The BetVictor World Cup Million Pound competition was closed at the end of the World Cup. With France lifting the title over Croatia on Sunday, there was no doubt major celebrations going on across the Channel. However, one punter, who has stayed anonymous, was cheering louder than most as well after winning the jackpot prize.
The BetVictor Million Pound Bet competition was open to wagers placed on all World cup 2018 market and of course punters got to create bets with massive odds through the BetVictor #PriceItUp builder. The betting feature allowed punters to pick and choose options that could crop up in a match such as the number of corners, the number of shots and winning scores.
It was an amazing 17,042/1 odds winning bet placed on the round of sixteen match between Uruguay and Portugal. The punter managed to not only get the correct score but called the exact number of corners in the match for each side and the number of bookings that were going to be handed out to the South Americans.
Uruguay to win 2-1
Uruguay Over 1.5 corners
Uruguay Under 2.5 corners
Portugal Over 9.5 corners
Portugal Under 10.5 corners
Uruguay Under 0.5 cards
Eoin Ryan, Head of Product at BetVictor, said: “Paying £1,000,000 to a single BetVictor customer is the perfect conclusion to what has been an incredibly exciting and successful Million Pound Bet campaign. We wanted to bring excitement and thrills to our customers’ World Cup betting experience, encouraging them to make their best bet, and the Million Pound Bet certainly delivered that. We saw consistent buzz across social media and customers enjoyed the transparency afforded by our real-time leaderboards.”
Ryan added: “Our #PriceItUp Builder continues to have great momentum and we’re certainly looking to build on its success ahead to the start of the new Premier League season and other major sporting events going forward. The concept of #BestBetWins is one that we’re interested in developing further as the football season returns later this summer.”
This is the second time that BetVictor have paid £1m to a single customer, following its Million Pound Goal campaign for the final of Euro 2016 between Portugal and France.
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One punter at Paddy Power has been celebrating the World Cup in some fashion. That is because the punter, who is based in Surrey, collected a huge windfall from the quarter final action at the tournament. They correctly predicted the correct score of each of the four quarter final fixtures at Russia 2018 (over 90 minutes). They had compiled their selections into a £20 four-fold with the bookmaker.
The bet was started off in the first quarter-final with a 7/1 selection on a France 2-0 win over Uruguay. France had little trouble seeing off the South Americans, yet the second goal in the game from Les Bleus did come from nothing more than a routine shot from Antoine Griezmann. But that shot was horribly blundered by Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera to give Les Bleus the 2-0 win.
Next up was a very impressive call from the punter as they had backed a win for underdogs Belgium against Brazil. The punter had gone with an 11/1 selection on a Belgium 2-1 correct score. Brazil’s Fernandinho scored an own goal to give the Red Devils the lead before Kevin De Bruyne struck a sweet second for Belgium. Brazil had to press on in the second half and got a consolation with just under 15 minutes to go, but the Red Devils held out for a famous win.
That was Friday’s quarter final action so the punter had to wait for the next day for the bet to be completed. England produced a routine 2-0 win over Sweden to start the day and that 2-0 option on the Three Lions was at 7/1 odds. So the acca all boiled down to the 11/2 1-1 draw on Russia v Croatia. The host nation struck first, but Croatia quickly equalised and the punter had to wait 51 minutes for neither to score again.
Once that final whistle had gone through, the punter really wouldn’t have cared what happened in extra time in the game between Croatia and Russia (which ended 2-2 and Croatia winning the penalty shoot-out) because they had collected £99,840 return from their £20 stake.
England vs Sweden Betting Preview – World Cup 2018, 7th July – 3.00 p.m
The Three Lions have reached the quarter finals of the World Cup, which was surely a realistic target for them ahead of the event. Now everything else becomes a bonus. There is no other previous World Cup winner left in the bottom half of the draw now and the winner of this tie will go on to face either Croatia or Russia for a place in the final. England had to really dig deep and show a lot of character to get past Colombia in the round of sixteen, and will have to do so again against a well-organised Sweden side.
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on July 4th, 2018 at 7.45 p.m.)
