June 14th with Saudi Arabia taking on the host country, Russia. For those of us in the United States, this year’s World Cup will be a tough one to watch as we are still coming to terms with missing the tournament. But that won’t stop many of us from watching the premier sporting event in the world, which only occurs every four years.

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We will be updating our World Cup projections and simulation daily during the tournament, so be sure to come back and check our updated odds often! Here is how things look going into the tournament.

Most Competitive Group

From top-to-bottom, it looks like this year’s most wide open collection of teams is Group A. Does this mean that Group A has the finest collection of talent? No. However, our projections give three teams (Uruguay, Russia, and Egypt) over a 40% chance of advancing and Saudi Arabia also has an outside chance.

Group of Death

A lot of previews, like this one by the Big Lead has Group D as the group of death. We tend to disagree, as Group E has a much higher collection of talent. Per our international soccer ratings, three teams in this group have a ranking higher than 16 and Costa Rica is no slouch at 30. Brazil should easily win the group, but second place is looking like a battle.

So Who Wins?

One of the great things that makes World Cup great is that there are no heavy favorites to win. Per Bovada and as of the time of this writing, the best odds are with Brazil at +450. Germany isn’t very far behind at +475 and Spain and France are at +600 and +650, respectively. Our simulations mostly agree with these odds. Germany is our favorite with a 17.2% chance to win the World Cup, Brazil and Spain both come in around 14.5% and then France has a 11.4% chance. Again, for our full list of projections for the individual games, to win groups and advance to the World Cup, see: our World Cup projections!