With 32 teams and interesting group combinations, the 2014 hosts Brazil go into this tournament highly fancied and at 4-1 they are currently the narrow favourites for an outright win ahead of defending champions, Germany at 9-2.
The 2010 champions, Spain, are next in the betting at 6-1 with France at 13-2. South American giant Argentina, which lost to Germany in the 2014 final, are at 9-1. At 10-1, Belgium is an outsider but not written off, and England, usually over-hyped going into these events but not this time, are at 18/1.
Says Ryno du Plessis of World Sports Betting: “Spain cruised through their qualification group which included Italy, which failed to qualify for the finals. They collected 28 points from a possible 30 in qualifying where they conceded only three goals in 10 games.
"Spain are looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2014 World Cup where they failed to qualify for the knock-out rounds despite being defending champions and also bowed out in the quarter-finals of Euro 2016, losing to Italy.
"They are in a group with Portugal but shouldn’t have problems qualifying, which is why they are at 6-1,” adds Du Plessis.
African teams have put in some good shifts in World Cups in recent years but have yet to put up a real challenge for the title.
At 200-1, Nigeria may not take home the cup but Du Plessis believes they may win their group stage.
In Group A, Uruguay are the 8-10 favourites to win the group ahead of hosts Russia at 17-10 with Egypt 23-4 and Saudi Arabia, the rank outsiders, at 40-1, while in Group D Argentina are the firm favourites at 6-10 with Croatia at 22-10, Nigeria 10-1 and Iceland 11-1.
“This looks like a very dangerous group and I wouldn’t be piling into Argentina at 6-10. The bet I like here is Nigeria to qualify from the group at 23-10. They are a strong physical side, capable of rattling their foes' cage and if they can get off to a good start against Croatia, I fancy them to kick on to qualify.”
In Group E, Brazil are the overwhelming favourites at 1-4, with Switzerland 23-4, Serbia 29-4 and Costa Rica at 17-1 expected to fight it out for second place. Belgium are the favourites to win Group G at 8-10, with fellow heavyweights England at 23-20 and Tunisia and Panama rank outsiders at 31-2 and 40-1 respectively.