It has not always been the smoothest of rides from England at the 2018 World Cup but they are on the brink of a semi-final appearance. In order to lock down a place in the final four, they will have to get past the challenge of Sweden on Saturday in what should be a really tense all-European tie. What makes this interesting is that the odds on England to beat Sweden has the Three Lions going as favourites, but they don’t particularly have a great head-to-head record against Sweden, especially not in major tournaments. England have won just one of their last eight fixtures against Sweden in major competitions.
But as a positive England have won two of the last three meetings against the Swedes and they do look to have the better of the two squads heading into this quarter-final showdown. England have produced a W1 D1 L1 record so far (over 90 min) in the 2018 World Cup and they faced their biggest challenge so far in the round of 16 when they had to take on a Colombia side who looked happy to dish out disruptive tactics on the night. But England controlled themselves pretty well and even though they were left devastated in conceding a stoppage-time equaliser, the Three Lions composed themselves and won the penalty shootout.
One criticism about England so far at the 2018 World Cup is that they really have not produced a lot of chances going forward in open play. They have been pretty convincing from their set pieces and fortunately, they have had a striker in Harry Kane who has held his nerve to slot home all the penalty kicks that have been placed in front of him. Kane is now on six goals and leading the golden boot race by a two-goal margin over Belgium’s Romelu Lukaku heading into the quarter-finals.
Kane is the 11/4 odds first goalscorer favourite* (betting odds taken from July 4th, 2018 at 10:44 pm) for this game and makes for a top Sweden v England prediction. Kane’s presence highlights an area in which England do have a considerable advantage over Sweden. The attacking crop that England have are a far better than what Sweden can put out up front. So that is a thin margin that could tip the balance in favour of the Three Lions in this game. But while whatever outcome and whichever way it swings this is likely to be a really tight a fair, especially with the pressures of it being a World Cup quarter-final.
Sweden don’t have a particularly talented squad but what they do have is great teamwork and great commitment and everybody just seems to know what they are supposed to be doing. You don’t always get that with teams and England boss Gareth Southgate some good up by saying that the Swedes are more than the sum of their parts. England certainly have to be cautious in this game even though they are favourites because Sweden just stick to their strengths and so far at this World Cup has really worked for them.
They took group stage wins over Mexico and South Korea and then in the round of 16 against Switzerland, they prevailed by a 1-0 scoreline even though they were underdogs for that fixture. Sweden have now conceded in just one of their four World Cup 2018 games and that was in their 2-1 defeat against Germany back in the group stage. Sweden were not carrying any form heading into this tournament but they have come good at the right time. Their three wins at the World Cup are there are only three victories in their last 10 games. They have also racked up five clean sheets in their last six games and under 1.5 goals at bet365 is at 1/2 odds* (betting odds taken from July 4th, 2018 at 10:44 pm) is another of our Sweden v England predictions. So that is what England have to try and break.
England have taken not one clean sheet at the 2018 World Cup so far and they have only one in their last seven games all told. That’s not a particularly good run of form but if you look all the way back to the start of September last year England have not conceded more than one goal in any match. So even if they do can see they aren’t likely to concede heavily and their backline, their young backline at that, has held itself together pretty well so far and haven’t been afraid put in the tackles.
England also have plenty of pace in breaking forward and they like to carry the ball out from the back and that’s not going to change for this fixture. England should have most of the ball in this game because the Swedes barely have gotten above a third of possession in any of their games at this tournament. But the big question is will England be able to do anything with it? There have been disappointing campaigns really from Dele Ali and Raheem Sterling with more having been expected of both of them in terms of supplying and backing up Kane for goals.
England will have to not get carried away by all of the hype and all of the emotions of that dramatic penalty shootout win over Colombia. Boss Gareth Southgate has to get them dialled in and focused for this challenge against Sweden. they will know what is in front of them and that is a well-organised team who play hard for each other. Will England be able to find that spark of creativity to open up their opponents and power their way through to their first World Cup semi-final since 1990? The winner of this tie will face either Croatia or host nation Russia in a semi-final in the bottom half of the draw.
We are ultimately going to go with England to find a way through. Sweden are very strong and they know what they are doing as a team. But they are not that sharp in front of goal and England have the stronger match winners in their ranks. We are looking at England to win by a one-goal margin as our England v Sweden prediction.
