Association football is the most popular sport in the world, and that success is reflected in television ratings, merchandise sales and gambling action. That action is at its peak during the biggest events on the international stage, and there is no football event bigger than the FIFA World Cup.

The World Cup is a global event that inspires a massive influx of casual wagering, and that spells opportunity! The top online sports betting sites are offering great incentives for new players to sign up and get in on the World Cup action.

Where to Bet on the World Cup

Below we’ll provide you our top recommendations for betting on the World Cup this year. You can take advantage of any or all of the offers below to receive loads of free bets!

1. William Hill Sports – Redeem Promo Code WC20

William Hill came out with a special offer just for the World Cup. Place a single bet of at least £10, and then receive two free bets worth £10, for a total of £20 free!

Your initial best must be placed on a bet with odds greater than 1/5 (1.2). Then, once your bet is settled, win or lose, you will be credited your free bet coupons! This is a great deal because you get double your initial bet, and you get 2 free bets so you can get some free action on more than one game!

Register your new account with promo code WC20.

You can read more about the William Hill promo code here.

2. Ladbrokes Sports – Redeem Promo Code F100

Ladbrokes Sports recently upped the ante by increasing their new player welcome package – offering a free bet of up to £100 for all new players! This is an ENORMOUS incentive to sign up to Ladbrokes.

Simply place a bet of at least £5 and Ladbrokes Sports will match it. Place a bet of £100 and Ladbrokes Sports will then give you a free bet coupon worth £100!!!

Redeem your free bet with promo code F100.

Additionally, if Lionel Messi, Neymar, Cristiano Ronaldo or Luis Suarez finish as the top goalscorer of the World Cup 2014, Ladbrokes will refund any losing World Cup Outright Winner bets for up to £/€25 (awarded as a free bet coupon)!

You can read more about the Ladbrokes promo code here.

3. Betfred Sports – Redeem Promo Code BETFREE

Our next recommendation is Betfred Sports. Betfred offers loads of betting opportunities on the World Cup and a £25 free bet promotion plus additional offers such as Goals Galore and Double Delight & Hat-Trick Heaven.

Simply make your first real money bet of at least £1 and Betfred will match it for up to a £25 free bet coupon.

Redeem your free bet with promo code BETFREE.

Betfred Football

You can read more about the Betfred promotion code here.

4. Betfair Sports £50 Free Bet

Our final recommendation is Betfair Sports. Betfair offers a £50 free bet after you make an initial bet of £50 or more. Within 24 hours of your initial bet being accepted, you will receive a free bet coupon worth the amount of your qualifying bet, worth up to £50.

You can read more about the Betfair free bet here.

World Cup Overview

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is the 21st World Cup. It takes place in Brazil from June 12 to July 13. With five titles, Brazil is the most successful team in the history of this event, and this is the second time that the country will be hosting the Cup. The 2014 event consists of 32 teams divided into eight initial groups, and the final match will take place in Rio de Janeiro. An interesting note about this event is that this is the first time FIFA will employ goal-line technology for a World Cup Final.

Odds Favourites

Brazil is the obvious favourite to win the 2014 World Cup because they’re an elite team that will be defending their home pitch. At the time of this writing, most sportsbooks were posting 3/1 odds for Brazil. Rounding out the top five is usually Argentina (9/2), Germany (11/2), Spain (13/2) and Belgium (14/1). The odds may seem a tad favorable for Spain depending on one’s perspective, but it seems that the average bettor is a bit wary of them since they’re the current champion. If Spain wins in 2014, it becomes the first back-to-back champion since Brazil in 1965, and the team would set a record for winning four consecutive top-level FIFA tournaments.

Popular World Cup Bets

There are four primary ways to bet on soccer, and they’re all available during the World Cup. These options are game total betting, moneyline betting, spread betting and parlay betting. Also called over/under betting, wagering on game totals is about estimating how many goals both teams will score combined.

With moneyline betting, the bettor selects a winner, and if correct, is paid out according to the odds. The payout for underdogs is more favorable, while favorites generally require more risk. With spread betting, the punter can win exactly what he wagers, but the final score of the game is adjusted by a spread, and whether or not he chose the winner is based on that.

Parlay betting allows a gambler to combine two or more soccer bets of any format. To win the parlay bet, all components bets must win. The advantage here is that there’s a parlay win bonus, which can result in jackpot-sized winnings.

A fifth kind of wager available for soccer matches and during the World Cup is the prop bet. A prop bet is generally a bet that is not linked to the outcome of the game. Some prop bets are quite silly, such as the sock color a team might choose. Other prop bets require more skill, such as the first player to score a goal. Due to the influx of casual betting that occurs during the World Cup, the selection of prop bets is far larger and more diverse than what is available for the standard association football match.

Betting Exchanges versus Sportsbooks

Also due to the increase in casual wagering, betting exchanges can provide some very lucrative opportunities. At the very least, there is a bigger betting population and thus a better chance to get the odds you want on a particular match. Betting exchanges also provide some great in-play opportunities, and an active punter will be able to lay off and purchase bets during matches at a much faster and more lucrative rate than would otherwise be possible.

For betting exchanges, we highly recommend the Betfair Exchange!

Receive a free £20 bet at the Betfair Exchange!

Betting exchanges can be a bit complicated and take some time to fully understand. If you want a simple sports book with fixed odds – set up by the sportsbook themselves – then we highly recommend William Hill Sports.

Betting Strategies for the World Cup

Betting the o/u sees more action among regular gamblers during the World Cup. One reason is that there are mismatches that are easy to spot, and they make for favorable over bets. Likewise, the World Cup has a grueling schedule, and it’s easy to spot two gassed teams, which makes for a favorable under bet. Also, pay particular attention to upsets in pool play. Upsets will happen, but those underdogs rarely go all the way, and that makes their subsequent matches easy targets.

Keep in mind that defense wins World Cups. Compared to other top-level competitive soccer events, scoring is down during the World Cup, and defensive teams tend to advance further than offensive groups. In addition, the advantage that the home team has is statistically undeniable. It is particularly a no-brainer this World Cup due to how good Brazil is. The straight-up odds on Brazil will be low, but it can still be a great option for setting up parlays.

Last updated: May 14, 2015 at 16:28 pm