2022 World Cup Semi-Finals Betting Picks: Will Argentina and France Survive?

Argentina Lionel Messi World Cup
Argentina’s forward #10 Lionel Messi celebrates after assisting #26 Nahuel Molina to score his team’s first goal during the Qatar 2022 World Cup quarter-final football match between Netherlands and Argentina at Lusail Stadium on December 9, 2022. Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

We’ve reached the penultimate stage of the 2022 Qatar World Cup, but our expert analysis doesn’t stop, as we’ll provide you with the best bets for the remaining four teams: Argentina, Croatia, France and Morocco.   

Read on for our World Cup Semifinal picks, soccer analysis and free World Cup betting preview for this week’s games involving:

  • Argentina vs. Croatia
  • France vs. Morocco

Argentina vs. Croatia

Tuesday, December 13, 2022 – 02:00 PM EST at Lusail Iconic Stadium

  • Score Prediction: Argentina 0 – Croatia 0 
  • Best Bet: Croatia Double Chance (-110) at Bet365
  • Best Bet: Under 2.5 goals (-182) at FanDuel

Argentina vs. Croatia Betting Analysis 

  • Argentina has allowed 5 goals in 5 games during the Qatar World Cup  
  • Croatia are undefeated in their previous 11 games in all competitions  
  • Three of the past eight World Cup semi-finals went into extra time, while the other four ended with just a one-goal margin  
  • Croatia defeated Argentina 3-0 at the 2018 World Cup in Russia  

Will Lightening Strike Twice?                             

A robust Croatian defense has been the catalyst for this nation’s success in the World Cup, as another appearance in the finals is on the horizon after they succeeded as dark horses once before in 2018.  

Zlatko Dalic’s men forced Brazil into extra time with much thanks to a defensive system that’s been solid since their Qatar group stage beginnings. Despite a 106th-minute goal from Neymar, the Chequered Ones refused to roll over as Bruno Petkovic answered the Brazilian’s 11 minutes later, thus forcing a penalty shootout where the Selecao’s dreams were crushed.   

Unlocking Legendary Mode

Croatia are approaching legendary status by reaching back-to-back World Cup finals – Italy, the Netherlands, and Germany are the lone teams to achieve this – but they’ll need to remain focused when faced with another elite-level squad from South America.  

Croatia met Argentina during the Russian 2018 group stage, and several squad members who assisted the Croatians in a 3-0 domination over La Albiceleste will be present for this week’s meeting.  

Argentina’s Rocky Road to the Final 8                             

Argentina sent the Netherlands packing with huge thanks to their star man Lionel Messi. The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner calmly scored their only goal and a second during an eventual penalty shootout.   

One game shy of making history could be written in the stars for Messi as he plays in what should be his final World Cup appearance, and as Argentina has never been eliminated in the World Cup semi-finals – the most recent of which took place in 2014 where they ultimately lost to Germany in the final.  

Old Challenge

With that said, Argentina’s road to the final four hasn’t been plain sailing. But although they’ve struggled to find crucial goals on occasions – including a 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia – Lionel Scaloni’s men can still take solace knowing they’ve netted at least 2 goals from 4 of their last Qatar appearances – but facing the Croatian back four could be a challenge that Messi and Co. must be prepared for.   

Argentina vs. Croatia Semifinals Betting Picks  

The current World Cup odds show Argentina as a significant betting favorite, but we know how well this favorable position has worked out at this year’s tournament. Underdog teams have proved more than their betting worth in Qatar, and Croatia undoubtedly possesses a defensive stubbornness that can deliver another shocker.  

With such great odds-on Croatia’s double chance (win or draw), it feels like a much greater betting opportunity than supporting a negative-priced Argentina moneyline, especially considering the unpredictable nature of this competition has displayed thus far.

France vs. Morocco

Wednesday, December 14, 2022 – 02:00 PM EST at Al Bayt Stadium  

Score Prediction: France 2 – Morocco 1 

Best Bet: Both Teams to Score (+140) at Caesars Sportsbook

France vs. Morocco Betting Analysis 

  • Morocco has netted five goals at the Qatar World Cup  
  • France has failed to keep a clean sheet in Qatar  
  • France is unbeaten in 62 of their last 69 games in all competitions  

The Fairy-tale Ends Now

We love watching an underdog prevail as the next guy, but Morocco’s counter-attacking fortunes won’t last forever. Overcoming Spain and Portugal to reach the final four is an incredible accomplishment. Still, they’ve been far from authoritative in those fixtures, heavily relying on defense and counter-attacks to sneak their way through.   

While the Atlas Lions will enter their semi-final meeting with France boasting a fearless attitude after sending Spain and Portugal home, without Yassine Bounou between the sticks, it could’ve been a different story for the Moroccans. The outstanding performances by Bounou have assisted his nation in claiming four clean sheets at this tournament. The failed clean sheet versus Canada was notably an own goal by Nayef Aguerd.  

France Don’t Lose with Mbappe

It’s Oliver Giroud looking to make history this Wednesday as he can become the oldest player in French international soccer history to net five goals at a single World Cup should he score a goal at any time.

Alongside him, Kylian Mbappe was previously handled by England. Still, in the 10 World Cup games the 23-year has started, Les Bleus are unbeaten, and he’ll be looking to extend his goal tally against Morocco in an attempt to claim this year’s, Golden Boot. 

Worryingly, and in contrast to their Wednesday opponents, France has yet to produce a clean sheet in Qatar. However, the prolific strike force sitting up front for Les Bleus is two games away from defending their World Cup title, an accomplishment that would etch them into the history books as one of the greatest nations ever to field the pitch.  

France vs. Morocco Semifinal Betting Picks  

The current World Cup odds at the top online sportsbooks show France as the betting favorite, which shouldn’t surprise avid soccer bettors.  

However, the -190 price tag isn’t appealing, and Morocco’s exemplary back four held onto their respect despite the injury concerns heading into the Portugal fixture. And as France hasn’t shown a similar resilience in defense, the Moroccans look good for at least one more goal as tournament dark horses, therefore providing a tremendous plus-money price on both teams to score.  

With that said, we expect France to win, and despite looking like the second-best team during periods of their clash with England, this is a team that knows how to win behind a manager in Didier Deschamps who can overcome the obstacles Morocco may present.  

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