FIFA World Cup

FIFA World Cup Live 2018: Schedule, Start Time, TV, Stream, Odds, Picks

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2018 FIFA World Cup Чемпионат мира по футболу 2018
Chempionat mira po futbolu 2018
2018 FIFA World Cup.svg
2018 FIFA World Cup official logo
Tournament details
Host country Russia
Dates 14 June – 15 July
Teams 32 (from 5 confederations)
Venue(s) 12 (in 11 host cities)

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is the 21st FIFA World Cup, a quadrennial international football tournament contested by the men’s national teams of the member associations of FIFA. It is scheduled to take place in Russia from 14 June to 15 July 2018 after the country was awarded the hosting rights on 2 December 2010.

This is the first World Cup held in Europe since the 2006 tournament in Germany, the first ever to be held in Eastern Europe and the eleventh time that it has been held in Europe. All of the stadium venues are in European Russia to keep travel time manageable. It is expected to be the most expensive football championship in history, budgeted at US$11.8-14 billion surpassing the cost of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.

The final tournament will involve 32 national teams, which include 31 teams determined through qualifying competitions and the automatically qualified host team. Of the 32 teams, 20 will be making back-to-back appearances following the last tournament in 2014, including defending champions Germany, while Iceland and Panama will both be making their first appearances at a FIFA World Cup. A total of 64 matches will be played in 12 venues located in 11 cities. The final will take place on 15 July at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.

The winners of the World Cup will qualify for the 2021 FIFA Confederations Cup. Pre-tournament favorites to win the final were Brazil, France, Germany and Spain.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup officially kicks off today when host nation Russia faces off with Saudi Arabia in a Group A showdown. After four years of waiting, the world will be watching the opening ceremony—which takes approximately 30 minutes before the game starts at 11 a.m. ET—and initial matchup of this exciting event, the only one of the day. While the anticipation is at a peak and the excitement is palpable, the action on the pitch could be a bit one-sided.

The Russians are widely expected to win this contest, opening as more than a 2-1 favorite against their foe. At the current -240 odds, bettors would need to risk $2.40 to return a single $1 on a victory for the home side, while Saudi Arabia backers could net a hefty $8 for every $1 wagered on an improbable win at +800 odds. Sportsbooks believe a draw is a more likely possibility than an outright upset, setting the odds for a tie at +325. The Sbornaya are projected to not only jump out to an early lead at the top of the table, but also do so in a big way. The goal line still favors Russia at -1 with -145 odds, meaning Russia needs to win by two or more goals to pay out backers, while a one goal victory would wind up a push that returns the initial amount wagered. The Green Falcons have a bit better chance to compete when being spotted a goal, but are still +115 underdogs against the spread. The total amount of goals for the match has been set at 2.5, although the under is currently the more favored outcome at -145 odds, compared to the over at +115.

Will the host nation pick up a key win and get a head start on making it out of the group stage for the first time in post-Soviet Union history, or will the Saudis find a way to surprise everyone with an upset and put their opponent on the path to becoming only the second host—after South Africa eight years ago—to bow out from the World Cup in the group stage? Jon Price of SportsInformationTraders.com has sent along his prediction for the match, the first of many picks the expert will be providing to readers during the 2018 World Cup. Before getting to the top handicapper’s projections, have a look at the complete schedule, start time, TV channel, live stream info and updated odds for this Russia vs. Saudi Arabia clash. You can also find the FIFA World Cup bracket, quotes from key players and coaches, relevant tweets and more.