Top-Ranked Betting Sites for the 2018 FIFA World Cup
The FIFA World Cup is one of the largest sports events in the world. To put this into perspective, the 2014 WC hosted 3,429,873 total fans throughout the event. This was the second-largest attendance total in history.
Will they exceed this during the 2018 World Cup, which Russia is hosting from June 14th to July 15th? We’ve no idea, but we’re optimistic that they can.
What we DO know is that there will be betting opportunities aplenty. There will be loads of money for you to win if you know what you’re doing.
Getting started couldn’t be any easier, either. You’ll find the best World Cup betting sites in the table below. Choose one or two that stand out to you and join them now. You’ll be making bets before you know it.
The FIFA World Cup is one of the largest events out there, yet it’s sort of like the Olympics in that it only comes around every 4 years. It only lasts for one month, too. Blink and you’ll miss it – and all the profitable betting opportunities that go with it.
This particular page in our guide is focused on helping you find the best places to bet on the World Cup. In addition to providing the recommendations above, what you’ll find below is information that will help you go from 0 to 60 in terms of choosing a sportsbook or online bookmaker.
There’s some additional information and advice, too, including details of what betting opportunities you can expect to find and the best ways to make money from those opportunities.
Let’s get started.
2018 World Cup Picks and Previews
We get it – it’s hard enough trying to keep up with the World Cup, never mind all the betting opportunities that come with it.
The good news is that you don’t have to. Why not piggyback off all our hard work instead? Several of our experts have the full-time job of watching the WC18 and monitoring the betting markets.
What this means for you is a steady stream of World Cup news, picks, and previews. You can expect a fresh post or two from our experts on a regular basis. This way, you’ll stay up to date with everything that happens and find some good wagers to place, even if you don’t have the time to keep track of everything yourself.
You’ll find the latest posts below. Make sure you bookmark this page and come back daily, or visit our blog directly to see all our World Cup posts.
6-Point Checklist for Choosing the Best FIFA Betting Sites
The first step you need to take if you want to bet on the World Cup is to choose a sportsbook to join. In fact, we STRONGLY recommend you join multiple sportsbooks. We’ll talk about why later.
Choosing a sportsbook to join can cause some people to freeze in terror. This is because there are hundreds of them to choose from. Studies have shown that humans don’t do well with more options, as it causes paralysis by analysis. People who experience this feeling often choose nothing at all.
We don’t want this to happen to you. There are just too many profitable betting opportunities for you to pass up.
So, to help you combat this, we’ve done two things.
Added a list of recommended bookmakers to the top of this page. Whichever you choose, we’re confident you’ll have a good time
Created a checklist below that you can use to find the best betting sites on your own
We’re going to go through the checklist now.
Item #1: Integrity and Reputation
It doesn’t matter how great a sportsbook is if they’re shady. Who cares about the thousands of dollars you can claim in bonuses if the sportsbook finds a way out of giving it to you? Who cares if you can bet 6 figures on any given World Cup market if the sportsbook won’t pay you your winnings?
Integrity and reputation matter. You need to look at these things first before you decide to join a sportsbook. It’s not terribly hard to check, either.
What we usually do first is make sure the sportsbook
is licensed and regulated.
A license doesn’t guarantee that the sportsbook won’t screw you over. Plenty of rogue sportsbooks have proved that theory wrong.
However, a license is a small barrier to entry that does reduce the lowest of the low from joining the party. Licensing usually involves paperwork and fees – things not every conman is able to pay or wants to do.
Next, we check forums. We ignore one-off complaints of no-pays or unfair games and instead look for patterns. We look for thread after thread of players complaining about slow/no pays, breach of terms, voided bets (unfairly), and things like that. These are signs that you should avoid this particular bookmaker.
If you see anything else that makes you feel uneasy, don’t feel bad about crossing the sportsbook off your list. There are plenty of other online bookmakers that cover FIFA soccer betting.
Item #2: Betting Opportunities
One of the great things about betting on an event like the World Cup is all the betting markets. You’ll find hundreds if not thousands of different bets that you can make.
For example, here are some of the markets you can expect to find on each game.
Draw No Bet
First Player to Score
Both Teams to Score
Result/Both Teams to Score
Asian Handicap and Goal Line
1st-Half Asian Lines
You’ll also find a wide selection of outrights/futures and specials/props. Here are some examples.
Golden Boot Winner (Top Goal Scorer)
To Reach the Final
The Reach the Semi-Finals
To Qualify from Group
To Win Group
Group Exact Finish Order
Top Team from Continent
And so on.
The tricky part is finding all these opportunities. You’re not going to find them all under one roof, especially since some sportsbooks focus on (fun) props while others hardly offer them at all. You need to make sure you sign up with the bookmaker(s) that offer the markets you want to bet on.
