It won't just be football fans in Paris and London hoping for France and England wins this week, with a number of Kiwi punters eagerly awaiting the outcome of the semi-finals.

The result of the biggest bet taken in this World Cup could be determined as soon as Thursday. One punter has $55,000 riding on any previous winner lifting the trophy at $1.27 for a potential return of $69,850.

They would have had a tough time watching this tournament as previous champions and highly-fancied sides like Brazil, Germany and Spain have all been eliminated. However, if 1998 champions France and 1966 winners England both win their semi-finals they'll be able to relax and enjoy the final with their return assured.

A couple of others will also be hoping for the two favourites to advance after picking England and France to meet in the final a week ago, with a bet of $2,100 to return $21,000 and another of $1,000 stake to return $10,000.


With Brazil out of the picture, France is the most popular team to win the tournament among the betting public with more than $95,000 staked on Les Bleus to repeat their performance from 1998. They're also well supported in their match against Belgium on Wednesday morning, with 60% of the money on them to qualify, including bets of $2,800 and $1500 at $1.75.

As for the game itself, many are predicting a high-scoring game as it was when France last met Belgium in 2015, with the Red Devils coming through that one as 4-3 winners. More than 95% of the money has come in for over 2.5 in the total goals market, including one bet of $6,000 at $2.15.

Another punter's staked $7,500 on both teams to score at $1.90 and with attacking threats such as Romelu Lukaku, Antoine Griezmann, Eden Hazard and Kylian Mbappe taking the field, it's easy to see why people are predicting fireworks in St Petersburg.

Looking at the other semi and it seems bettors are sharing the optimism of English fans that football is indeed coming home, with 67% of the money coming in for the Three Lions, with Harry Kane by far the most popular option to strike first attracting 39% of all money in the first goal scorer market at $4.50.