The World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world, with 3.4 billion people expected to tune in during this year’s tournament in Russia. Regardless if your national team managed to qualify or not if you are even remotely interested in football, you probably sat down and watched at least one game over the past 15 days. We, of course, have our horse (or two) in the race. First, we support England; that’s where our heart is. But we also share the same passion for El Tricolor, the Mexico national team. Fortunately, the two can’t meet until the finals, and we have Belgium to thank for that.
However, besides rooting for our favourites, we have decided to bet on the 2018 World Cup as well. If you think about it, why wouldn’t we? After all, we have tested and reviewed numerous top UK betting sites, we are huge football fans, and the World Cup comes only once in four years. So, equipped with our knowledge and winning mentality, we embarked on a month-long football betting adventure. The goal of this project is to share with you our World Cup betting experience and most importantly, to have fun. And today, you will get to see how we fared during the group stage.
Now, before we do a breakdown of our bets, here is some general info about this project.
- First, we used our best-rated betting app, 10Bet, to place all wagers.
- Second, we played with our own money, and 10Bet is not a part of this project.
- Lastly, we tried to have fun while placing bets, so don’t take this article as a World Cup betting guide.
With that said and without further ado, here is the breakdown of our group stage bets.
Breakdown of Our 2018 World Cup Group Stage Bets
As you all know, there are 48 games in the World Cup group stage, and we placed a bet on all of them. In the beginning, we were betting on each game separately, but later on, we wagered some combo bets as well. Additionally, while our bosses gave us a blank check for betting, we decided to stick to €3-5 bets during this phase of the competition, and increase the amount later on. So what are the results?
Well, out of 48 games, we predicted correctly 12 of them. This translates to a 25% success rate. Moreover, from these 12 games, 11 were on winning bet slips, so we cashed in quite a few of them. Our most significant win was €46, and our biggest loss robbed us of €56, but more on them later. Even though it doesn’t seem like much, when you consider how many surprises group stage brought, we consider ourselves winners. Well, not financial winners as we are €9 down in total. However, one can say that the machine still hasn’t beaten us, and we plan to come back stronger in the knockout stage of the 2018 World Cup.
- 25% win rate
- Most significant win €46
- 11 winning bet slips
- Wallet balance -€9
Moments When We Shined
With 11 winning betting slips, it was a bit hard to select our top predictions. We didn’t want only to list the highest payouts, as most of them featured boring games. So, we picked three bet slips that showcase how crazy the World Cup can get, as well as, show off our “expert” betting predictions.
England vs Tunisia – Win €13.25
First, we would like to highlight the game between England and Tunisia. For most, this was an easy bet; wager on the Three Lions and win. While it did end in England’s favour, the game itself was not an easy one. This match was the first round of the Group G, and everybody thought that England would crush Tunisia (as did we). We were pondering to bet on England winning both halves and over 2.5 goals. However, this being the first match at the 2018 World Cup for both teams, we thought that it would be a slower game and decided to bet on England win and over 2.5 goals. And sure enough, we made a right decision.
England did start strong, with Harry Kane scoring in the 11th minute. However, Tunisia managed to get one in as well, 10 minutes before the half-time whistle. The entire second half was insane, with England constantly attacking. And right before all our hopes were gone, Kane came to the rescue and scored a goal in the 91st minute, winning us a bet slip and most importantly, the game. While this was not a massive win (€13.25), it kept us on the edge of our seats for its duration.
Three Easy Wins – Win €17.65
Next up is a rather dull but easy-win combo bet slip. We didn’t put much thought into it, as we wagered our money on favourites. We played Belgium to win against Tunisia, Mexico to win over South Korea, and Germany to destroy Sweden. The bet slip brought us a nice profit of €17.65, but not without breaking a sweat.
While Belgium and Mexico took care of their opponents with ease, the 2014 World Cup winner struggled quite a bit. As you probably saw, Germany was tied with Sweden until the 95th minute of the game, resulting in yet another victory for us in the stoppage time. And as it turned out, this was the last victory for Germany at this year’s World Cup, but we will talk more about that later.
