Brazil is out of the 2022 World Cup, and now it looks like anybody’s trophy. So, with France now the new favorites to win the trophy, we look ahead to this week’s semi-finals in our free World Cup betting picks.
The quarter-finals were full of shock results and drama, and if the semi-finals are anything like what we have already witnessed, we are in for a great couple of matches.
Did Brazil underestimate Croatia? Quite possibly. They will no doubt deny this, but at half-time in extra-time, when 1-0 up, they looked like a team who already thought they had got the job done.
Not a bit of it. Croatia fired a late equalizer, taking the game to penalties. And it was the experienced Croats who held their nerves to win the shootout. After Brazil’s exit, we could have been forgiven for thinking we had already witnessed the maximum drama.
But that didn’t prove to be the case, and the three remaining matches all proved to be as dramatic in their own way.
Next, Argentina defeated the Netherlands on penalties after drawing 2-2, and this after being 2-0 up after 82 minutes of regulation time. It was an ill tempered match, with plenty of bookings for both teams. But ultimately, it was the Argentines who held their nerves to win the shootout.
Moving onto Saturday’s two matches, it was supposed to start with a regulation win for Portugal over Morocco in the early kick off.
No side from the continental of Africa had ever reached the semi-finals of a World Cup before, and after Portugal’s 6-1 win over Switzerland in the round of 16, no one really gave the Moroccans much of a chance against Fernando Santos’ team.
So when Youssef En-Nesyri put the Moroccans ahead on 42 minutes, at the time it felt more like just an obstacle the Portuguese needed to overcome, as opposed to a threat to their continued presence in the tournament.
The Portuguese threw everything at the Moroccans in the second half, but the African side held firm. They eventually held out and broke the hearts of the winners of Euro 2016, and made history in the process.
Then in the final match up, France were too strong for England, beating Gareth Southgate’s team 2-1.
They did need a missed penalty from Harry Kane to assist them. But in truth the French didn’t play well, but still came through, and are now the favorites with the best World Cup betting sites to lift the trophy next Sunday.
After knocking out the dangerous England, France now find themselves as the favorites to win the 2022 World Cup, and retain the trophy they won in Russia four years ago.
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The French are +110 with the best soccer betting sites. They are closely followed by Argentina, who find themselves at +165. Croatia comes next at +700, and then it’s Morocco at +900, the nation no one would have predicted would get this far.Argentina vs Croatia
The Argentine’s didn’t look great against the Netherlands, and it almost sounds daft to say this about a team who were 2-0 up after 82 minutes, but they were lucky to get through.
What I witnessed from the current Copa America champions though was a determination to get the job done, by any method. This team resembles a tough old school Argentine side who are prepared to employ the dark arts to get the job done.
Argentina are -120 to win in 90 minutes. Croatia is +430, and the draw is +225. In betting to qualify, Argentina is -275, Croatia is +220.
If I’m pushed for a result, I would say back Argentina to win. But I just can’t write off Croatia, they are so difficult to beat. I think it will go deep, and I think it will be a tight match. So my betting pick is under 2.5 goals at -188.
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In a similar way to not wanting to write Croatia off, my heart is a touch reluctant to do the same to Morocco, but my head is saying it’s a win for France.
How can the Moroccans be expected to put in another defensive performance like they did against Portugal, when they face up to the French juggernaut on Wednesday?
France weren’t at their best against England, but still found a way to win. And I can only see them beating Morocco.
In 90 minutes of betting, France is -185 on the moneyline, the draw is +295, and Morocco are +675. The handicap line is interesting here, as BetOnline makes France -108 starting from -1 goals. Morocco is -108 with a one goal start. In total goals betting, over 2.5 goals is +120, and under 2.5 goals is -150.
For my picks, I’m going for France to win on the handicap, I can see them winning by two clear goals. And I think -108 is good value there.
As a sort of savor bet, I’m going for over 2.5 goals as well. If Morocco do score, and it ends up 2-1 to France, then this wager comes in. So at +120, I think over 2.5 goals is well worth a bet.