Germany is a favorite to win back-to-back titles, but the team it routed in the 2014 semifinals, Brazil, is going off at the same odds to win its record sixth world championship.
With the 2018 World Cup just a few weeks from getting underway, the 2014 World Cup champions sit atop the futures betting board. Germany will try to become just the second team in World Cup history to win the tournament back-to-back, while doing so would tie Brazil for the most titles in history.
Germany is going off at +450 on the odds to win the 2018 World Cup in Russia at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The defending champions were nothing short of dominant during their run through the qualifying round in the UEFA Group C, scoring 43 goals and conceding only four en route to a perfect 10-0-0 record. This squad is a well-oiled machine that will be extremely tough to beat.
Brazil, also +450 to win the World Cup, was the last team to win the World Cup in back-to-back tournaments, scoring championships in 1958 and 1962. The Brazilians also advanced to the finals three times in a row and won the World Cup twice from 1994 to 2002, but have since failed to reach the finals in each of their last three World Cup appearances.
After suffering a disastrous 7-1 loss in the semifinals to Germany as the host nation in 2014, Brazil will be hungry for revenge this time around.
Spain has steadily climbed up the betting board and is now going off at +600 to win the World Cup, just ahead of France at +700. Since being hired to manage the national team in 2016, Julen Lopetegui has been credited with getting Spain back to playing the aggressive style of football that made La Furia Roja one of the best national teams in the world from 2008 to 2012 and the World Cup champions in 2010.
France has the talent to compete with the world's best, but will have to prove it can put it all together on the grand stage in 2018 as it has been unable to do in recent years.
Other contenders to win according to the 2018 World Cup odds include Argentina (+900), Belgium (+1100), England (+1600), Portugal (+2500), Uruguay (+3300) and Croatia (+3300).
With Argentina coming off a runner-up finish in 2014 and with other nations sitting higher on the board as significant favorites, all eyes will be on Lionel Messi to see if he can lead his country to its first World Cup victory since 1986 and its first senior international trophy since the 1993 Copa America.