The opening match of the World Cup in Brazil this summer sees the hosts Brazil take on a Croatia side who had to rely on a play-off victory over minnows Iceland to make it to the tournament. So will it be a samba party, as expected, or can Niko Kovač’s men upset the locals with a big result in Sao Paulo? Read on for our betting tips along with the latest betting odds and analysis to find out our views on the matter.

Given Croatia lost at home and away to Scotland during their somewhat unconvincing qualifying campaign, you would be forgiving for thinking the best betting odds of just 1/3 with Coral for a Brazil win here represent good value. But the Balkan side have since changed their manager and with a newfound optimism they could cause an upset if things go their way in Sao Paulo.

If you think the pressure of the occasion will get to Brazil and cause them to freeze like rabbits in the headlights, you will be rewarded with excellent betting odds of 11/1 with Bet365 if you choose to back the Croatia victory. The draw is a more realistic prospect of course, priced at 21/5 with BetVictor, and much will depend on whether the likes of Neymar, Fred and other home nation stars find their rhythm early on in the game.

If they do, and are able to muster an early goal, there will be no way back for Croatia. But if the underdogs make it to half time all-square, they might just hold on for a point or even nick a famous victory. Our main betting tip, though, is for the hosts to be winning at half time and full time at betting odds of 8/11 with Bet365.

TOP FREE BETS OFFERS

Up To €/£50
In Real Cash
18+ | Play responsibly www.begambleware.org | Min deposit £20. Bonus expires 7 days from registration. For every £100 wagered £5 will be credited. Restrictions apply. See terms and conditions.
New customers only. 18+. T&C's Apply. begambleaware.org
Bet £10
Get 3 X £10
18+. UK+IRE only. Min first bet £10 at odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £30 credited as 3 x £10 free bets. Not valid with CashOut. Free bet valid for 7 days. Free bet stake not returned. T&Cs apply.
New customers only. 18+. T&C's Apply. begambleaware.org
Up to €/£50 Bonus
New customers only. Min Deposit £10. Deposit & bonus amount must be wagered 6 times (min odds 4/5) prior to withdrawing bonus funds and any winnings. Wins from real money bets withdrawable at any time. Bonus on sports betting only.T&Cs apply.
New customers only. 18+. T&C's Apply. begambleaware.org
Bet £10
Get £30
18+. UK+IRE only. Promo code 'G30' required. Min first bet £10. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £30 credited as 3 x £10 free bets. Not valid with CashOut. Free bet valid for 7 days.T&Cs Apply.
New customers only. 18+. T&C's Apply. begambleaware.org