Africa Cup of Nations Quarterfinals Best Bets & Projections: Back Cameroon, Morocco to Advance (Jan. 29-30)

Africa Cup of Nations Quarterfinals Best Bets & Projections: Back Cameroon, Morocco to Advance (Jan. 29-30) article feature image

Visionhaus/Getty Images. Pictured: Egypt star Mohamed Salah, right, celebrates with a teammate.

After a flurry of crazy matches that included three penalty shootouts, we have reached the quarterfinals at the Africa Cup of Nations.

The round of 16 has come to an ๐Ÿ”š

Hereโ€™s the quarter-final bracket ๐Ÿ‘‡

Who will make it to the final 4๏ธโƒฃ?

๐˜ผ๐™ฃ๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™š ๐™˜๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™œ๐™š๐™ฉ ๐™ก๐™ช๐™˜๐™ ๐™ฎ | #TotalEnergiesAFCON2021 | #AFCON2021 |

โ€” #TotalEnergiesAFCON2021 ๐Ÿ† (@CAF_Online) January 26, 2022

There are a couple Cinderella stories still alive, with Gambia and Equatorial Guinea making it as two of the final eight teams despite both being listed at 100/1 odds before the tournament started.

There are some fascinating matchups in the quarterfinals, with the biggest being Morocco vs. Egypt and Mohamed Salah. Before we jump into the projections and best bets, let's take a look at the future odds to win the title.

AFCON 2022 Odds

*Odds via DraftKings

Burkina Faso+1400
Equatorial Guinea+3500

Now, without further ado, let's get into the projections and best bets.

AFCON 2022 Quarterfinals Projected Odds

Best Bets

Gambia vs. Cameroon

Gambia Odds+800
Cameroon Odds-180
Over/Under1.5 (-165 / +135)
Day | TimeSaturday | 11 a.m. ET
How To WatchbeIN SPORTS
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Listen, Gambia has been a nice story, but it's time for negative regression to finally hit them in this tournament.

In all four matches at the Africa Cup of Nations, Gambia has lost the expected-goals battle and their last match against Guinea, who was without their best player Naby Kieta, was picture-perfect of what their tournament has been like.

Guinea 0-1 Gambia

The shocks keep coming at AFCON with debutants Gambia through to the quarter-finals!

Guinea had chances late on but sometimes you can't outrun pure narrative

โ€” The Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) January 24, 2022

On the other hand, Cameroon "only" beat Comoros, 2-1, in the quarterfinals despite being up a man for most of the match and given Comoros had a right back playing goalkeeper.

However, Cameroon has been one of the more dominant teams in this tournament, creating a whopping 8.16 xG in four matches, while only conceding 4.75 xG overall. The host country has much more talent on their squad than Gambia, considering they have the likes of BeลŸiktaลŸ' Vincent Aboubakar and Lyon's Karl Toko Ekambi as an attacking pair.

Cameroon is going to have plenty of the ball because Gambia loves to sit back in a 4-4-2 and doesn't care about maintaining possession. In fact, during the group stage, Gambia allowed each of their three opponents to hold over 60% possession. Gambia also doesn't press at all, they have the fewest high turnovers and are dead last in PPDA of anyone in the tournament, per Opta.

I have Cameroon projected at -220, so I love the host country's spread of -1 at +115 to finally end Gambia's Cinderella run.

Pick: Cameroon -1 (+115)

Egypt vs. Morocco

Egypt Odds+235
Morocco Odds+155
Over/Under1.5 (-120 / +100)
Day | TimeSunday | 11 a.m. ET
How To WatchbeIN SPORTS
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Even though Egypt has Salah, they've been drastically underperforming in this tournament.

Through four matches at AFCON, Egypt has a -0.27 xGD and have only created 3.55 with the best attacker in the world on their team. The problem is he has no talent around him, which allows opposing teams to isolate him on the pitch. It's worked so far this tournament, considering he's only created 1.06 xG total in four matches. At Liverpool, he's averaging 0.79 xG per 90 minutes.

On the other end of the spectrum, Morocco, in my opinion, has been the most impressive team at AFCON so far. They fell behind early against Malawi after a wonder goal from Gabadinho Mhango.

๐Ÿ‡ฒ๐Ÿ‡ผ Gabadinho Mhangoโ€™s stunning effort wins our #GoalOfTheDay award! ๐ŸŽฏ #TotalEnergiesAFCON2021 | #AFCON2021 | #TeamMalawi |

โ€” #TotalEnergiesAFCON2021 ๐Ÿ† (@CAF_Online) January 25, 2022

However, Morocco completely dominated the rest of the match, holding 75%, getting off 19 shots, creating 2.67 xG and eventually Achraf Hakimi scored the game winner in the 70th minute.

Morocco has been the best offense by xG in AFCON and a big reason for that is their pressing. Morocco's PPDA is at 6.6 in this tournament, which is insanely low and that has allowed to force 28 high turnovers, per Opta and essentially pin opponents into their own final third and create a ton of chances inside the box.

Morocco have had 64 shots (the joint-most, alongside Cameroon) and the highest xG total at #AFCON2021 so far.

โ€” The Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) January 25, 2022

So, I think it's a little crazy Morocco isn't more of a significant favorite against Egypt. I have Morocco projected at -130, so I love their Draw No Bet price at -150 odds.

Pick: Morocco โ€” Draw No Bet (-150)

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