World Cup Final – France Vs. Croatia – Prediction, Odds, and Betting Tips
This year’s World Cup has been one of the most exciting in recent years. We saw the previous winner, Germany, eliminated in the group stage. The host country, Russia, went an absurd run, knocking out one of the top teams in the world, in Spain, before ultimately falling in penalty kicks to Croatia. There have been a ton of upsets and exciting games throughout the tournament and an endless number of penalty shootouts. My 2018 World Cup pick for July 15th is below and the odds can be found at Sportsbetting – Don’t Miss 50% Up To $1000 Bonus
It is down to two teams, France and Croatia. They will search for eternal glory at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow. The match begins at 6 PM local time but will start at 11 AM EST. The game is broadcasted on Fox Sports.
Vive La France
The French have looked dominant throughout the World Cup. That was expected from Les Bleus after they fell ultimately lost in the Euro 2016 on home soil. The French have rarely had to come out of “first gear” in this year’s tournament and have looked dominant over their opponents throughout the World Cup. They breezed through UEFA qualifying with a 7-1-2 record. In Group C play, they finished atop the group with a 2-0-1 record. Their offense was on full display against Argentina in a 4-3 in the Round of 16. They took care of Uruguay 2-0 in the semifinals and blanked Belgium in the semis, but got a goal at the start of the second half to win 1-0 to reach the World Cup Final.
The Croatian Story
The Croatians are the second smallest country to make the World Cup Final, behind Iceland. Unlike France, it has not been an easy path for Croatia. They have been tested time and time again and have had to rally to advance in much of the tournament. They’re the firm underdogs in this matchup, but it’s hard to count them out with all of their late heroics in this tournament.
The Croats went 6-2-2 in qualification, ultimately making the tournament in a playoff win over Greece. Croatia breezed through Group D with three wins but had to go to penalty kicks with Denmark, ultimately winning 3-2 from the spot, in the Round of 16. They then defeated Russia after a 2-2 score in regulation, 4-3 on penalty kicks, once again. Finally, they rallied late to tie England in the regulation and then grabbed a goal in extra time to win 2-1.
France Vs. Croatia – Betting Odds & Prediction
The French opened at -210 to raise the trophy, which moved to -220, but currently at SportsBetting.ag, we have France -210 and Croatia +190 to win the 2018 World Cup. France has gotten the majority of wagers so far, with over 2/3rds of bets coming in on Les Bleus. In 3×1 regulation betting markets, they’re moderate favorites at -114, with Croatia getting a result in regulation at +310. The draw in regulation is at +225. France is -1/2 at -114 and Croatia is +1/2 at -106 on the handicap. The total is just two goals, with heavy vigorish on the under 2 at -121.
It’s been a good story for Croatia but when there were four teams left in the World Cup – it was clear France was the favorite to win, regardless of their opponents. For betting reasons, I would have preferred England to have advanced, as we could get France to raise the trophy a bit cheaper than -210, but I still think there is plenty of value in that line. Also, bettors may be able to get a cheaper price if they line shop.
France hasn’t truly faced much adversity in this World Cup and I don’t expect that to change much in the final game. They have gotten goals when they needed them and can easily adjust to their opponent’s play, while still playing mostly conservative. Their talent far surpasses Croatia’s and I don’t think this one will come down to the final minutes. As far as the total, I lean under, but a France 2-0 victory seems like the most likely result.