FIFA World Cup betting moves to the business end of the tournament this weekend with the start of the knockout rounds, beginning Saturday with an Argentina vs Australia matchup that is a David vs Goliath situation. Lionel Messi leads the mighty Argentinians into a meeting with the heavy underdog Socceroos, who snuck out of Group D after shock wins over Tunisia and Denmark.
Argentina vs Australia odds predictably expect the Aussies tournament to end on Saturday, with oddsmakers making them +1400 underdogs to win inside of 90 minutes and +700 to advance to the quarterfinal. The Asian Handicap is set with Argentina as -2 favorites and the match total is listed at 2.5 goals.
Argentina vs Australia Betting Pick
|ℹ️ The Pick:||Argentina -2 (+110)|
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This game will be played at Ahmad bin Ali Stadium at 2:00 PM ET on Saturday, December 3, 2022.
Why Bet On Argentina:
✅ After getting shocked by Saudi Arabia in their opening match, Argentina bounced back to dominate Group D. Winning the group after 2-0 wins over Mexico and Poland, results that have to make you feel good about their chances of covering the Asian Handicap against Australia.
✅ Australia has looked great defensively in their last two matches, keeping clean sheets in their wins over Tunisia and Denmark to get to this point. However, when up against an overpowered France squad, the Socceroos defense melted under the pressure. Australia gave up four goals to France in a 4-1 loss.
✅ Australia has never beaten a South American opponent at the World Cup, holding a record of one draw and three losses to CONEMBOL opponents at the tournament.
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For the first 150 minutes of the World Cup, it looked like Messi’s last crack at winning the only trophy he hasn’t added to his trophy case was going to end in sadness. Argentina lost to Saudi Arabia and were without a goal against Mexico. Messi changed all of that in an instant with a brilliant goal from outside of the box and they have been flying ever since.
Argentina beat Mexico 2-0 before absolutely dominating Poland in their final group stage match. In the end, Argentina put a total of 12 shots on target while keeping Poland from registering a single shot on goal. Poland barely got a sniff of the ball as Argentina neutralized Robert Lewandowski by simply keeping the ball for nearly the entirety of the match. Argentina held 74% possession over Poland, an encouraging sign that they are locked in to earn results by playing composed.
Messi’s teammates have stepped up to the challenge as three different goalscorers have found the back of the net other than Messi, who currently sits on two goals at the tournament. Facing an Australian side that is expected to park the bus, they may need some long range brilliance from someone to break the deadlock and the more players who are ready to score the better chances they have of overcoming defensive tactics.
Nobody expected the Socceroos to make it to the Round of 16 but here we are with Australia prepped for just their second trip to the knockout rounds in their history. The first Round of 16 appearance from Australia was a remarkable showing that ended in heartbreak as they defended eventual champions Italy valiantly for 90 minutes before conceded a last gasp penalty to Francesco Totti at the 2006 tournament in Germany
Now, facing Messi and the Argentinians, Australia will likely set up with the same defend at all cost mentality they had in 2006 against Italy. Backed with the confidence of two clean sheets in a row, Australia’s defenders will be counted on to up their level even further to stop the world class Argentine attack.
Australia will also hope their trend of scoring the game’s opening goal can continue into the knockout rounds. The Socceroos scored first in all three of their group stage matches, somewhat surprisingly given they were the betting underdogs in all three of those contests.