This is one of the reasons why we recommend you join multiple sportsbooks. If possible, you should split your bankroll across 3 sportsbooks minimum. This will give you an excellent selection of betting opportunities to choose from.
Item #3: Terms
There are a few things you want to look for in a betting site’s terms and conditions.
First, in a perfect scenario, you wouldn’t join a sportsbook that says that what they say goes in any situation. Or that they can change their terms and conditions whenever they want and without notice.
You want to try to avoid this because so many shady sportsbooks use this little loophole to void bets or get away with not paying their customers – usually for some made-up, BS reason.
The problem is that many betting sites – legit or not – have terms like this. So, it’s not entirely avoidable.
Another clause you want to look for is the bookmaker’s betting limits on their soccer matches. If they get more specific than that, you want to look for betting limits for FIFA World Cup markets.
Take the US-facing site Bovada, for example. Their limits vary from $500 to $20,000 depending on the type of bet you make. Another example is Pinnacle. They have a $250,000 limit on accumulators.
Sportsbetting.ag posts limits specific to the FIFA World Cup, though they haven’t updated them since 2014. Their limits are $5,000 for spread bets, $10,000 for moneylines, $5,000 for totals, and $2,000 for team totals.
It just depends. Our reviews are a great place to look if you’re concerned about limits, as we include this information where relevant.
Speaking of limits, many sportsbooks also have a cap on the maximum amount of money you can win from a particular bet. These limits (depending on where you join) are often in the 6-figure range. The larger your bets and/or the higher the odds you’re getting, the more important this should be to you.
These are a few of the many things we look for in the terms and conditions. The bottom line is that you want to make sure that the sportsbooks you join have player-friendly terms.
Item #4: Offers
Another aspect you don’t want to overlook when choosing a betting site is the offers each one is running. Some sportsbooks excel in this area, while others drop the ball.
For example, we looked at a site today that wasn’t offering any offer related to the World Cup. It’s almost as if the tournament didn’t exist.
Then we looked at another site, and they were the complete opposite. They had all sorts of WC18 offers. For example, you could claim offers like these.
Penalty Payback – Back a team to win the tournament. If that team is eliminated on penalties, you’ll receive your bet back.
Early Payout – Place a pre-match single bet on any Full-Time Result market. If your team goes ahead by 2 goals during normal time, the sportsbook will settle your bet early as a winner (regardless of the final result).
Bore Draw Money Back – Place a pre-match bet on any First Goal Scorer, Last Goal Scorer, Anytime Goal Scorer, Correct Score, Halftime/Fulltime, or Scorecast market. If the game ends 0-0, you’ll receive your bet back.
Free Bet – Receive a free $5 bet each time you make a bet on a large sporting event from now until kick-off. This offer allows you to build up a “bet bank” of up to $50 that you can use on the World Cup.
Outright Special – Receive a free bet every time your FIFA World Cup pick wins.
We’ve even seen crazier promos. For example, a sportsbook offered millions of dollars to anyone that could predict the results of every match.
Ultimately, each person reading this will be into different types of offers. Whatever you do, just make sure there are some offers for you to claim. If you’re going to be betting on the 2018 World Cup, you might as well get something extra for it if it exists.
Just make sure you read the terms and conditions for every offer you plan to claim.
Item #5: Mobile Betting
Nearly everyone has a mobile device nowadays. Look around the next time you’re standing in line at the store, at the airport, or even while you’re driving – everyone is on their phones.
And sure, there’s a good chance you’ll watch the games from home. But there’s also a good chance that you’ll watch the World Cup from a friend’s house or bar. You could even keep tabs via live stream if you’re out running errands.
There’s no guarantee that you’ll be near your TV or computer during the World Cup. But you’ll still want to watch matches, keep tabs on the scores, and make and monitor your bets.
This means that you’ll want to make sure that wherever you bet is mobile-friendly. You need to make sure that they either have a separate mobile website, a responsive website, or a native app for you to download.
There’s not much else to add here, other than that you want to make sure that whatever mobile option they offer works well and is easy to use. You might also check to see if they let you stream matches from your phone.
Item #6: Banking Options
You shouldn’t have too hard of a time finding an online bookmaker that accepts the banking options you want to use. Most sportsbooks accept credit/debit cards, prepaid cards, e-wallets, bank transfers, and more.
Americans will especially appreciate the hassle-free banking that cryptocurrency offers.
We also recommend you look at banking limits. If you want to make nominal bets, then you need to make sure the minimum deposit limit is reasonable – under $20 or $30. If you want to make massive bets, then you need to ensure that the maximum limit will accommodate you.
Then you have your cash-out limits. You don’t want to win a massive bet only to be limited to a 4- or 5-figure monthly cash-out limit.
Last, you want to check for fees. Most sportsbooks will waive deposit fees (although not all of them do) and charge fees on cash-outs instead.