Brazil v Belgium World Cup 2018, 6th July – 3.00 p.m
When the draw for the World Cup 2018 was made this was always a fixture that was predicted for the quarter finals. Belgium went into the tournament as one of the strongest dark horses in the running and now they have to prove themselves against the best. The trouble with Belgium, as we have seen a couple of times already at this tournament, is that they struggle to play as a cohesive unit and can often look pretty disjointed and raggedy. Can they pull it all together though and produce against the Selecao for what would be one of the biggest victories in their history?
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on July 2nd, 2018 at 6:04 p.m.)
Belgium’s hopes in this game are going to hinge on them coming out and performing as a team. There are times during this tournament when they just haven’t done that, like their first half against Panama and their entire 90 minutes against Japan in the round of sixteen. Belgium were poor in the last round and were down 2-0 in the game before they threw Plan A out of the window, sent the big men up top and just went direct. It worked as they turned things around to get a 3-2 win and that shows their scoring power. The Red Devils have scored at least three goals in all but one of their last six games and you can’t argue with that.
But that game against Japan showed big weaknesses that they have. Japan just pressed high against them and the Red Devils couldn’t sort themselves out. They are going to have to be much sharper from the start as Brazil won’t be as forgiving against them. But if they can pull together in a big team performance, than Belgium, who started the tournament as a major dark horse threat, have the potential to cause the upset of the tournament and knock out out the favourites. Belgium do have their strengths if they can put it all together on the day.
If there is a team that can match Brazil in the goalscoring department then it is Belgium. They are impressive in front of goal and you can’t argue with their strike rate over their last half dozen games. They have returned at least three goals in all but one of their games at this tournament. Both teams to score is at 4/5 odds* (betting odds taken from July 3rd, 2018 at 00:57 a.m.) and that is well worth a look in our Brazil v Belgium predictions. The interesting thing is that Belgium are far more dangerous on the break, just like Brazil are.
So you have two similar setups here. Belgium have the threats of Eden Hazard and Kevin de Bruyne to pull the strings (although the later has strangely been used in a deeper role) and they can get service up to the big physical presence of Lukaku. That big centre-forward presence is something that brazil’s defence won’t have had to deal with for a long time and it could be something that shakes them up. Lukaku will be a massive aerial threat as well as poaching goals on the break.
Despite their collapse defensively against Japan, by and large Belgium are a very strong defensive side. You won’t see them give up goals too often and they are carrying with them a six-match winning streak into this game. This is going to be the toughest defence that they have faced in a long time though but still, we are going over 2.5 goals at even money though* (betting odds taken from July 3rd, 2018 at 00:57 a.m.) Belgium are W8 D2 in their last ten games and while they have not faced anyone of Brazil’s calibre in that sequence of form, winning momentum is a big thing.
Belgium’s defence are going to have to watch for the quick Brazilian breaks. Brazil are so lethally quick on the break and they get forward with such clinical precision that they can tear defences apart. So Belgium are going to have to stay switched on from the very off in this game. It is one of those situations where they are probably going to need mobility more than strength back there to try and keep pace with the likes of Neymar and Willian who are so hard to stop in full flight. No question about it really, Belgium have to bring their defensive A-Game as Brazil are strong in that respective area.
Brazil are now fully in tournament mode. They didn’t get off to the greatest of starts at the World cup 2018 with a draw against Switzerland and then a real struggle to get the win against Costa Rica. But subsequent victories over Serbia and Mexico have been done with a lot more comfort and ease. The thing about Brazil is that they haven’t been tested at the back at all, they haven’t really been exposed or put under pressure and that is something that Belgium will be capable of doing. Brazil’s record in their last fourteen games is W10 D4 and defensively they have been so strong with eleven clean sheets in their last fourteen games. They will play to their strengths on the counter-attack, and it could all boil down to which is the more clinical on those breakaways.
The Belgians are underdogs here and that in a way makes them even more appealing. There is 3/4 odds on a Belgium-Draw double chance* (betting odds taken from July 3rd, 2018 at 00:57 a.m.) which has to be looked at for this game. Brazil have a very good defence but they are going to face a side who are equally as good on the break and who have a big man up front who can really mix it up in the air against their defence. Belgium had a shocker against Japan but that is the kind of thing that can rally and unite a side.
