With less than a month to go before the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup it has turned into a dead heat at the top of the odds, with Brazil joining defending champion Germany as the +450 co-favourites in World Cup betting at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Brazil helped its case with a 1-0 victory as a +140 favourite over the defending World Cup champions in a March 27 friendly at Berlin’s Olympic Stadium, improving its win-draw-loss record to 15-3-1 in its past 19 outings across all competitions.
The Brazilians will be looking to continue their recent strong play in upcoming friendlies against Croatia and Austria before opening their group stage schedule against Switzerland on June 17 as -300 betting favourites.
For Germany, the loss to Brazil as a +180 bet extends a worrisome trend that has seen them go winless in four friendlies since closing out UEFA World Cup qualifying with a decisive 5-1 win over Azerbaijan.
Die Mannschaft followed up with a trio of unsatisfying draws with European rivals England, France, and Spain, but have ample opportunity to right the ship with pre-tournament friendlies against Austria and Saudi Arabia before hitting the ground running at Russia 2018 with a huge group stage matchup with Mexico on June 17, in which they are pegged as -225 favourites.
Spain has held steady on the World Cup futures, closely trailing the favourites at +600, followed by France at +700, while Argentina rounds out the top of the odds at +900.
The Spaniards have remained undefeated since compiling a 9-1-0 record during UEFA World Cup qualifying. In addition to playing level with Germany as heavy +230 underdogs, Spain also played Russia to a 3-3 draw, and dominated in a 6-1 win over Argentina as -120 chalk in their last outing, extending their unbeaten streak across all competitions to 18 matches.
France has seen its odds dip from +550 after going 1-1-1 in three recent friendlies, including a 3-2 loss to Colombia as a -230 favourite on March 23.
Conversely, Argentina has held steady despite carrying over its struggles during CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying into recent friendlies. In addition to their lopsided loss to Spain, the Argentines also dropped a 4-2 decision to Nigeria as -190 chalk, and own an 8-5-6 overall record since losing to Chile on penalties in the Copa America Centenario final two years ago.
Elsewhere on the 2018 World Cup odds, Belgium leads the best of the rest at +1100, followed by England at +1600, and Portugal at +2500, while Uruguay, Croatia, and host nation Russia sit deadlocked at +3300.