World Cup Qualifiers Betting Odds - Eyes On Russia 2018

World Cup Qualifiers Betting Odds - Eyes On Russia 2018

It is only a matter of weeks since the Euros ended – with Portugal becoming the European champions. But attention has already turned to the next World Cup, which takes place in Russia in 2018.

Here we are bringing you our predictions, betting tips and live odds comparison for some of the most interesting-looking matches from the first WC qualifying round from around Europe. Whichever games you choose to bet on, remember that using our live odds comparison tables will ensure you get the best prices from the biggest bookies around, meaning greater profits when you win!

Slovakia v England – Sunday 4th September 2016

We’ll kick things off by examining England’s first match since their ignominious defeat to Iceland in the Euros. Since then Roy Hodgson has made way for the no-nonsense figure of Sam Allardyce, and we expect his first match in charge to result in three points and a fair bit more in terms of battling spirit. Some purists fear that Big Sam will introduce a more direct style of play, with less focus on possession and that this could be a retrograde step for the national side. But such a concern is really a little outdated given the style of play he employed when boss at West Ham.

England earned a 100% record in qualifying for the Euros and they are priced at best betting odds of 21/20 with Sky Bet to get off to a winning start here. We think that represents decent value given the players will be more than eager to impress their new boss, despite England only managing a 0-0 draw against them at the Euros. A narrow away win – with 2-1 being our correct score pick – looks the way to go in this one.

Czech Republic v Northern Ireland – Sunday 4th September 2016

Michael O’Neill’s Northern Ireland have a tricky encounter against the Czech Republic to open their World Cup qualifying campaign on Sunday. Northern Ireland surpassed expectations to get to the Round of 16 at the Euros (where they lost to Wales) and O’Neill will be hoping to build on their positive tournament to ensure they get to the World Cup in Russia.

Karel Jarolim’s Czech side are going to be a tough hurdle to overcome, however, with the bookies pricing the home team as the odds-on favourites (17/20 with Sky Bet). They had a poor Euros though, finishing bottom of an admittedly troublesome group that contained Spain, Croatia and Turkey, and we predict a draw might not be such a bad result for either side here. Our betting tips is therefore to back the stalemate at best betting odds of 13/5 with Bet365.

Malta v Scotland – Sunday 4th September 2016

Scotland will have been watching on enviously as all their near neighbours enjoyed competing in the Euros, and Gordon Strachan will be determined to guide his side to Russia. It is not going to be easy given that the pool of players from which Strachan can choose is hardly brimming with quality these days.

The Scots certainly have the desire to get big results, but whether they have the consistency to make it to the World Cup is open to question. But with England and Slovakia also in their group, this is a must-win game for Scotland, and we think they’ll get the job done at odds of 4/9 with Betway. If you want a bigger price, why not back Scotland to be winning at half time and full time at a tasty 6/5 with Coral?

Serbia v Republic of Ireland – Monday 5th September 2016

On Monday it is Martin O’Neill and Ireland’s turn to get their journey to Russia underway. A decent Euros tournament saw them lose 2-1 to hosts and eventual finalists France in the Round of 16 after a plucky rear-guard action. The Irish have landed a fairly nasty draw for their qualifying group here, with Wales, Austria and Serbia all very dangerous outfits. If the Irish can get a couple of wins under their belts in the first few qualifying matches it will certainly give them the confidence to kick on towards Russia though.

We predict that O’Neill will come into this match in a rather pragmatic mood, however, realising that a draw away from home against one of the stronger teams in the group could be worth its weight in gold. As such we think this will be a tight match with few chances, so backing under 2.5 goals looks nailed on at betting odds of 4/7 with Paddy Power, while backing the game to be goalless at half time could also pay dividends at 6/4 with William Hill.

Wales v Moldova – Monday 5th September 2016

Wales performed admirably at Euro 2016, finishing top of Group B ahead of England, Slovakia and Russia and then making it through to the semi-finals where they lost to tournament winners Portugal. That they beat one of the real contenders for the Euros (Belgium) in the quarters really shows how good Wales can be. If they can carry that momentum into their World Cup qualifying campaign they could take this group by storm and qualify with games to spare.

They are the strong favourites to get things off to winning ways when they host Moldova on Monday, with the best odds available being just 3/10 with Sky Bet for the home win. We would definitely back the Welsh to be winning at half time and full time, however, in order to boost the odds a little: to 10/11 with Coral. We also like the look of the home side to win to nil at 4/6 with Paddy Power, and that is our main betting tip here.