The Final Round of Group G – Win €46.41
Finally, we present to you our proudest win. With two games left in the group stage our wallet balance was looking weak, so we decided to take a few risks. Our team was facing Belgium, and Tunisia was playing against Panama in the final round of Group G. These two games didn’t have any significant meaning because Belgium and England already secured their place in the top 16, so the majority of punters thought that these would be boring and goalless matches. Additionally, both Belgium and England benefited more from the loss than from the win. You see, the loser of the outcome would end up in a “weaker” bracket and square off against Columbia, Sweden, Switzerland, etc.
So, even though our hearts were with the Lions, we placed a bet on Belgium to win, as well as, Tunisia to win and over 2.5 goals. Our reasoning? Well, we don’t think that England is a weaker team, but we do believe that they are more cunning. And sure enough, Belgium won 1-0, leaving our favourites in the second position in the group and on an “easier” side of the bracket. Moreover, Tunisia came through as well, earning us €46.41. Even though betting against your squad is not something to be proud of, we think it worked out for the best for everyone. Also, not to brag, but we predicted correctly every England game – win against Tunisia and Panama and over 2.5 goals, and loss to Belgium.
Three Losses That Hurt Us the Most
When it comes to our losing bet slips, this World Cup provided a ton of them. Similarly to our victories, we didn’t want to highlight our most significant losses only. Instead, we opted for games that were shockers and cost teams their spot in the Round of 16.
Senegal’s Missed Opportunity Against Japan – Loss €46.92
Many would agree that Group H games were some of the most exciting ones to watch this year. Right from the first round, the unexpected happened when Poland and Columbia lost to Senegal and Japan, respectively. While Japan had a red card advantage over Columbia from the 3rd minute of the game, Senegal absolutely dominated Poland. That made us think that Japan probably has no chance against Senegal in their upcoming match, so we played Senegal to win and both to score. Additionally, as England was playing against Panama that day, we wagered on the Lions and over 2.5 goals.
As you know, our boys made easy work of Panama, winning 6-1. So, the only thing left was Senegal to beat Japan. The game kicked off in our favour, with Senegal scoring in the 11th minute. However, 20+ minutes later, Japan managed to put one in the net as well, resolving the both-to-score part of our bet. From now on, we only needed Senegal to win, which was not far-fetched based on the stats. And after 30+ minutes of constant pressure, Senegal managed to score and take the lead for the second time in the game. We were less than 20 minutes away from cashing in €46.92, but as you know by now, Japan scored a goal in the 78th minute of the match, ending the game in a draw. This ultimately led to Senegal’s elimination from the World Cup, because they had more yellow cards than Japan. Yes, both teams had the same number of points and goal difference, so the next deciding factor were yellow cards, of which Senegal had six and Japan four.
The Disaster of June 25th – Loss €56.35
The final round of Group A and B was scheduled for Monday, June 25th, and this is the day when betting sites in the UK earned a ton of money! Sure, Group A was resolved, with Russia and Uruguay both having six points. That day, group leaders were to face each other and Egypt was playing against Saudi Arabia, the weakest team at the 2018 World Cup. We thought that if any game was to end in a draw, then Uruguay vs Russia was the one. Additionally, we felt that Egypt couldn’t finish this World Cup without a win, so we had them winning the game. On the other hand, Group B had a little bit more complicated situation. Spain and Portugal were at the top of the group with four points each, and Iran was right behind them with three. Of course, we thought that Spain and Portugal couldn’t risk a loss, as it could result in elimination. So, we played Portugal to win against Iran and Spain against Morocco. These four “relatively sure” games had a potential win of €56.35.
