The long wait for the start of the 2018 FIFA World Cup will finally end with the first group stage match of the tournament on Thursday, when host nation Russia takes on Saudi Arabia as strong -230 favourites on the World Cup odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Russia has struggled in friendly competition ahead of the tournament, and is the lowest ranked squad participating in the 2018 World Cup, pegged at No. 70 going into Thursday’s matchup at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
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The Russians have failed to record a win in seven straight friendlies since October 2017, producing an 0-3-4 win-draw-loss record in their past seven outings, including a trio of clean-sheet losses, and have slipped to +6000 on the World Cup championship odds.
Saudi Arabia will take the field on Thursday as lengthy +800 underdogs. The Green Falcons earned their first World Cup berth since 2006 by going undefeated during AFC World Cup qualifying, but have stumbled through pre-tournament friendly action, going 3-1-5 including losses in their past three games to Italy, Peru, and Germany.
However, the Saudis emerged victorious in their only previous meeting with Russia, posting a 4-2 win in a 1993 friendly.
A full slate of World Cup action gets underway on Friday, with Spain taking on Portugal as +105 chalk in a crucial Group B clash. The Spaniards were left reeling following the sudden firing of head coach Julan Lopetegui on Wednesday, but maintain steady +650 …read more