Near the top of the oddsboard in several betting markets at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, France will be a very popular selection in odds to win wagers and player props as well as on a match-by-match basis.
The French Football Federation selected its 23-man squad on May 17 and while it is absolutely stacked, an embarrassment of riches forced the likes of Alexandre Lacazette, Anthony Martial and Dimitri Payet to be excluded from the side. That’s a combined 71 caps that France is leaving behind in favor of a younger, up-and-coming generation of talent (though Payet limped off the pitch in Marseille’s Europa League final vs Atlético Madrid early in the week and the injury likely played a part in his exclusion).
Ever the high-profile team, France will look to improve on a quarterfinals appearance at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil and a disappointing loss to Portugal in the finale of the 2016 Euros on home soil. With odds of +700 to win the World Cup at online shop Sportsbook, it feels a bit short for a comparatively younger, inexperienced side than what some of the other teams will bring to Russia.
There is experience on the touchline, however, as Didier Deschamps has been in charge of Les Bleus since 2012. In 74 matches, Deschamps sports a record of 46 wins, 13 draws and 15 losses.
France wasn’t perfect in qualifying, but a favorable group will, at the very least, see them through to the knockout stages in Russia. Beyond that, it will potentially be a slew of interesting matchups for a young, rapid, exciting side at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
France’s odds to win World Cup: +700
Based on name alone, that seems OK, but when looking at the squad list, the first thing that jumps out is the inexperience. Thirteen members of the 23-man squad have 15 international caps or less. Sides like Germany, Spain and Argentina are more experienced and that will certainly play a factor as the matches get harder and harder.
Deschamps’ first two major international tournaments were promising considering the shambolic performance from the French at the 2010 World Cup. The potential for an improvement on the 2014 quarterfinals showing exists, but the injection of youth into this side (Kylian Mbappé, Nabil Fekir, Ousmane Dembélé, Corentin Tolisso, to name just a few) doesn’t instill a ton of confidence at the price of +700.
This is a program that feels like it is building something great, but we might be a couple of years away still. Personally, I think Euro 2020 is the time we see this side begin to reach its true potential.
France’s Odds to Win Group C: -350
With odds of -350 to win Group C at Sportsbook, France is the second-chalkiest team in odds to win the group markets, only bested by Brazil’s -400 price tag to win Group E.
Let’s face it, Group C is not the toughest group in Russia and France’s price tag is warranted. Australia has the longest odds at +1800 and was sent home with losses in all three games four years ago in Brazil.
Peru is at the World Cup for the first time since 1982 and sits at +900 to win the group. It has not been an ideal start to the World Cup season for Peru, however, as one of their top players, Paolo Guerrero, will stay back as he was suspended for taking a banned substance.
The only real threat is a Christian Eriksen-led Denmark side that is currently sitting at +450 odds to win the group. The Danes finished second in Group E during UEFA qualifying with 20 points and were able to throttle Ireland 5-1 over the two-leg playoff to punch their ticket.
This group is devoid of real depth and France should have an easy path to the knockout stages and that -350 price is fair. This is something you could smash a few units on or parlay with another group favorite or two and head into the Round of 16 with a good bankroll.
France’s Best World Cup Bets
Les Bleus are going to raise a lot of eyebrows in the group stage against the likes of Peru and Australia but will face matchup problems in the knockout stages.
Should France win Group C, a matchup against the Group D runner-up could prove very interesting. That group could finish any way whatsoever with the likes of Argentina, Croatia, Nigeria and Euro 2016 darlings Iceland all in the mix.
One bet I do quite love involving France is a France first, Denmark second Group C finish at +120.
With such little value on France’s group Sportsbook odds at -350, this little wager at Sportsbook presents some great betting value.
France opens their 2018 World Cup against Australia with odds of around -500 in moneyline markets and then face Peru with odds around -325. Parlaying those two would net a $100 bettor around $57 so that wouldn’t go amiss either.
France’s Player to Watch: Antoine Griezmann
If you’re even just on nodding terms with the beautiful game, you know all about Antoine Griezmann and his penchant for goals. If France is going to make a run, the Atlético Madrid star is definitely going to be a huge reason why.
The 27-year-old has 51 international caps at the senior level and has bagged 19 goals. France will more than likely line up in a 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 formation and Griezmann will be starting at striker.
At the domestic level, entering the final matchday in La Liga, Griezmann is fifth in goal scoring with 19 goals for his second-placed Atlético Madrid side. Furthermore, he banged home two goals in Atléti’s 3-0 Europa League final victory over Marseille.
He is fifth on the oddsboard in top goalscorer betting markets at +1400 at Sportsbook and will be a wise bet in both anytime goalscorer and first goalscorer bets in any France match in Russia 2018.
France is blistering in counter-attack and considering the counter is a byproduct of Atlético Madrid’s defense-first mentality, this will feel right at home for the skillful Griezmann.
France’s Road to Russia
France finished atop Group A with 23 points but scored a paltry 18 goals en route to Russia. In their defense, it was a bit of a trickier group that featured Sweden and the Netherlands, but the 18 goals were joint second-lowest (tied with England) of any of the UEFA group Sportsbooks. Only Iceland’s 16 were fewer among group toppers.
The 2-1 loss in Sweden was eye-Sportsbook, as was the 0-0 draw in Belarus and, even worse, the 0-0 draw against Luxembourg in Toulouse.
It was not without its bumps, but that’s to be expected when you are ushering in the next generation of stars.
France will be a joy to watch as the side boasts flair, pace and midfield steel, but the inexperience in some of the squad members could be their undoing earlier than expected.
|4||Raphaël Varane||DEF||Real Madrid||42|
|22||Benjamin Mendy||DEF||Manchester City||7|
|2||Benjamin Pavard||DEF||VfB Stuttgart||6|
|21||Lucas Hernández||DEF||Atlético Madrid||5|
|6||Paul Pogba||MID||Manchester United||54|
|12||Corentin Tolisso||MID||Bayern Munich||9|
|7||Antoine Griezmann||FWD||Atlético Madrid||54|