World Cup Betting: Best Same Game Parlay bets for the semi-finals
Alex Buck picks out his best same game parlay picks for both matches in the semi-final stage of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
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As the 2022 World Cup in Qatar heads towards its finale, there are just four teams remaining in the tournament. Croatia, four years after a stunning run to the final in Russia, find themselves back in the World Cup semi-finals. Their never-say-die attitude helped them upset the pre-tournament favorites Brazil, setting up a mouthwatering clash with Lionel Messi’s Argentina.
The other semi-final clash sees Morocco take on reigning champions France. Morocco’s success in becoming the first African team to reach the World Cup semi-finals will go a long way to galvanizing the continent. France will have their work cut out to beat a team which has recorded wins against Belgium, Spain and most recently Portugal.
With two enticing semi-finals to come, here are my same game parlay picks for both games.
Argentina vs Croatia Odds
Matchwinner Outright: Argentina -120, Croatia +375, Tie +230
Spread: Argentina -1 (+240), Croatia +1 (-105)
Goals Total: Over 2.5 (+140), Under 2.5 (-180)
Odds subject to change
Argentina vs Croatia Predictions and Same Game Parlay Picks
After defeating the Netherlands in one of the most fiery quarter-final ties seen at a World Cup, Argentina now faces an incredibly dangerous Croatian side at the Lusail Iconic Stadium in Qatar.
Argentina have bounced back incredibly since their shocking 2-1 loss to Saudi Arabia in their opening group game. They are now only two victories away from their first World Cup title since Diego Maradona’s 1986 team, but they have their work cut out.
Lionel Scaloni will need to address a few issues ahead of this fixture because of the intense and ill-tempered game vs the Netherlands. Defenders Marcos Acuna, a starter, and Gonzalo Montiel are suspended because of bookings which leaves limited options at the back. Acuna will be heavily missed from an attacking standpoint, having provided a much-needed spark from the left side of the defense. There are also injury worries surrounding the integral Rodrigo de Paul who we have seen dominate the midfield throughout this tournament.
Croatia, meanwhile, have defied all odds once again and find themselves back in the World Cup semi-finals for only the third time in their history. To reach the final, they will need to overcome and knockout another South American giant, having beaten Brazil on penalties in the last round.
One big positive for Croatia, is that they have no injury concerns or player suspensions to account for. Manager Zlatko Dalic will therefore have a full squad available to choose from as he looks to plot his way past an intense Argentinian team.
Looking ahead to the game, the gameplan for both teams couldn’t look any more different. Argentina will be looking to avoid a repeat penalty shootout this time out, against a mentally tough Croatia, meaning they will be on the front foot from the offset. Whereas Croatia, will want to keep the game tight and in the balance for as long as possible with the hope that they can steal a goal on the counterattack or go the distance if needed. This will make for a fascinating affair as both sides know what’s at stake.
Qatar 2022 World Cup is likely to be Messi’s last chance to add this prestigious trophy to his collection. The 35-year-old has been incredibly impressive at this year’s tournament, both scoring and assisting in two different World Cup matches. He is single handedly carrying the weight of his nation on his shoulders and if Argentina are to emerge victorious in this game, it will take another Messi magic moment.
With Brozovic, Modric and Kovacic in the midfield, Croatia will look to control and dictate the tempo of the game. This will be an extremely effective tactic to nullifying the intense game that the Argentinians need to play to be at their best. I’d expect them to have a lot more possession in this fixture, but without too much risk. Croatia will simply look to frustrate Argentina, much like they did to Brazil, but that’s not to say Argentina won’t get chances to score.
One worry for Lionel Messi, is Argentina’s lack of ruthlessness from their other attackers in the final third. It will take something special to beat Dominik Livakovic the Croatian national goalkeeping hero who has put in back-to-back MOTM performances against Japan and Brazil. Livakovic will be a favorite for the Golden Glove award at the close of the tournament.
