The stage is set for one nation to etch its name in history at the 2018 World Cup. The drama kicks off Thursday when host Russia takes on Saudi Arabia. Brazil is the 2018 World Cup favorite at 7-2, followed closely by defending champions Germany at 4-1 ...and more »
The stage is set for one nation to etch its name in history at the 2018 World Cup. The drama kicks off Thursday when host Russia takes on Saudi Arabia. Brazil is the 2018 World Cup favorite at 7-2, followed closely by defending champions Germany at 4-1 and France and Spain at 6-1. If any country wants to hoist the trophy this year, they will first need to escape the Group Stage. In addition to picking an overall winner, bettors can wager on the results of all eight 2018 World Cup groups. For example, Brazil is a -450 favorite to win Group E, meaning it would take a $450 bet on the Brazilians to win their group to return $100.
Before you make your picks on which teams top their respective groups at the 2018 World Cup, you need to see what European soccer expert David Sumpter has to say.
Sumpter is an applied mathematician who wrote "Soccermatics," the book that shows how math works inside the game. Together with experienced analysts, Professor Sumpter developed the powerful Soccerbot model.
The Soccerbot reads current odds and all team performance data, calculates key metrics and predicts upcoming matches. In the 2½ seasons since it was born, the Soccerbot is up 1,800 percent on bookmakers' closing odds. That's right -- 1,800 percent.
Now, the Soccerbot has computed each country's true probability of winning its group at the World Cup 2018.
We can tell you Brazil has the highest probability to advance out of Group E despite losing defender Dani Alves to a knee injury. The 35-year-old, who has made 107 appearances for the Brazilian National Team, was injured while playing for PSG in the Coupe de France final.
Another team the model is all over to win its group: France, which has a 72.4 percent chance of topping Group C. After the pain of losing the Euro 2016 final on their own turf, France will be eager lift the trophy for just the second time in its history.
France has plenty of talent and boasts one of the best squads in international competition. It's built around Kylian Mbappe, Paul Pogba, N'Golo Kanté and Antoine Griezmann, the Euro 2016 Golden Boot winner. Denmark (13.8 percent) has the second best chance to win Group C, but ultimately the star power of France will be too much to overcome, the model predicts.
Sumpter's model also says two countries with World Cup outright odds of longer than 25-1 will advance past the group stage. Anyone who backs these underdogs could hit it big.
So who wins each group at the 2018 World Cup? And which massive long shots have the best chance to shock the world and advance to the Round of 16? Check out the odds below and then visit SportsLine now to see who David Sumpter is picking to win each group at the 2018 World Cup, all from a European soccer expert who created a model that's returned an 1800 percent profit on bookmakers' closing odds.
Group AUruguay -110Russia +160Egypt +500Saudi Arabia +4000
Group B Spain -220Portugal +220Morocco +1600Iran +4000
Group CFrance -425Denmark +550Peru +1000Australia +2000
Group D Argentina -200Croatia +250Nigeria +1200Iceland +1200
Group EBrazil -450Switzerland +700Serbia +800Costa Rica +2000
Group FGermany -325Mexico +500Sweden +700South Korea +2000
Group GBelgium -140England +120Tunisia +2200Panama +4000
Group HColumbia +120Poland +180Senegal +500Japan +700
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