Sweden has a rich history in the FIFA World Cup. While the Swedish national football team has never won the tournament, it has had a few close calls, finishing in third place in 1950 and 1994 and runner-up when hosting the event in 1958. More recently, Sweden advanced out of the group stage but was eliminated in the Round of 16 in each of its last two World Cup appearances in 2002 and 2006.
After failing to qualify for the tournament in 2010 and 2014, Sweden makes its return to the World Cup this year in Russia.
Sweden’s Odds to Win World Cup: +10000
Going off at +10000 on the World Cup betting board to win the tournament in 2018, Sweden sits with Switzerland smack dab in the middle of the pack. Fifteen teams are being given better odds to win the World Cup this year than these two teams while 15 are going off at longer odds.
Fellow Group F team Mexico is one of the teams sitting just slightly ahead of Sweden to lift the trophy at +800. The favorite to win the group, Germany, also happens to be the favorite to win the World Cup at +450.
Sweden’s Odds to Win Group F: +600
This is Germany’s group to lose as the defending World Cup champions are -310 favorites to come out on top of Group F. Mexico and Sweden are competent foes, but Germany’s dominance over the international scene in recent years makes it hard to see someone else stealing the group.
Just as they are slightly ahead of Sweden in their odds to win the FIFA World Cup, Mexico’s national soccer team is paying +500 to win Group F, just over Sweden’s +600 price. South Korea isn’t expected to put up much of a fight at +2000 to win the group.
With Germany almost certainly set to advance, only one spot remains for Mexico and Sweden to fight over. Sweden is a +125 underdog to advance into the Round of 16 and would pay -165 if they fail to do so.
Sweden’s Best World Cup Bets
Most scenarios that would put Sweden through to the Round of 16 would involve a win over South Korea and then a favorable result against Mexico. As such, there may be better value in betting on Sweden as a +115 favorite to beat South Korea (+260 to win, +225 to force a draw) instead of a +125 underdog to advance.
Another alternative to betting on Sweden to advance into the Round of 16 would be to bet on the team’s round of elimination to be in the Round of 16. Assuming Germany wins this group and Sweden were to advance into the Round of 16, the heavy favorite to win Group E and meet the Group F runner-up is Brazil. Sweden seeing its World Cup come to an end in the Round of 16 pays +225.
If Sweden’s recent form is any indication, betting on the UNDER throughout the group stage may be a worthwhile venture. Heading into the month of June, Sweden has scored one goal or less in each of its last seven matches. The total in those matches has eclipsed two goals only one time, with four of the seven ending with one goal scored or less.
Sweden’s Player to Watch: Marcus Berg
Casual soccer fans who are coming back into the fold for the World Cup will be disappointed to learn that Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the face of Sweden’s national team for 15 years, will not participate in this year’s World Cup after retiring from international play in 2016.
Those fans should be excited for the team’s current star striker, Marcus Berg. Berg has enjoyed an excellent year at the club level with Al-Ain FC, scoring 25 goals in 21 matches, and has thrived on the international stage as well with seven goals in his last 10 matches for Sweden. The 31-year-old outscored France’s Antoine Griezmann and the Netherlands’ Arjen Robben to be the top goal scorer in the UEFA Group A qualifying round.
Sweden’s Road to Russia
Marcus Berg outscoring Arjen Robben during the qualifying stage wound up being worth a lot more than just style points. With France winning the automatic bid out of the FIFA World Cup qualifier UEFA Group A, a spot in the second-round tournament to round out Europe’s allotment of teams went to the team that finished second in the group. Sweden and the Netherlands had identical 6-1-3 records in the group, but Sweden’s +17 goal differential served as the tiebreaker, eliminating the team that had finished in the top three of each of the last two World Cups.
Sweden proceeded to pull off another shocker in the second round, knocking off Italy with an aggregate score of 1-0. This marked just the second time in World Cup history that Italy failed to qualify, with the last time being back in 1958.
|1||Robin Olsen||GK||FC Copenhagen||17|
|23||Kristoffer Nordfeldt||GK||Swansea City||8|
|3||Victor Lindelöf||DEF||Manchester United||20|
|5||Martin Olsson||DEF||Swansea City||43|
|6||Ludwig Augustinsson||DEF||Werder Bremen||14|
|18||Pontus Jansson||DEF||Leeds United||15|
|7||Sebastian Larsson||MID||Hull City||99|
|10||Emil Forsberg||MID||Leeds United||15|
|9||Marcus Berg||FWD||Al-Ain FC||53|
|22||Isaac Kiese Thelin||FWD||Anderlecht||19|