Germany mowed through its World Cup qualifying matches with a perfect 10-0-0 record, outscoring its opponents 43-4 along the way. The national team heads to Russia in 2018 looking to become the first team to win back-to-back World Cup tournaments in over 50 years.
The defending World Cup champs are going off at +450 on the odds to win the 2018 World Cup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. With a favorable draw in Group F that includes Mexico (+450 to win the group), Sweden (+550) and South Korea (+1200), Germany is a -335 favorite to win its group to advance into the knockout stage with a top seed.
The last team to win back-to-back World Cup tournaments was Brazil, doing so in 1958 and 1962. Since advancing to the World Cup final in three straight tournaments from 1994 through 2002, Brazil has been notably absent outside of the top two in each of the last three World Cup tournaments. Brazil is going off at +500 to end its drought in Russia.
Argentina (+800 to win the World Cup) is in the midst of a longer drought than Brazil having last won the World Cup back in 1986. The 2014 runner-ups should be in the mix again this year, but Group D is filled with potential landmines. The Argentinians are -200 favorites to win their group over solid teams in Croatia (+200), Nigeria (+900) and Iceland (+1000). Nigeria defeated Argentina 4-2 in a friendly match in November.
France will be a popular choice on the 2018 World Cup odds at +600. The French team has a lot of favorable qualities but its depth may be what makes the team so dangerous. With plenty of young talent to rotate in, France should have quality fresh legs throughout the tournament and can withstand injuries better than many other teams at the event.
Other potential contenders to win the World Cup in 2018 include Spain (+750), Belgium (+1100), England (+1600), Portugal (+2800) and Uruguay (+2800). Spain won the World Cup in 2010 and has loads of veteran experience on the big stage to draw from. Portugal has Cristiano Ronaldo, who at the very least should give Spain a scare in Group B.