However, that was not the case. WE MISSED EVERY SINGLE ONE! Saudi Arabia somehow managed to beat Egypt 2-1, despite Mohamed Salah scoring the first goal. Moreover, Uruguay crushed Russia 3-0, with the host even receiving a red card in the 36th minute. But the biggest surprises were games in Group B. Both Spain and Portugal ended their games in a draw, with Spain barely scoring an equaliser in the 91st minute. Interestingly, Portugal was leading since the first half, only to receive a goal in the 93rd minute from a penalty kick. Undeniably, a disaster for all punters!
The Final Round of Group F – Loss €35.85
Another surprising set of games was the final round of Group F. Mexico had a firm position at the top with six points, but right behind them were Sweden and Germany, both having three points. During the final round, Mexico was to play against Sweden, and Germany was facing the group underdog South Korea. This situation made everything possible, except for South Korea to pass the group stage. So, our first thought was that Germany would destroy South Korea, as it was their only sure way to proceed to the Round of 16. Furthermore, we hoped that Mexico would play it safe, as only a defeat could jeopardise their advance to the next stage.
Therefore, we played Germany to win both halves and over 2.5 goals, plus we placed a draw on the Mexico vs Sweden clash. Unfortunately, none of these predictions came through. First, Sweden obliterated Mexico, winning the game 3-0. However, the real shock was South Korea beating Germany 2-0. While these two games cost us potential €35.85, the real loser was Germany as this loss got them eliminated from the World Cup.
Things That Didn’t Make Any Sense
Besides these wins and losses, we want to highlight a couple of unexpected things that happened during the group stage of the 2018 World Cup. While our defeats were surprises too, the things we will talk about here were simply bizarre.
Argentina vs Croatia
Everybody knows that Croatia has a powerful team, but only a few dared to predict that they would destroy Argentina in the second round of Group D. What did we do? Well, we thought a lot about this match; we knew that both squads had what it takes to win this game, especially when it comes to scoring goals. However, we weren’t one of those few who placed a bet on Croatia to win. Instead, we thought that this could be a draw with goals at best. And boy, were we wrong! Croatia came in and wrecked their opponents, winning the game 3-0. This is a lesson that we won’t forget while placing future bets on the Blazers.
Finally, let’s talk about the elephant in the room – Germany’s performance. Who would have guessed that the 2014 World Cup winner would be eliminated in the group stage? Well, not us. Sure, the team lacked some big names like Philipp Lahm, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Miroslav Klose, etc. However, we didn’t even dare to say that this setback would be enough to have them finish last in Group F.
Thinking back on it, maybe their first game against Mexico should have been a red flag to everyone. Moreover, their next game against Sweden was a narrow escape. Despite winning the game, the Germans didn’t show the dominance everyone expected. In fact, they won thanks to a goal that came in the 95th minute. But the shocker came in their final game when they lost to South Korea. Unfortunately, this meant the end of the road for the 2014 world champion. Also, there is one mind-blowing World Cup stat, which shows that all winners since 1998 were eliminated at the next World Cup during the group stage. Well, it seems that the curse continues!
And that is all for this stage of the competition. We started this task as a small side experiment that will make watching the World Cup a bit more exciting. Sure, we would be more pleased if we predicted a couple of bets more. However, every seasoned punter knows that the World Cup is one of the hardest sports events to bet on, and this one is no different. There were bunch of surprises and unexpected outcomes, most notably Germany’s demise. Additionally, this year, we saw fewer goals scored in the group stage. There were 122 goals in Russia compared to 136 during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. This single stat cost us a dozen games, as we placed numerous bets on over 2.5 goals.
But that is all over now, and we need to focus on the next stage of the tournament. We have eight exciting and hard matchups with only a couple of them having clear favourites. So, if you haven’t wagered already, maybe now it’s the time to join the craze. Give 10Bet a shot, if you haven’t made up your mind what betting site to sign up for. They offer hundreds of betting options for every game, as well as, excellent World Cup boosts. Also, we will make another breakdown of our 2018 World Cup bets right before the finals, so stay tuned.
And, of course, share with us your betting escapades. We would love to hear about your most daring wagers, as well as significant wins and losses.