World Cup Football Guide - How to bet on the World Cup 2018?

Skill Level: Intermediate

How to bet on the World Cup 2018?

There are only 78 days left until the World Cup 2018 kicks off and we need to be sure that we are prepared for the 64 football fixtures that will take place in Russia. We have already done a betting preview for the World Cup 2018, which can be found here and even more betting tips and predictions for each World Cup 2018 group, which can be checked here. In this World Cup 2018 betting guide, we will be looking to present the most popular betting markets ahead of this major tournament and where you can find the best betting value. Every bookmaker around the globe will be offering loads of betting markets for any of the 64 fixtures that will be played in Russia this summer. Here are some of the most popular betting markets: Follow all our World Cup Betting Tips here. 

Outright Winner market

The Outright Winner markets give bettors the opportunity to place an early bet on the outcome of an entire league or competition rather than on an individual fixture. The good thing about this market is that the returns are higher, while the negative fact is that the punters need to wait until the season or competition finishes. We have already done a World Cup 2018 betting preview with our outright winner pick and how the other top ten favourites will perform in Russia. Furthermore, as the World Cup 2018 is a competition where 32 countries are divided into 8 groups, with the first two teams in the group qualifying for the next round, you can also place a bet on the group winners and you can see our predictions for this market here.

Winner market - Match Result 1x2 Odds explained

The match result betting is the most common way of football betting, and not only for football but for many other sports. This market will be available for every World Cup fixture and it allows the user to back any of the teams involved to win the game or for the match to end in a draw. Please notice that soon after the World Cup 2018 group stage will end, the games in the knockout stage of the competition could require extra time to be played. This means that if you have placed a bet on the match to end in a draw, then your bet is a winner even extra time will be played. However, if you picked on either team to win the game and it goes into extra time, then your bet is lost.

Asian Handicap and Handicap odds explained

The Asian Handicap market has exploded over the past few years, as it provides good value especially when a match looks to be one sided. This betting option give both sides a goals handicap, either a goals advantage (+) or a goals deficit (-). For a example, Uruguay are clear favourites against Saudi Arabia in the first round of the World Cup group A. The main Asian Handicap line on Uruguay is -1.5 whilve Saudi Arabia have a handicap of +1.5 goals. This means that if you bet on Uruguay -1.5 goals, Uruguay must win the match by two goals in order to be a winning pick. Meanwhile, if we bet Saudi Arabia +1.5 goals, they need to not lose the game by more than one goal, while a draw or a victory for the Saudi Arabians means a guaranteed win.

Double Chance Odds explained

This Double Chance betting option lets the users to bet on two out of three possible outcomes of a football match in one bet. You can bet on the following full-time result combinations:

Home win or Draw (1x)

Away win or Draw (x2)

Home Win or Away win (12)

This betting option is a bit similar with the Draw No Bet market, although here you will get a guaranteed win if you bet 1x or x2 and the game ends as a draw, while for a Draw No Bet pick, the bet will be void if the game finishes as a draw.


This is another betting option that can be used when we have a one-sided game. It requires you to bet on who you think will be winning at half-time and full-time in the match. Uruguay are priced at low odds of 2/9 to beat Saudi Arabia, but if we take the Half-time/Full-Time bet, then they will be priced at much better odds of 4/5. Practically, this Half-Time / Full-Time betting option allows the punters to predict an outcome at half-time and another outcome at full time.

Total Goals - Over / Under bets explained

This is another betting market in which the outcome of the match doesn’t matter. This market is divided in two betting options:

Both teams to score - Yes, which implies both sides to get on the scoresheet in a game.

Both teams to score - No, which is opposite with the first one, meaning that you will win your bet if one or both teams failed to score in the match.

This market will vary from match to match. For example, the odds on both teams scoring will be bigger in a one-sided game (e.g Uruguay vs Saudi Arabia), while the price will be short if the match features two strong attacking sides (e.g England vs Belgium).

First Goalscorer odds explained

This is another betting market that will be available for each of the 64 fixtures at the World Cup 2018 this summer. This market involves picking a player and betting on him to score the first goal of a given fixture. Please notice that if you pick a player to score first and he doesn’s start the game, then your stake will be refunded.

Anytime Goalscorer odds explained

Similar to First Goalscorer market, Anytime Goalscorer betting involves picking a player to score at any stage of a given match, regardless of whether a goal has been scored already. However, the odds are shorter than First Goalscorer betting.

World Cup 2018 - Top Goalscorer market

This betting option is very simple, as you can just predict the top scorer of the tournament, meaning the player with the most goals under his belt at the end of the major. At the moment of writing, Lionel Messi is the bookies’ favourite as he is priced at odds 9/1.

World Cup 2018 Outright special bets

There are some special outright bets for the group stage:

Group winner - just need to predict who will win each group

To qualify from the group - place a bet on the team who will finish second in a group

Finish bottom - place a bet on the team who will finish at the bottom of the group table

Group Straight Tricast - predict the right order of the top three teams in each group

Group Straight Forecasts - predict the order of the top two teams in each group


As for the other special outright bets for the World Cup 2018:

To Reach the Final - predict one team to reach the final of the World Cup 2018

To Reach the Quarter-finals - place a bet on multiple teams to reach the quarter-finals stage

To Reach the Semi-finals - wager on a team to reach the Semi-finals of the World Cup 2018

Name the Finalists - Predict both the finalist teams.