Sometimes these fees are reasonable, while other times they’re borderline predatory. You want to make sure you do your homework and compare fees to make sure you’re paying as little as possible. Again, our reviews are a great place to find this information.
Note that in certain regions, such as the United Kingdom, for example, many of these things are not an issue. Most UK betting sites have low minimum deposits and high maximum deposits, and you can typically cash out however much you win. It’s also incredibly rare for them to charge deposit or withdrawal fees.
That’s it. Those are the things we look at when deciding where to place our World Cup bets. We’re still not done yet, though. There’s still one other thing you want to think about for when the World Cup ends.
You want to consider what your long-terms plans are.
Some people only bet on certain sports or events. For example, they might bet on the World Series, NBA Playoffs, the Super Bowl, or the World Cup. All they care about are betting opportunities related to those events.
However, if you plan to bet more often, you’ll want to consider the checklist items above for the other sports or events you plan to bet on. That way, you don’t have accounts at a bunch of betting sites that won’t benefit you for anything other than the World Cup. Remember, this event only comes around once every four years.
Multiply this by several bookmaker accounts (which we recommend you have), and you can easily waste a ton of time trying to manage accounts and bankrolls.
Meh. Who wants to do that?
Just keep your long-term goals in mind when choosing a bookmaker. Make sure they have a solid selection of betting markets and offers for everything you want to bet on.
Do that, and you should be fine.
Betting Opportunities on the FIFA World Cup
On one hand, you shouldn’t expect the World Cup to be that different from anything else you can bet on. In a lot of ways, it’s not.
On the other hand, FIFA betting – and soccer betting in general – is different from everything else you can bet on because of the massive number of betting opportunities you’ll have. You’ll have hundreds if not thousands of bets you can make.
Of course, you’ll have all the standard options. For example, you can make the following types of bets.
Moneyline/Match Result – Bet on whichever soccer team you think will win.
Total Goals – Bet whether you think the total goals made will be over or under the number the bookmaker sets.
Spread/Handicap – You’re not just betting on whether a team will win or lose. You’re betting on how many goals that team will win or lose by.
For example, if Portugal is listed at -2.5, this means that they will need to win by 3 goals to cover the spread (for you to win your bet). If Costa Rica is listed at +2.5, this means that as long as they don’t lose by more than 2 goals, they cover the spread (and you win your bet).
Futures/Outrights – Place a bet on an outcome you think will happen in the future. An easy example is betting on who you think will win the FIFA World Cup.
Props/Specials – These are bets on outcomes that can happen throughout a game or the entire tournament. For example, one prop might be the number of goals a specific player scores in a game or during the tournament. Another one might be the total number of penalties a team receives during a game or the tournament.
Live Bets – Make bets while the game is in play. You’ll see the odds adjust in real time based on what’s going on in the game (goals, penalties, injuries, etc.).
Those are all standard options you’ll have betting on the World Cup. You’ll also have more specific options such as the markets we listed in the previous section. There are tons more that we haven’t seen yet, too. It all depends on the sportsbook(s) you join.
If you want a better idea of the markets you can expect to find, we’ve written a page on the best FIFA World Cup betting markets. This explains the different markets you can find and the best ones for you to focus on.
Read this to give yourself a better chance of making money on your bets. Combine that with our tips below, and you can do pretty well for yourself.
Six Tips for Successful World Cup Betting
Most people are going to bet on the World Cup for fun. They’re not professional bettors trying to make enough money to cover their bills and put food on the table.
That said, we’d bet that most people would rather win than lose.
With that in mind, we thought we’d provide a few tips to help you make a little extra (or lose a little less) money when betting on the World Cup. You can also check out another page we’ve written, for additional tips not covered below.
This is probably the simplest tip on this list. It’s also the most important.
You need to create a staking plan so that you know how much you’re willing to bet on different kinds of bets (props, moneylines, etc.) and how much you’re going to wager per bet.
The former is important because each kind of bet has different odds of you winning. For example, a moneyline bet is FAR easier to win than a parlay. It’d make more sense variance-wise to bet a larger percentage of your bankroll on moneylines, then.
The latter is important so that you don’t blow your roll on a single bet. We recommend you wager around 1%-2% of your bankroll per budget. For example, if you have a $500 bankroll, you’d wager $5-$10 per bet.
Sticking to a plan like this will ensure that you get more mileage out of your bankroll. You’ll have more chances to win, especially when you combine this tip with the rest of the tips in this section.
Learn to Love 3-Way Bets
Bettors in the UK and some other regions probably already know this, but our American readers may not.
One big difference between sports like football or hockey and soccer is that, with soccer, you’ll have 3-way betting. This means that you can bet on either of the two teams to win, or you can bet on the draw.
A lot of bettors – especially American bettors – don’t like to back the draw. They’ll often wager on the draw no bet instead.
