And then there were four. The 32-team field has been whittled down to four nations with three games left to decide the next World Cup champion! Read this to get expert betting picks on the World Cup semi-final round that features Argentina vs. Croatia and France vs. Morocco!
3-Way Draw: Argentina vs. Croatia
A potential dream match between Argentina-Brazil was thwarted in this match by Croatia, who tactically defeated the Brazilians in the round before. Despite the shock upset, the top-used World Cup sportsbooks are favoring Argentina to advance, as seen in the below odds:
One thing is for sure when betting on this game: Croatia will not be an easy team to eliminate — in regulation or penalty kicks if it gets there. Dating back to the 2018 World Cup, the Croatians have forced extra time in five of its last six knockout games. Four of those same games went to a penalty shootout — all of which Croatia was triumphant. Its only loss came in the 2018 Final, which they lost to France 4-2.
We can’t say enough good things about the Croatian midfield that consists of Luka Modric, Mateo Kovacic, and Marcelo Brozovic. The trio have started every single game this tournament and have helped Croatia wrestle away possession from opponents, even ones like Brazil that are loaded with weapons. The staunch midfield is a reason why Croatia has conceded only three goals this tourney.
That midfield will have to be equally brilliant against an Argentine side led by Leo Messi. As his archival Ronaldo exits the tourney, long past his days as the world’s best, Messi remains in that conversation. He almost single-handedly willed his side over the Netherlands in a chippy quarter-finals game. First, Messi assisted the first goal. Second, he flawlessly kicked not one but two penalty kicks — one in regulation and the other in a shootout.
To us, this semi-finals game almost has to go to extra time. Both teams are evenly-matched, and it fits the M.O. of Croatia. We’d bet the draw here, especially at those +245 odds.
Over/Under 2 Goals: Argentina vs. Croatia
We’re not done with this game because the Argentina-Croatia over/under is also worth a look. Set at only two goals, bookmakers are anticipating a low-scoring slugfest:
|Over 2 goals
|Under 2 goals
At the very least, we think two goals should be the expectation — which would be a push. An under would shock us. Shock because Messi might be contained by Croatia’s world-class midfield, but not completely stopped. Outside of Kylian Mbappe, Messi has been the tournament’s best player so far. He will get and create chances for Argentina, one of which we’re betting gets into the back of the net.
We’re already on record saying it’ll be a draw so an equalizer from Croatia should be the expectation. At this point, your money is in safe hands with a push guaranteed on the bet. Why not wager the over in case one side can break through for another goal? We think that outcome is worth the risk so we’re taking the over here as well.
3-Way Moneyline: France vs. Morocco
It should come as zero surprise to anyone that France is being pegged as the moneyline favorite over Morocco. They are the defending champions after all, whereas Morocco is the Cinderella story of the tourney, being the first African nation to advance to the semi-finals. Here’s how oddsmakers have pegged the game’s odds:
Any preview of this game has to start with a note about the Moroccan defense. Outside of an own goal, Morocco's back line and keeper have surrendered zero goals — against strong opponents like Croatia, Portugal, and Spain too. At this point, you can’t chalk that success up as fluky either. That defense has to be respected for its consistency.
The headlines will surely focus on whether Morocco can contain Mbappe, who is up to six goals this tournament. Only 23 years old, Mbappe’s nine all-time goals at the World Cup could threaten the number-one mark set by Germany’s Miroslav Klose at 16. But there’s another French player that should be just as big as a focal point for Morroco’s defense: Antoine Griezmann.
A failed stint at Barcelona has clouded Griezmann’s greatness, but it has to be brought up. He assisted both of Les Bleus’ goals against England in the quarters. Griezmann now has 28 assists for the national team, moving past Thierry Henry (27) and Zinedine Zidane (26) for most in team history. He’s just as crucial to the French attack as the speedy Mbappe.
Morocco has been a fabulous story up to this point, but the final chapter comes in Wednesday’s match. The deadly duo of Griezmann and Mbappe will be too much to keep Morocco’s clean sheet streak alive. Expect France to escape with a 1-0 victory here.
How To Bet On 2022 World Cup?
There are only four more World Cup matches left to bet for three and a half years. You have not only these two semi-games left but also the final and third-place match. To get all your 2022 World Cup bets in before it’s too late, hit one of the bookmakers below. The sites listed were carefully chosen because they ranked high in our latest sportsbook reviews.
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