Should You Fade Argentina at the World Cup?

Should You Fade Argentina at the World Cup? article feature image

The Odds

  • To win the World Cup: +950
  • To win Group D: -165
  • To advance to Round of 16: -755

Bet To Watch

Argentina does not advance from Group D + 528 

Qualifying for the World Cup out of CONMEBOL (South America’s footballing federation) is tough, but Argentina really made a meal of things in the run to Russia.

Even though they finished third in the region, La Albiceleste lost at home to Ecuador and Paraguay, drew against Venezuela and fell at Brazil, 3-0. This led to a merry-go-round of managers that eventually landed on Jorge Sampaoli.

Fittingly, it was a hat trick from Lionel Messi that ensured Argentina of qualification. There are plenty of stars on the roster, but Argentina are ordinary without the extraordinary Messi.

As hard as things were for Argentina in qualifying, they won’t get any easier in Russia. Group D is among the toughest sets in the tournament, and there are some matchup concerns surrounding Sampaoli’s charges.

Along with Messi, Gonzalo Higuain, Sergio Aguero, Paulo Dybala and Angel Di Maria will give opposing defenses fits. In fact, Argentina may be too top heavy. As strong as they are up top, the 2014 runners-up lack the spine needed to capture the gold.

The South American giants were dealt a blow with the injury to No. 1 goalkeeper Sergio Romero, and there are concerns over string-puller Lucas Biglia’s fitness as well. In the back, Nicolas Otamendi is the only player who can play with the best of the best and even he isn’t the most dependable centerback around. In other words, behind their brilliant attack, Argentina are left wanting.

Messi and Co. caught a bad break with their draw. Group D is among the toughest groups in the tournament, and each team presents its own unique challenge. Iceland are a well-organized unit with playmakers and set piece specialists that could frustrate Argentina. Nigeria is also tough to break down and have the ability to catch teams on the counter. And Croatia has one of the best midfield units in the world. There are no easy games for Argentina, even though they will be favored in each of their first three games.

Will Argentina get out of their group? Most likely. But that doesn’t make fading them a bad bet. I think there’s value on both the “Field Wins Group D”, which is at +145, but I’m going bold here and grabbing the +528 on Argentina to be eliminated in the opening round.

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