2018 FIFA World Cup Soccer Preview, Odds, Picks & Predictions

by | Jun 20, 2018 | Soccer Betting Previews

World Cup at a Glance

Where: Russia
Date & Time: June 14 – July 15, 2018
Quick Picks: France at 6/1, Germany at 9/2, Brazil at 5/1, Spain at 7/1, Croatia at 40/1, Iceland at 200/1

The 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place in just a few months and it is about time we start breaking it all down for our Spooky Express readers.  This year’s 2018 FIFA World Cup will take place in Russia and will run from June 14 thru July 15, 2018.

They will play the games at 12 different venues/fields in 11 host cities throughout Russia with the finals taking place on July 15 at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, Russia.  

The tournament will consist of 32 national teams, of which 31 were qualifiers and the Russian National team was given an automatic bid due to their host status.  Germany will be trying to repeat as the champions this year but there are several contenders that will give them a run for their money.   

Full Schedule

Below is the full World Cup 2018 schedule. Spooky Express will have full game previews and picks for every single match of this year's World Cup. Bookmark this page and we will link each matchup below to the preview as we finish them.

Denmark vs. Australia 8 a.m. ET Samara Fox
France vs. Peru 11 a.m. ET Yekaterinburg FS1
Argentina vs. Croatia 2 p.m. ET Nizhny Novgorod Fox
Brazil vs. Costa Rica 8 a.m. ET Saint Petersburg FS1
Nigeria vs. Iceland 11 a.m. ET Volgograd Fox
Serbia vs. Switzerland 2 p.m. ET Kaliningrad Fox
Belgium vs. Tunisia 8 a.m. ET Moscow Fox
Germany vs. Sweden 11 a.m. ET Sochi Fox
South Korea vs. Mexico 2 p.m. ET Rostov Fox
England vs. Panama 8 a.m. ET Nizhny Novgorod FS1
Japan vs. Senegal 11 a.m. ET Yekaterinburg Fox
Poland vs. Colombia 2 p.m. ET Kazan Fox
Saudi Arabia vs. Egypt 10 a.m. ET Volgograd Fox/FS1
Uruguay vs. Russia 10 a.m. ET Samara Fox/FS1
Iran vs. Portugal 2 p.m. ET Saransk Fox/FS1
Spain vs. Morocco 2 p.m. ET Kaliningrad Fox/FS1
Australia vs. Peru 10 a.m. ET Sochi Fox/FS1
Denmark vs. France 10 a.m. ET Moscow Fox/FS1
Iceland vs. Croatia 2 p.m. ET Rostov Fox/FS1
Nigeria vs. Argentina 2 p.m. ET Saint Petersburg Fox/FS1
South Korea vs. Germany 10 a.m. ET Kazan Fox/FS1
Mexico vs. Sweden 10 a.m. ET Yekaterinburg Fox/FS1
Switzerland vs. Costa Rica 2 p.m. ET Nizhny Novgorod Fox/FS1
Serbia vs. Brazil 2 p.m. ET Saint Petersburg Fox/FS1
Japan vs. Poland 10 a.m. ET Volgograd Fox/FS1
Senegal vs. Colombia 10 a.m. ET Samara Fox/FS1
England vs. Belgium 2 p.m. ET Kaliningrad Fox/FS1
Panama vs. Tunisia 2 p.m. ET Saransk Fox/FS1
Round of 16: Match 50: Group C winner vs. Group D runner-up 10 a.m. ET Kazan Fox/FS1
Round of 16: Match 49: Group A winner vs. Group B runner-up 2 p.m. ET Sochi Fox/FS1
Round of 16: Match 51: Group B winner vs. Group A runner-up 10 a.m. ET Moscow Fox/FS1
Round of 16: Match 52: Group D winner vs. Group C runner-up 2 p.m. ET Nizhny Novgorod Fox/FS1
Round of 16: Match 53: Group E winner vs. Group F runner-up 10 a.m. ET Samara Fox/FS1
Round of 16: Match 54: Group G winner vs. Group H runner-up 2 p.m. ET Rostov Fox/FS1
Round of 16: Match 55 (Group F winner vs. Group E runner-up) 10 a.m. ET Saint Petersburg Fox/FS1
Round of 16: Match 56 (Group H winner vs. Group G runner-up) 2 p.m. ET Rostov Fox/FS1
Quarterfinal: Match 57 (Match 49 winner vs. Match 50 winner) 10 a.m. ET Nizhny Novgorod FS1
Quarterfinal: Match 58 (Match 53 winner vs. Match 54 winner) 2 p.m. ET Kazan FS1
Quarterfinal: Match 60 (Match 55 winner vs. Match 66 winner) 10 a.m. ET Samara Fox
Quarterfinal: Match 59 (Match 51 winner vs. Match 52 winner) 2 p.m. ET Sochi Fox
Semifinal: Match 61 (Match 57 winner vs. Match 58 winner) 2 p.m. ET Saint Petersburg Fox
Semifinal: Match 62 (Match 59 winner vs. Match 60 winner) 2 p.m. ET Moscow Fox
Third-place match: Match 63 (Match 61 loser vs. Match 62 loser) 10 a.m. ET Saint Petersburg Fox
Final: Match 64 (Match 61 winner vs. Match 62 winner) 11 a.m. ET Moscow Fox