Argentina are massive favorites without needing penalties, but this is not how I see this one going. Eight of Croatia’s last nine World Cup knockout matches have gone to extra-time, meaning there is so much value in this game going the distance. For that reason, under 2.5 goals across the 90 minutes and the result being a draw, are included in my same game parlay picks.
In a game where chances will be at an absolute premium and both teams look to keep it tight at the back, no goals in the 1st half provides a lovely odds booster for my parlay picks.
Morocco vs France Odds
Matchwinner Outright: Morocco +600, France -185, Tie +280
Spread: Morocco +1 (+150), France -1 (+150)
Goals Total: Over 2.5 (+120), Under 2.5 (-155)
Odds subject to change
Morocco vs France Predictions and Same Game Parlay Picks
The underdog story lives on at the 2022 World Cup after Japan, South Korea, Senegal, Poland, and Switzerland all crashed out in the round of 16.
Morocco’s journey to the semifinal has been quite remarkable. Defeating Spain on penalties to advance to the quarter finals was an unbelievable feat and would have made Moroccan soccer history by itself, but the team wasn't finished there.
They went on to triumph against a red-hot Portugal side who had scored six goals in their previous fixture, even without their talisman Cristiano Ronaldo starting. They were every bit Portugal's equal in this quarterfinal match up too. Morocco, the tournaments surprise package, held their own and the result never looked in doubt. They showed great composure, perfectly applied aggressiveness, and followed clear understanding of the tactics employed by their new manager.
France, meanwhile, emerged victorious against a very talented England team in what appeared to be their toughest test of the tournament so far. While Harry Kane’s missed second penalty proved the crucial blow to England's tournament hopes, France can take a lot of pride from the fact that they didn’t concede a goal from open play against the tournament’s top goal scorers.
While Mbappe was relatively quiet on the night, credit must be handed to Olivier Giroud who once again showed why he is the man for the big occasions. A perfectly timed attacking movement was followed by a brilliant glancing header. This goal proved the difference on Saturday night to send France through to the semifinals.
Morocco have defended valiantly in a low defensive block against two of the world’s greatest soccer teams but have sprung forward into attack at any given opportunity. With so much talent in the wide areas they have proved to be deadly on the counterattack. Sofiane Boufal has been electric to watch at the tournament as he surges down the left side for his country. Morocco also has star level quality on the opposite wing with overlapping fullback Achraf Hakimi and Chelsea FC winger Hakim Ziyech. This team has enough quality within its ranks given the chances to punish the reigning World champions and send them packing.
The issue for Morocco now is will this game be one too many. It’s taken a monumental effort to get here, but the squad is looking increasingly stretched. There are injury concerns in defense after captain Romain Saiss came off against Portugal. Nayef Aguerd and Noussair Mazraoui also missed the quarter-final win. Combined with the suspension of Striker Walid Cheddira who was sent off in the win over Portugal, Morocco will be restricted from the bench if they need to freshen up the team. French boss Deschamp does not have any injuries or suspension to be dealing with and is set to name the same starting eleven for the third match in a row.
Giroud’s movement in the box is going to be just as dangerous for Morocco in the upcoming semifinal as Mbappe’s trickery and speed will be from the left-hand side. The French game flows through playmaker Antoine Griezmann, who is picking up more of a deep lying midfielder role at this tournament. If Morocco allow him to get a hold of the game, they could find themselves on the backfoot in a hurry.
While the underdog story is one for the ages, France could be a step too far, and we’ve yet to see how Morocco respond should they go a goal behind in a knockout game. The stage is set for Mbappe to take over from Messi and Ronaldo as the next global superstar. His anytime goal scorer market provides great value for a same game parlay pick that sees me back France to get the job done within 90 minutes with under 2.5 goals scored in the game.
If this is to be the case, Morocco and their new manager Walid Regragui should be extremely proud of their achievements leading up to this and will undoubtedly go down in World Cup history for all the right reasons.