It’s 9/2 to the field in the World Cup outright betting, leaving the tournament finals in Russia the most wide-open in recent memory.

Ante-post favourites Brazil were held in their opening game, as were fellow former winners Spain, who are now joint-favourites and have since come out and got their campaign back on track after a tumultuous build-up.

 

France and Germany yet to take off

With other leading European nations France and Germany posting far from convincing displays in their openers and Argentina being held by everyone’s favourite underdogs, Iceland, it’s tough to pick a winner. The odds on all of these countries, who have lifted the trophy before, too, have drifted since before the tournament.

If you want to get Ladbrokes football betting offer on the World Cup, then an odds boost on every game of the finals is available up to £50 in bets with that bookmaker.

There’s still plenty to go at in the group stage. England still have to play twice in their pool as they battle with Belgium – one of the few market principals whose price has been slashed after a scintillating second-half display against plucky Panama – for top spot in Group G.

Many commentators expected the strength-in-depth of Colombia and the prolific Bundesliga striker Robert Lewandowski of Poland to take them through to the knockout phase. Group H was turned on its head, however, when Japan and Senegal scored major upsets over these respective sides.

Big stars should come to the fore at this World Cup

Lewandowski could yet make his presence felt and it’s the same for Colombia, who can call upon the star of the last World Cup in James Rodriguez to return, pull the strings and supplement Radamel Falcao up front. Both the South American side and the Polish have been put on the back-foot, however, and one may knock out the other when they meet on Sunday, 24 June.

Mexico, meanwhile, sprang a shock on holders Germany in their opening game of Group F. A wave of colourful and passionate fans have decamped from the Azteca to Russia and, provided they beat South Korea, they can probably book their place in the knockout phase before their final match with Sweden.

As Brazil and Switzerland drew in Group E and Serbia beat Costa Rica courtesy of an Aleksandar Kolarov free-kick, the Eastern European nation can confirm themselves in the last 16 lineup with victory over the Swiss. Tite’s fancied Samba Boys can get their campaign back on track as the Selecao bid for a sixth World Cup crown by winning their Latin American clash with the Costa Ricans.

Portugal are hard to beat, just like at Euro 2016

Euro 2016 winners Portugal have Cristiano Ronaldo firing with four goals in two group games so far. He is now the clear 7/4 favourite with Ladbrokes to be top scorer at the tournament.

Fernando Santos’s side proved they were great at getting results in France two years ago, if not always so pleasing on the eye. With Ronaldo in-form, Portugal are another nation to have seen their odds on winning the World Cup slashed and are now 16/1 shots.

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