Betting: Germany and France lead World Cup 2018 odds with Messi's Argentina not far behind

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The reigning world champions are favourites to retain their well-earned title in Russia next year, but Les Blues and Brazil are also frontrunners

With 23 nations qualified for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, everyone is already making their picks about who they think will lift the Jules Rimet Trophy on July 15th.

Nine countries are still unknown, which makes it more difficult to pick as three more African teams will book their places in November – the same time as the two inter-confederation play-offs and the four UEFA play-offs take place.

Despite this, there are still some obvious favourites from the teams that have booked their tickets to the World Cup, and none more so than the reigning champions.

Lionel Messi Argentina

Germany, who beat Argentina 1-0 in extra time in the 2014 edition, are naturally 5/1 (6.0) favourites with dabblebet to retain their title, whilst France are available at 11/2 (6.50) after an uncertain qualification period.

The leading South American country is Brazil at 6/1 (7.0), who were the first nation outside of the hosts to confirm their place in Russia after dominating qualifying, and will be looking to wash away the nightmare of losing 7-1 to the eventual winners in the semi-finals last time.

Always a solid bet in recent years, Spain are priced at 15/2 (8.50) by the online bookmaker, but priced at 8/1 (9.0) is Argentina, who qualified by the skin of their teeth and now the question is whether Lionel Messi and Co. will be able to come into form just at the right time next summer after struggling for almost three years now.

world cup winner odds

Dark horses Belgium clock in next at 12/1 (13.0) and could improve on their quarter-final finish in Brazil, whilst at 20/1 (21.0) the trio of Italy, England and Portugal are available – all three of whom failed to make it out of the group stages in 2014.

Colombia are quoted at 33/1 (34.0) to go all the way, which is certainly not out of the question following the respective rejuvenations of Radamel Falcao and James Rodriguez, with Uruguay tempting at odds of 40/1 (41.0) if Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani can stay in the goals.

The only other home nations can be found at 250/1 (251.0) for the Republic of Ireland or a whopping 500/1 (501.0) for Northern Ireland, although both sides will have to navigate a play-off next month and there is a reasonable chance they could even play each other in the two-legged affair.

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