Germany begins the defense of their FIFA World Cup title with possibly the toughest date on their group-stage schedule when they face Mexico on Sunday in a Group F matchup at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow.
The Germans have dominated in group-stage play since 1994, amassing a 13-4-1 win-draw-loss record, but posted just one victory in six pre-tournament friendlies. Mexico dominated in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying but struggled offensively in recent friendlies, scoring just once over their past four matches.
World Cup betting line: Germany opened as a -182 favorite (wager $182 to win $100); the total is at 2.5 goals, according to sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark. (Line updates and matchup report)
World Cup betting pick, via OddsShark computer: 2.7-0.6, Germany (2018 World Cup picks on every game)
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Germany vs. Mexico analysis
Germany travels to Russia 2018 aiming to become the first squad to win consecutive World Cup titles since Brazil accomplished the feat in 1962. Germany dominated during UEFA World Cup qualifying, going 10-0-0 to finish atop the Group C table while outgunning opponents by a stunning 43-4 margin.
However, Die Mannschaft have struggled to maintain momentum in pre-tournament friendlies, settling for draws with England, France and Spain before dropping a pair of one-goal matches to Brazil and Austria. However, the squad rebounded to post a 2-1 win over Saudi Arabia as -5000 chalk last Friday.
Germany has earned the win in each of their past six World Cup group-stage openers, but it will likely face a stiff challenge from a Mexican side that proved equally dominant during qualifying.
El Tri surrendered just one goal while going 5-1-0 in qualifying and followed up with a trio of clean-sheet wins in pre-tournament friendly competition before enduring their current offensive slide, capped by a 2-0 loss to Denmark as +265 underdogs last Saturday.
Mexico must now find a speedy remedy for their goalscoring drought if they are to tally a first-ever victory against Germany. El Tri have lost three straight to the Germans, including a 2-1 round-of-16 defeat in their lone previous World Cup clash in 1998.
All 2018 World Cup odds and betting trends according to Bleacher Report's official odds partner, OddsShark. Check out OddsShark on Twitter and Instagram or head to YouTube for more betting picks and analysis on this week's top games. You can also download the free odds tracker app.