Matches Played

Russia vs. Saudi Arabia 11 a.m. ET Moscow Fox
Egypt vs. Uruguay 8 a.m. ET Yekaterinburg FS1
Morocco vs. Iran 11 a.m. ET Saint Petersburg Fox
Portugal vs. Spain 2 p.m. ET Sochi Fox
France vs. Australia 6 a.m. ET Kazan FS1
Argentina vs. Iceland 10 a.m. ET Moscow Fox
Peru vs. Denmark 12 p.m. ET Saransk FS1
Croatia vs. Nigeria 3 p.m. ET Kaliningrad FS1
Costa Rica vs. Serbia 8 a.m. ET Samara Fox
Germany vs. Mexico 11 a.m. ET Moscow FS1
Brazil vs. Switzerland 2 p.m. ET Rostov FS1
Sweden vs. South Korea 8 a.m. ET Nizhny Novgorod FS1
Belgium vs. Panama 11 a.m. ET Sochi FS1
Tunisia vs. England 2 p.m. ET Volgograd FS1
Poland vs. Senegal 8 a.m. ET Moscow FS1
Colombia vs. Japan 11 a.m. ET Saransk Fox
Russia vs. Egypt 2 p.m. ET Saint Petersburg Fox
Portugal vs. Morocco 8 a.m. ET Moscow FS1
Uruguay vs. Saudi Arabia 11 a.m. ET Rostov Fox
Iran vs. Spain 2 p.m. ET Kazan Fox
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The Groups

The 2018 Groups are now set and the schedule is in place for the teams to begin playing on June 14.  The teams below have been divided into the following groups:

Group A

Click here for our complete Group A Preview.

Group B

Click here for our complete Group B Preview.

Group C

Click here for our complete Group C Preview.

Group D

Click here for our complete Group D Preview.

Group E

Click here for our complete Group E Preview.

Group F

Click here for our complete Group F Preview.

Group G

Click here for our complete Group G Preview.

Group H

Click here for our complete Group H Preview.

Spooky Express Leans To France Over Germany

One of the teams that we think will give Germany the best competition is France.  France has the deepest team and I think they are one of the few teams that can win the Cup.  Didier Deschamps took over this team in 2012 and this could be the first time we see France play up to their potential. Germany’s Mats Hummels recently made a comment about France being very deep and talented stating, “They have an incredible breadth of young players.  I’ve never seen anything like that.”  

We also like Germany and think they also have a good chance to win the World Cup as well, but also have an unknown uncertainty about them as well.  For that simple reason, we are putting France ahead of Germany to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup…..but we still like Germany as our second choice.

At this point although it is very early we are leaning to France over Germany but you will need to check back with us closer to June to get our finalized World Cup picks and how we think it will all play out for the World Cup Finals.  We have several months between now and the first game and these are just our first instinctive leans although our individual brackets will probably not be changing.

The Usual Suspects from Brazil

When it comes to the FIFA World Cup you simply can't write off the most successful soccer nation – Brazil. The five-time champions will be eager to win their sixth World Cup and first one since the tournament in Japan and South Korea in 2002. This time “The Seleção” did extremely well in qualifying and Tite seems as the right man for this job. The 57 years old Brazilian picked his 23 men for Russia with no major surprises and although Dani Alves got injured before the World Cup, Danilo looks ready to replace his experienced compatriot at the right-back. In the meantime, Neymar just scored his first goal since February in the 2-0 win over Croatia, which was one of the pre-World Cup friendlies for Brazil. This shows that Neymar has recovered well after an injury that ruled him out for around three months and he can quickly return in optimal shape for the World Cup.

In addition, Brazil has other very capable players like the goalkeeper Alisson and his outfield teammates Marcelo, Thiago Silva, Casemiro, Philippe Coutinho, Willian, Gabriel Jesus and Roberto Firmino, who all contribute to an exceptional overall quality of “The Seleção”. We truly believe that Brazil is, as always, one of the main favorites to win the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

Croatia May Shock Some People

The super longshot that we are willing to play will be Croatia.  Croatia has a very tough group, but we still think that if they can somehow get out of the group, they have a chance to make a nice little run in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.  They will match up against Argentina, Iceland and Nigeria in Group D but when they can get out of this group, they will be very tough to beat and the experience will help them in the World Cup!

Iceland Small But Talented!!!

The Iceland team is very small in terms of population and talent but they are really good.  We will be taking a shot at them winning their group at nice odds and throwing a few bucks on them to win it all, which would be absolutely mind blowing for the soccer world.  Obviously it is not a pick that we would consider putting any significance behind but worth a shot at how talented this tiny country is.  They did well 4 years ago stunning everyone and I think they can do it again to a certain degree!

Two More Teams To Consider

Argentina and Spain are two more teams that have legitimate shots at winning the 2018 FIFA World Cup.  We like Spain better than Argentina here and if there is a 4th team (outside France, Germany and Croatia) I would throw in the mix, it would be Spain.  Spain has something to prove this year after seriously dropping the ball in their last go around.  They failed to get out of the group stage in 2014, going 0-2 vs. Netherlands, Chile and their only win coming against Australia to finish group play 1-2. In qualifying play, they only gave up 3 goals in 10 games and were one of the highest scoring teams in qualifying posting 36 goals overall.

Argentina were the runners up in 2014 and will return this year with a talented group of individuals who will attack the ball.  They will be led by Lionel Messi, who many are now calling one of the greatest soccer players of all time.    

Spooky Express early leans for the 2018 FIFA World Cup

These plays are a our very early selections for what we are looking at.  These are absolutely not set in stone and this article will be updated in a few months as we get closer to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.   Although Brazil is a strong choice to get to the Finals we will look to beat them as one of the favorites and hope to cash a bigger winning ticket. 

Check out our individual Group previews as well.   

France at 6/1

Germany at 9/2

Spain at 7/1

Croatia at 40/1

Iceland at 200/1

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