The FIFA World Cup is set to be completed on Sunday July 15th, when France will face Croatia in one of the least likely finals matchups in recent World Cup history. The game will start at 8am PST/11am EST and is being held in Russia at Luzhniki Stadium.
Many bettors on this particular match will be new to wagering on soccer games (or futbol, if you are from one of the countries participating). Unlike the majority of sports in the United States, there are a variety of common ways to wager on this match that include or don’t include the actual final score. For example, you are able to bet on the outcome during regulation only, not counting any overtime, shootouts and so on. In the earlier rounds, games could have a final result that was a draw, but in the later stages of the World Cup, and in the final match itself, an outright winner is always determined.
Having said all of this, it comes as no surprised to any soccer enthusiast or bettor that France is a large favorite to win the match outright. During regulation, however, France is only -110 on the moneyline. The reason for these lower odds is because the total for goals scored in the game is only two. In addition, a draw is listed at +230, meaning that oddsmakers feel the game is both likely to be low scoring and may very realistically end up in a tie. If you were to look at the odds for the final match, you would conclude that the most realistic ultimate result would be a 1-0, 1-1, or 2-1 France win (with 1-1 coming in overtime).
Now, if you are looking to wager on the Croatian team, you will be in prime position to book a solid win regardless of your bet type, since the team is such an underdog. Currently the odds on Croatia to win the match outright in regulation are around +350, depending on which sportsbook odds you are looking at. When you look at the odds for Croatia to win the game period, the odds drop significantly, all the way to +200. This means that while Croatia is most certainly the definitive underdog in this match, it would not be the biggest upset in the world.
It is worth noting that Croatia entered the 2018 World Cup tournament as 30/1 futures odds to win the championship. This is compared to the low 6/1 odds that were given to France, who were favorites along with other soccer powerhouses, Spain, Brazil and Germany. At 30/1, it was quite unlikely that Croatia would have managed to make it this far, and it is almost surprising that they are not bigger underdogs against France. It would be a safe assumption that much of the public will be wagering on Croatia for both the underdog storyline and because of the potentially large payoff.
There are no shortage of prop bets that are available for this game as well. Beyond totals, moneyline, spread and game winner bets, you may also bet on individual player performances, who will win awards, and so on. Many bettors placed futures bets before the tournament started that will be determined by this match as well.
Croatia is considered by many to be the “sharp” darkhorse of the tournament. Where a team like Japan went further than expected, but ultimately did not advance, there was not a large contingent of bettors who wagered on Japan to win the entire event. Croatia, however, does have a fair amount of backers who took the 30/1 longshot odds, and now they may realize a sizeable payout.
If you are new to betting on soccer, this final match would be a positive introduction to betting on games. Sometimes you will see just how close the matches are, but there is a very realistic possibility that the game ends at 2-0 and there is minimal true excitement or intensity. Nevertheless, there is no shortage of ways to bet on France vs. Croatia tomorrow, and the right picks could pay out handsomely.