Uruguay v France World Cup 2018, 6th July – 3.00 p.m
After seeing France hit their stride in their round of 16 tie against Argentina, Uruguay will know that they have to bring all of their defensive strength and organisation to this quarter-final tie. France came from a goal down against Argentina to seal their place in the final eight, while Uruguay were hanging on in their second half against Portugal. The odds on France to beat Uruguay sit at even money with bet365* (betting odds taken from July 2nd, 2018 at 5:22 p.m.).
France even money
* (Betting Odds were taken from bet365 on July 2nd, 2018 at 5:24 p.m.)
Punters finally got to see a good side of France as they fought back in the round of 16 match at the 2018 World Cup against Argentina. Trailing 2-1 in the game, France had to step it up and they did just that producing a 4-3 win. They did concede a lot of possession in the game to the South Americans, but the French looked very lively quick and concise on the break when they had their chances. Kylian Mbappe was the star of the show as he got France’s last two goals in the game to give them the victory.
Mbappe is the 11/2 odds first goalscorer favourite* (betting odds taken from July 2nd, 2018 at 5:22 p.m.) for this fixture. France are now undefeated in their last eight games and the way that they performed against Argentina will have put some extra wind in their sales because they were a bit flat during the group stage. Now they can really push on but again they will be coming up against a very good Uruguay defence and they may have to be patient. A huge benefit that France have is that they have such a quality bench that they can make a game-changing differences later on in the game.
Uruguay will not have that option. So we can see this being tight early on as Uruguay certainly know how to defend. A draw/France half-time/ full-time option is at 7/2 odds* (betting odds taken from July 2nd, 2018 at 5:22 p.m.) and that makes for one of our top predictions for the Uruguay v France game. The history between these two suggests that we are in for a very close contest and throw in the fact that this is a high-pressure situation of the World Cup quarter-final, then it is hard to see the goals flying around.
In the last five meetings between France and Uruguay, there has been just one goal and that’s it. The lone goal in that sequence of matches came from Uruguay in their last meeting which was 2013 friendly. So it is hard to expect a lot in this one even with the amount of goal scoring talent that is going to be on the pitch. Both teams not to score, following the trend of form between these two is at 8/13 odds* (betting odds taken from July 2nd, 2018 at 5:22 p.m.) and makes for another of our top Uruguay v France predictions.
A lot of things was expected from France and now they have the chance to build some big momentum and get a step closer to the Final. They will be facing an Uruguay side which is on a seven-match winning streak and who have collected ten clean sheets in their last thirteen games. So that is a suggestion that the South Americans are going to keep things tight in his one and not get rolled over at all. At least in the early stages. Uruguay saw off Portugal in the round of sixteen but saw Edinson Cavani go off injured with a calf problem in the game. So they will be a race to get him fit.
Uruguay are a very tough side to break down and that is just one goal conceded in their last seven games and they pride themselves on their defensive work. They have a tough centre-half pairing of Diego Godin and Jose Gimenez. Uruguay did have to work very hard in their second half against Portugal as they were on the back foot for most of it. That could catch up with them in the second half of this contest, but they will turn up and stay as tight as they can from the first whistle and hope to catch France on the break.
We can see the French getting the job done in this one even though they are probably going to have to be patient to get it. It may take some time for them to break down Uruguay but with Uruguay having looked a bit tired at the end of the second half against Portugal, France can take advantage. The odds on France to beat Uruguay are handsome enough to back the Europeans in the match outright.
The World Cup Knockout stage begins on Saturday, June 30th and kicking off the round of action there is a heavyweight showdown between France and Argentina. That means there is a big name that is going to fall by the wayside. Will Lionel Messi’s dreams of winning the World Cup during his career crumble, or will it be the French, who many had tipped to make a strong title run, who will be heading home at the first knockout stage hurdle?
Could this be a tournament where a big underdog come through the field because if you look at the bottom quarter of the draw, one of Sweden, Switzerland, Colombia or England will be the semi-finals which will make things interesting from that perspective? It has been a tournament where the big teams struggled to have a huge impact in terms of strong performances in the group stage. With the bottom half of the draw wide open, in contrast, it means that the top is totally congested. Things are about to get very interesting.
* (betting odds taken from June 29th, 2018 at 5:12 p.m.)
