It’s just three more days till the 30th edition of Africa Cup of Nations kicks off with the hosts Equatorial Guinea taking on group rivals Gabon in the first match. With world-class talents like Yaya Toure, Wilfred Bony, Gervinho in the fray the AFCON is a must see tournament for all football fanatics.
African Cup of Nations – How to bet?
Betting on the Africa Cup of Nations is not easy though because the tournament is notorious for surprises like defending champions Nigeria not even making it through to the tournament finals after finishing third in their qualifying group.
Last time the tournament was held in Equatorial Guinea back in 2012, Zambia ended up as the unlikely winner’s beating Ivory Coast in the finals on penalties.
So let’s look at the groups this year and see who the best bet is:
Group A – Burkina Faso, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Congo
Based on fifa rankings Congo are the ones that should win the group followed by Gabon as runners up but then again football games aren’t won according to rankings. Burkina Faso finished runners up in the last edition of the tournament in 2013 they also have last edition’s player of the tournament and this edition’s qualifying top scorer Jonathan Pitropia with them.
Hence bookmakers are backing Burkina Faso to go through from their group as the winner.
As far as the group runners-up are concerned it’s virtually a toss-up. However certain bookmakers are giving Gabon the edge.
Congo seems to be the least favourite option among the Sports books even though they are the top FIFA ranked team in the group. Equatorial Guinea (The hosts) has been given a better chance to qualify from the group despite being over 50 places below Congo in the rankings.
Safe bet: – Burkina Faso
Group B: – Tunisia, Zambia, Cape Verde and DR Congo
There is no doubt among the bookmakers as to who will win Group B, every Sports book are more else confident of Tunisia going through to the quarters with some Sports books placing them at even odds.
Similar to Group A, the battle for runners-up spot in group B is gonna be a real humdinger. 2012 champions Zambia are going up against Cape Verde and DR Congo for the second spot. Cape Verde is the highest ranked team of the three but that doesn’t give them any clear advantage in the eyes of the bookmakers.
Cape Verde had an impressive qualifying campaign heading into the tournament finishing ahead of Zambia in their qualifying group. DR Congo on the other hand qualified for the tournament finals as the best third placed team but to be fair to DR Congo the teams that were ahead of them in the qualifying group were Cameroon and Ivory Coast.
So it’s virtually impossible to pick a runner-up for group B as far as the football pundits and Sports books are concerned.
Safe bet: – Tunisia
Group C: – Ghana, Algeria, South Africa and Senegal
Rightly called the group of death, Group C has arguably four of the best teams in Africa at the moment. Algeria, Ghana and Senegal are all seen as eventual winners but only two can go through. South Africa head in to the tournament undefeated in qualifying and are seen as the underdogs that can win it all.
Sports books are somewhat confident of Algeria’s passage into the quarters but Ghana and Senegal are not too behind with some Sports books marginally favoring Senegal over Ghana but Ghana do have backers of their own. South Africa is capable of upsets but is not given much of a chance by the bookmakers to go through to the quarters.
Safe bet: – Algeria
Risky/Rewarding bet: – South Africa.
Group D: – Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Mali and Guinea
Luckily for bettors, Group D has a clearer picture than the other three groups; all four teams may have been favoured to go through as the group winners if they were in Group A but they are not in Group A so only two can go through to the quarters.
Ivory Coast are seen by almost all the Sports books as the favorites for the title this year, but with Ivory Coast they have a habit on failing in the big stages and same is the fear here. They have been given the best odds among any other teams to win the tournament and the presence of superstars like Yaya Toure and Wilfred Bony helped in the decision.
Cameroon is favored by most Sports books to qualify as runner-up in Group D. Mali who secured third place in the last two editions of the tournament is seen as the underdogs that can cause an upset or two. Guinea is also given fairly decent odds, so no one is counted out as yet.
Safe bet: – Ivory Coast
Risky/Rewarding bet: – Mali
Who can win it all?
Ivory Coast is seen as the pre-tournament favorites in the eyes of most Sports books closely followed by Algeria and Senegal. Tunisia despite powering through their qualifying campaign aren’t seen as a favourite for the trophy but it can be a good news for bettors as picking them as eventual winners may not be a bad idea.
Bookies aren’t expecting much from Ghana and Cameroon but both are seen as eventual semi-finalists.
The other teams to watch out for are South Africa, Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea. All these teams are been seen as underdogs who might just go all the way.
Possible winners: – Ivory Coast, Senegal and Algeria
Won’t be Surprised if they win: – Ghana, Cameroon and Tunisia
Underdog story: – South Africa, Mali, Burkina Faso and Guinea.
The best thing to do is to avoid betting on teams given the tag of “favorites”, betting on over-achievers is always better.
The other bets
Top Scorer Contenders: – Jonathan Pitroipa, Wilfred Bony, Gervinho, Salmon Kalou, Asamoah Gyan, Islam Slimani.
Surprise Packages: – Yaya Toure, Papiss Cisse, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Yacine Brahimi.
Have a great Africa Cup of Nations.
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