While many nations will be assessing potential injuries, nailing down their final 23-man squads and playing warm-up games in an attempt to go into the tournament in the best possible shape, bettors around the globe will be trying to identify the best ante-post bets, which often form the basis of a sound punting strategy ahead of a month of seemingly non-stop football.
Two of the most popular areas of focus are the outright winner and top goalscorer market, with the latter offering substantial returns to those able to identify who is going to shine in the Brazilian sun this summer.
Paddy Power are offering a £/€5 free bet on the first game of the tournament (Brazil v Croatia) to anyone who stakes £/€10 on the outright winner market before the World Cup gets underway on June 12th. Bets of £/€5 each way will count.
Whether you're siding with a South American outfit such as favourites Brazil (3/1) or Argentina (9/2), or opting for longer prices on one of the European contingent such as Spain (13/2) or France (22/1) to upset the odds and become the first non-South American side to achieve World Cup glory on the continent, there's a free bet to be had if your selection is backed with Paddy Power.
For anyone staking £/€20 on the top goalscorer market, there's also an offer in place that could see plenty of rewards if your selection has his shooting boots on during June and July.
Every time your top goalscorer selection scores, you'll get a £/€5 free bet directly into your account. So if you backed favourite Lionel Messi at 8/1 (9.0) with Paddy Power and the Argentina frontman hit six goals during the tournament, you would have accrued £/€30 in free bets, without even considering the potential returns on the initial bet.
Messi leads the market from Neymar (12/1), Cristiano Ronaldo (14/1) and Sergio Aguero (16/1) but given the lack of quality in some of the other groups it could pay dividends to side with someone who could make hay during the early stages for their country.
Edin Dzeko should lead the line for Bosnia-Herzegovinia and with Iran and Nigeria joining heavily-fancied favourites Argentina in Group F, the Manchester City man could have a significant goal tally in the early stages. The Manchester City forward is available at 80/1 (81.0), which could be of interest to each-way backers, especially with this free bet promotion clicking in every time your selection finds the net.
Terms & conditions on both offers can be found here.
|World Cup Specials
|Stake £/€10 on the Outright Winner market and get a £/€5 free bet on Brazil v Croatia||Stake £/€20 on the Top Goalscorer market and get a £/€5 free bet every time your selection scores|
Jim Knight is Chief Betting Editor at Goal.com and has been tipping football games since he was old enough to place a bet. He is a Leicester City fan, writer and member of the We Are Going Up Podcast
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