I am not sure if it is just me, but the build up to the World Cup 2018 has been a bit lowkey when compared to previous years. With the tournament about to kick off I would usually have a host of bets down but as I write this (under 3 days before kickoff) I have very little financial exposure.
That of course can change very quickly and it is going to be a case of “rather late than never” as World Cup fever has most certainly bit. I do have a small win interest in Spain taken a couple of weeks back at 6/1 but the more I look at the teams and the draw, the more I feel Brazil are the business at 4/1.
They disappointed at home in 2014 getting hammered by the rampant Germans in the semi-finals but they look to have rebuilt well since then and defensively they look very sound indeed. They have a squad packed full of quality players and if the draw goes according to the form book (which I will acknowledge it seldom does) then they should avoid the likes of Germany and Spain until the final.
I am all over the Brazilians at 4/1 as my main bet of the tournament and am also eyeing out a more speculative play of Brazil and Spain to be the finalists at a very tempting 14/1.
Given that I am putting my eggs in the Brazilian basket it is not surprising that I am expecting great things from Neymar whose 2014 injury had a massive impact on his sides chances. Neymar was in masterful form then and if anything he has improved as a player and the 13/2 he is announced as the Player of the Tournament has been added to my online shopping basket.
My final long term play will be Nigeria to qualify from Group D at odds of 23/10. They were excellent in qualifying despite losing a friendly in England last week and while it is hard to look past Argentina as group winners I think they have every chance of rolling Croatia and Iceland.
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This article was written for the CitiGaming supplement of the Citizen Newspaper and was published on the 14th of June 2018.