This is a mistake, according to the pros. They say that you should learn to love the 3-ways, and especially the draw. There is often a great deal of value to be had.
Make Halftime/Fulltime Bets
With halftime/fulltime bets, you need to correctly predict which team is winning at halftime and which team wins at fulltime. You can also bet on the game to be tied at either point.
This type of bet can offer great value. And if you’re right after halftime, you’ll have additional hedging options that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Consider Trying Dutching
Not sure what Dutching is? Don’t worry; it’s simple. Kind of.
Dutching is when you bet on multiple outcomes in the same game, event, or tournament. For example, say you wanted to bet on Portugal vs. Australia. You might bet on Australia to win, and then also bet on the draw.
That’s not all there is to it, though. You need to make sure the money makes sense. After all, you’re in this to turn a profit.
Say you want to bet on a horse race. Forgive the switch in sport, but horse racing is a good way to explain Dutching. There are two horses that you believe have a good chance of winning, but you can’t separate the two in terms of which one is more likely to win.
The prices for each horse is as follows.
Selection A is 3.0
Selection B is 5.0
This is a good spot to “Dutch” the race and back both horses.
The first step is to decide how much money you’re willing to stake on the race in total. Let’s say you decide that you’re willing to risk $100 total on this bet. You decide to bet $62.50 on Horse A and $37.50 on Horse B.
Here’s what’s cool about this.
If “Selection A” wins, you win $125. You lose the $37.50 that you staked on the other horse, but you still come out $87.50 ahead.
If “Selection B” wins, you win $150. You lose the $62.50 you staked on the other horse, but you still profit $87.50.
See how that works?
This is going to take some research and math on your part, between finding the opportunities and deciding what to bet on each outcome. It’s worthwhile, though, since you can use this tip to hedge your bets in a worst-case scenario and turn a profit in a best-case scenario.
Who wouldn’t love either of those outcomes over losing?
Just bear in mind that Dutching doesn’t GUARANTEE success. You’re not betting on ALL possible outcomes, so you can still lose.
Join Multiple Sportsbooks
We’ve mentioned this a few times already, so we won’t spend too much time on it. There are several reasons why you should have multiple sportsbook accounts. For example, you’ll have more promotions and betting opportunities to choose from.
Those aren’t the only reasons, though.
Another reason to have multiple accounts is so that you can compare odds. For example, say you wanted to make a bet on Portugal (vs. Australia).
At one site, you saw odds of 1.50, meaning you’d stand to win $50 from a $100 wager. Then, at another site, you saw odds of 1.60. This would mean a potential profit of $60.
Which would you rather have – a $50 or $60 profit? It’s a no-brainer, right?! But this is only possible if you have multiple accounts and the time necessary to shop/compare odds.
Google “sports picks” or “paid betting picks,” and you’ll come across several websites that will offer a premium service where you can pay for their best World Cup betting picks.
We suggest you avoid services like these.
Never mind the fact that many of these guys are con artists with their inflated records. But there are also just so many websites that offer free picks backed with good reasoning that it makes no sense to spend the extra cash.
Don’t forget that when you spend money on picks, you need to do extra-well to turn a profit. It’s not only the vig you need to overcome, but also the investment you made in the premium picks.
Don’t bother – you can do just fine on your own.
About the FIFA World Cup
The World Cup is an international football competition that involves the senior men’s national teams of the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). The World Cup has been held every 4 years since 1930. The two exceptions are 1942 and 1946 (due to the 2nd World War).
There are more than 200 teams that compete for the cup. However, during the first three years leading up to the finals, these teams will play for a chance to be one of only 32 teams (soon to be 48) to make the finals.
The top two teams from each group advance to the single-elimination knockout stage. From here, they play until there’s only one team left standing.
Who will win in 2018? We’re not sure, but what we can tell you is that only eight national teams have won the World Cup.
Brazil – 5 times
Germany – 4 times
Italy – 4 times
Argentina – 2 times
Uruguay – 2 times
England – 1 time
France – 1 time
Spain – 1 time
And that’s the World Cup in a nutshell.
If you want to learn more, we’ve written a more in-depth guide to the history of the FIFA World Cup. This guide includes how it got started, how it’s evolved over time, and some other interesting facts. You can find that here.
Whew! This was a massive read. What else would you expect, though, when the topic is about one of the largest sporting events in the world?
Speaking of massive, if you want to wager on the World Cup, you’ll have lots of options for where to bet, promotions to claim, and opportunities to take advantage of.
Use our tips above – as well as the tips we’ve linked to – and it’s possible that you’ll be able to turn all those opportunities into PROFITABLE opportunities.
You’ve got to get started, though. The sooner the better.
The fastest way to get started is to scroll back to the top of this page and select a site from our recommendations above. Choose a bookmaker or three, and you can be placing your World Cup wagers in a matter of minutes.