Of the front-runners to win the 2018 World Cup, Brazil and Spain have landed themselves with the most favourable round of sixteen ties. Spain get to go up against the host nation Russia and while the Red Fury will have to contend with the extra support behind their opponents, they look to have the extra quality to put through the contest. Spain are 8/13 odds on favourites* (betting odds taken from June 29th, 2018 at 5:12 p.m.) to get through their contest and move ahead. Even though Spain haven’t performed too well defensively, Russia are not likely to live up to the challenge of taking on the higher quality opposition and we saw that in their heavy group stage loss against Uruguay.
Brazil will be taking on Mexico and after a slow start to the tournament, there were signs in their final match against Serbia that Brazil were beginning to find their groove. Overall they haven’t looked as fluent or as strong as many had predicted to them be and Neymar isn’t running at 100% by the looks of things. But they have won four of their last six games against Mexico and will just have to watch their step after the Mexicans took a 1-0 win over Germany in the group stage. But we are backing the Samba Boys at 1/2 odds in the match outright* (betting odds taken from June 29th, 2018 at 5:12 p.m.).
France and Argentina are paired up in the round of sixteen so that is a big name which is going to packing their bags earlier than expected and the winner of that would face the winner of the Uruguay v Portugal match in the quarter finals. That’s the toughest quarter of the entire draw but we can see France edging out a hugely disappointing Argentina, while we expected Uruguay to see off the challenge of Portugal to set up a clash with Les Bleus in the final eight. One of the best performers of the group stage, Croatia, are 17/20 odds* (betting odds taken from June 29th, 2018 at 5:12 p.m.) to get past Denmark in their round of sixteen clash.
England will be taking on Colombia in what should be a fascinating challenge between two nations who are taking a different approach to games. Colombia are more of a conservative side while England are just wide open and will throw their high-pressing game at the South Americans. There is a chance here for the Three Lions who will be well rested after sending out a second string against Belgium in their final group stage match. England are 11/10* (betting odds taken from June 29th, 2018 at 5:12 pm) in the round of 16 World cup knockout stage odds and we like that value.
For the remainder of the ties, we expect Belgium to have an easy time of things against Japan, while Sweden can, through sheer physical effort, muscle their way past Switzerland in what should be a pretty even contest.
As you can start plotting the knockout stage of the 2018 World Cup now it may well be worth skipping ahead to look at the To Reach Semi-Final stage. Because of our predictions having been made for the round of sixteen, we sort of get a feel for who will be in the quarter-final lineups. We are predicting, and of course, these are just our predictions, Uruguay v France, Brazil v Belgium, Croatia v Spain and England v Sweden for the final eight.
This is a good time to look at the to reach semi-final market then with Belgium and Spain at 4/5 odds* (betting odds taken from June 29th, 2018 at 5:12 p.m.) to each get there which isn’t bad value. But you can find a healthy price of the likes of 13/10 on England or 6/4 on France* (betting odds taken from June 29th, 2018 at 5:12 pm) to make it to the final four. Croatia meanwhile, who are one of the best dark horse options of the competition are 9/4 shots* (betting odds taken from June 29th, 2018 at 5:12 pm) to make it through. The main opposition in their quarter is Spain but if you can see them getting past the Red Fury, then Croatia look great value.
Once you have plotted your World Cup knockout stage predictions for the round of sixteen and quarter-finals then you can weigh up the options in the To Reach Final market with bet365. This is a good market to look at as an alternative to picking the outright winner. It basically means that you are risking one game less on your selected nation. Spain, for example, are 4/1 to win outright but there is solid value at 7/4 on them To Reach Final* (betting odds taken from June 29th, 2018 at 5:12 p.m.) and they are the top-seeded team in the bottom half of the draw.
England are an optimistic 10/3 odds to get there while Brazil are 2/1* (betting odds taken from June 29th, 2018 at 5:12 p.m.). As with all of your World cup 2018 predictions, this is going to be down to your own judgement. Once you have figured out who you are expecting to get through via the To Reach Final market then that could lead you on to one more step, which is the name The Finalists Market.
The current shortest priced option there is Brazil/Spain at 7/1 odds* (betting odds taken from June 29th, 2018 at 5:12 p.m.).