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Best Bets for the 2018 World Cup Final

The 2018 World Cup is rapidly coming to an end and whether you’ve won or lost, there’s only one game left to handicap – the final. To help you button up your tournament on a profitable note, our soccer writers put their heads together to come up with their favorite bets for Sunday’s finale.

Rob: Croatia to Lift the Trophy (+190)

I may already have too much riding on Croatia with a +3500 futures ticket currently my most valuable possession, but at +190 odds to lift the trophy, I have no choice but to double down on the Croats.

They may be outclassed at many spots on the pitch but this team’s heart, chemistry and experience that’s fueled their run to the World Cup final is too much for me to bet against.

Following Croatia’s semifinal win over England, Luka Modric was interviewed and he said, “No one gave us a chance before this World Cup, but in the end with our quality and with desire, with togetherness with fighting spirit that we showed all tournament, we are in the final.”

Modric also went on to mention how English pundits thought the Croatians would be tired for the semifinal match given the extra football they’ve played, but he dismissed that as ridiculous, saying “When you play a semifinal you cannot be tired, it’s impossible because you know how much is (at) stake.”

I expect Croatia to have the same mentality and motivation in Sunday’s final and because of that, I’ll gamble on their +190 price to be named World Cup champions.

Andrew: Antoine Griezmann to Score Anytime (+190)

While France has been powered by great performances from players all over the pitch like Kylian Mbappé, Benjamin Pavard, N’Golo Kanté, Hugo Lloris, etc., perhaps the most consistent performer in Russia has been Antoine Griezmann.

Griezmann has scored three goals and assisted another two and he’s always looked threatening in free-kick situations. He’s been integral in Les Bleus even getting this far, assisting Samuel Umtiti’s goal in the semifinal and icing the Uruguay game with France’s second, and he’ll need to factor big time if France is going to win its second World Cup.

For some reason, Mbappé is the favorite in Golden Ball betting markets at -110 while Griezmann is sitting there at the lovely price of +950.

Considering how poor Olivier Giroud has been in Russia (zero shots on target in 465 minutes), Griezmann and Mbappé have certainly had to pick up the slack and they’ve done very well. But this game feels like a Griezmann moment. He’s the one who takes the penalties for France so that alone increases his value in anytime scorer markets.

I’ve never really been the biggest Griezmann fan, but he’s made me realize just how good he can be with some very good play at the 2018 World Cup. I’ll be backing the Atletico Madrid star to score anytime in this one, be it open play or from the spot.

Craig: First-Half Correct Score 0-0 (+125)

This is based on historical data, but the first-half draw in World Cup finals has been a very safe wager down the years. Six of the last seven World Cup finals matches have had draws at halftime with the outlier being France over Brazil in 1998.

A correct score prop of 0-0 is a little more lucrative in betting markets, though.

Both of these sides were very cagey to open their semifinal matches and I don’t expect either to risk much in the first 45 of this one. The Croatians will be running on fumes so expending a ton of energy early would not be a good plan. The French may come out aggressively but that hasn’t been their tendency thus far.

Gilles: Both Teams to Score in Regulation Time (+125)

While soccer experts and know-it-alls will be happy to tell you that the last two World Cup finals have ended in a 1-0 final score and are generally low-scoring, I’m here to tell you that won’t be the case on Sunday and I see goals.

France and Croatia have combined for 22 goals in the 2018 World Cup, with France possessing arguably the most talented offensive group in the whole tourney. France has scored in every game in regulation in this tournament save for the Matchday 3 group game vs Denmark when both teams were fielding rotated squads.

Croatia, on the other hand, is the second-highest scoring team in the World Cup with 14 goals and they’ve yet to be held scoreless in regulation time. The Croats have had a knack for finding the back of the net and with dangerous forwards like Mario Mandzukic, Ante Rebic and Ivan Perisic ready to kick the air out of the ball, bettors should be all over this prop.

Bet on the World Cup Final here!

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