World Cup 2018 Betting Offers, Free Bets and Bonuses from the Best Football Betting Sites, plus World Cup history, stats and betting advice

Though the long and arduous qualification process is only just underway, there is no time like the present to give you the details of all the best World Cup betting offers and free bets that can help stack the odds in your favour.

So read on the for the latest World Cup betting offers and have a glance at the short history, stats and World Cup betting sections. Also, you might be interested in our Premier League Betting Offers page which details the best free bets, enhanced odds and money back offers for those wanting to bet on the top flight of English football.

Best Free Bets for the World Cup

Here we’ll bring you details of the Best Free Bets that can be used for World Cup qualifiers, or indeed any football matches or other sports.

World Cup Qualifiers: Enhanced Odds Betting Offers

Here are the latest enhanced odds betting offers for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. Note that they are for NEW CUSTOMERS ONLY, so you can only choose one from each bookie (assuming you don’t already have a betting account with any of them).

Also note that, unless stated otherwise, the winnings are paid out in FREE BETS as opposed to straight cash, so you will need to bet them through once before withdrawing any profits.

England v Scotland Coral offer 28/1 40/1

Coral Enhanced Odds Offers – Winnings paid in free bets, terms and conditions apply

28/1 England or 40/1 Scotland – £1 max bet, winnings paid in free bets – Read the Coral England v Scotland offer details!
Bale to Score Anytime – 33/1 – £1 max bet, winnings paid in free bets
Belgium to Win – 25/1 – £1 max bet, winnings paid in free bets

Ladbrokes Offers

Money Back on First Score, Half time/full time or Correct Score bets if England v Scotland ends in a draw – check out the Ladbrokes £50 free bet offer that is available to new customers!

Betfair Enhanced Odds Offers – Winnings paid in free bets, terms and conditions apply

4/1 England to beat Scotland
3/1 Germany to beat San Marino
12/1 Rep of Ireland to beat Austria
7/1 Wales to beat Serbia
3/1 Spain to beat Macedonia
3/1 Belgium to beat Estonia
3/1 Portugal to beat Latvia

888sport Enhanced Odds Offers – Winnings paid in free bets, max bet £10

England to beat Scotland 6/1
Scotland to beat England 28/1

  • New customers to Ladbrokes are in for a treat: if you join Ladbrokes and place a bet of between £5 and £50 at betting odds of 1/2 (1.5 in decimal) or more, you’ll be given a free bet to the same value!

    This is a great offer because the minimum odds required for your qualifying bet mean that you can back something of a dead cert to minimise the risk, then perhaps use your free bet at longer odds to go for that big win!

    Ladbrokes are a top class bookie who are going to have loads of fine betting offers popping up for the World Cup, so get an account with them now and stay in the loop. 

  • Another of our favourite bookmakers is Coral. They are from the top drawer in all respects: generous odds, massive range of football betting markets, and – of course – some top quality betting offers.

    They start things off in positive fashion with a tasty 400% matched welcome bonus. You simply need to join Coral and place a £5 bet and they will give you a £20 free bet!

    This is a brilliant offer for those punters who don’t want to risk too much of their own cash but who still want a decent reward for signing up to a bookie. So tuck in and take full advantage!

World Cup History, Stats and Info

World Cup: A Brief History

The origins of the FIFA World Cup can be linked back to the success of football at the Olympic. Football made its first appearance in the 1900 Olympics Games in London but only included teams from within Europe. In 1914 however, FIFA, which had been founded ten years prior, agreed to take control of the football at the Olympics and recognised it as the “world football championship for amateurs.” Following this, football at the Olympics began to include sides from outside of Europe and its success inspired FIFA, led by President Jules Rimet, to design an international tournament of its own.

It was on 28th May 1928 when the FIFA Congress met in Amsterdam to discuss plans for its own world championships. Plans did not take long to materialise and it was decided that two time Olympic champions, Uruguay, would host the first World Cup which would take place in the summer of 1930.

There was no such thing as qualification back then, selected national associations were simply invited to participate and in total 13 nations took part. The number would have perhaps been greater but some European nations were unwilling to travel such a great distance to take part. Although cross continental travel was an issue for the early World Cups, this did not stop it quickly becoming a highly regarded tournament and one which attracted teams from around the globe.

Such was the interest stemming from the inaugural tournament, that for the following World Cup four years later, 36 nations applied to take part. As a result, qualification fixtures were introduced and they have been needed ever since to trim the field. For decades, only 16 sides were allowed into the finals but in 1982, the decision was made to increase the number of teams in the latter stages to 24. Four World Cups later and this number was once again increased, this time to 32, allowing greater participation from sides from Africa, Asia and North America. This, combined with a rising amount of countries taking part in the qualification stages, has helped make the World Cup a truly global tournament.

World Cup Stats, Facts and Trivia

There have been 19 FIFA World Cup tournaments so far and in that time a lot of history has been created. Some records have lasted a very long time whereas others have continued to be broken. Below are some of the most memorable and interesting World Cup facts and stats.

  • Miroslav Klose tops the list for most goals scored at the World Cup. The German bagged 16 goals in the four tournaments he took part in. The most goals scored in one tournament however goes to Just Fontaine who netted 13 times during the 1958 World Cup.
  • South Africa are the only host nation to have been eliminated in the first round of the tournament. They finished third in their group behind Uruguay and Mexico.
  • Many players have won the World Cup twice but Pele is the only player to have won it on three separate occasions, doing so in 1958, 1962 and 1970.
  • The World Cup final in 1950 between Brazil and Uruguay boasts the highest attendance for any match in the history of the sport, 173,850 was the official number but the actual attendance was estimated to be close to 200,000.
  • The fastest goal at the FIFA World Cup finals was scored by Hakan Sukur after 11 seconds when Turkey took on South Korea in 2002 during the third place playoff match.
  • As for the quickest red card, that honour is held by Uruguayan, Jose Batista, who was given a straight dismissal for his high challenge of Gordon Strachan after just 56 seconds in the 1986 World Cup.

World Cup History, Stats and Info

Betting on the World Cup

It’s little surprise that the main betting market for the World Cup is the overall winner and it’s a market which hasn’t ever thrown up any real surprises. There have been no dark horses who have claimed World Cup glory as of yet so picking a nation which lies in the top few places in the betting seems to be the way to go.

Now that the tournament has been increased to 32 teams, the chances of a side luckily going all the way has been decreased further so money on underdogs is better places elsewhere.

If you fancy a nation to perform much better than expected then group stage betting is what you are after. Although not full of surprises, the group stages have thrown up a few shocks in the past and big returns have been available. In the 2014 World Cup for instance, Costa Rica finished top of Group D at odds of 50/1. Something like this won’t happen every tournament but there’s usually at least one side who tops the group despite not being the favourite to do so.

The rise of online betting has led to lots of extra promotions including boosted odds and money back specials. The top goal scorer market often comes with additional bonuses and is usually well worth diving into.

The key is to pick a player from a nation which looks very likely to proceed from the group stage and probably a couple of rounds further. A top quality striker playing in a bad side is unlikely to get too many opportunities to score and may find himself playing the minimum three matches, giving him a mountain to claim if he’s to claim the Golden Boot.

Having a player from a good side in an otherwise “easy” group is a bonus too but keep your eye on how the fixtures are drawn. If a nation has already secured qualification from the group stages then the star players may be rested, possibly against the weakest side in the group, and the opportunity for more goals will be lost.