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Argentina vs. Colombia Odds, Picks, Predictions, Preview: How to Back Messi in Copa América Semifinal (July 6)

Argentina vs. Colombia Odds, Picks, Predictions, Preview: How to Back Messi in Copa América Semifinal (July 6) article feature image

Pedro Vilela/Getty Images. Pictured: Lionel Messi (right).

  • A trip to the Copa America final against Brazil is on the line when Lionel Messi and Argentina take on Colombia.
  • While Argentina have won four straight matches, Colombia has just one win in five games during this tournament.
  • Matthew Trebby breaks down the matchup and delivers his best bet for the game below.

Argentina vs. Colombia Odds

Argentina Odds -127
Colombia Odds +410
Draw +235
Over/Under 2.5 (+143 / -180)
Day | Time Tuesday | 9 p.m. ET
How To Watch Fox Sports 1 | Univision | fuboTV
Odds updated Monday evening via DraftKings.

In his latest journey for international glory, Lionel Messi leads Argentina against Colombia on Tuesday night in a Copa America semifinal matchup.

The format of the tournament is … odd. There were two groups of five that played each other once, with four of them advancing to the knockout stages. Argentina cruised through their group with 10 points from four games, while Colombia earned just four points from their four games.

Colombia continued their non-winning ways with a draw in the quarterfinals against Uruguay, before advancing on penalty kicks. Argentina, meanwhile, steamrolled Ecuador.

Let’s break down this matchup.

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Argentina Look to Book Place in Final

Unlike their opponents, Argentina enter this semifinal matchup in fantastic form, having won four straight games after drawing Chile in their first group-stage game.

For these big games, I expect Argentina to play a pretty simple 4-3-3 to stabilize the midfield. The trio of Rodrigo De Paul, Leandro Paredes and Giovani Lo Celso is more than capable in this tournament, while left winger Nicolas Gonzalez has done the dirty work well on the left wing. Argentina have plenty of attacking options to complement Messi, but Lautaro Martinez has stood out as the best.

The Inter Milan striker is coming off a sensational season for the Serie A champions and has the workrate and instincts that make him the perfect partner for Messi (Think of him as the Karim Benzema to Cristiano Ronaldo). Lautaro does the dirty work to free up his superstar teammate, but he’s also more than capable of winning a match on his own. I expect he gets the nod at center forward over Sergio Aguero.

The Argentine defense has one real familiar name in Nicolas Otamendi, whose tough style is still working well in CONMEBOL play. He’s partnered by Fiorentina’s German Pezzella in front of Aston Villa goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez, who has clearly established himself as Argentina’s No. 1.

The most impressive thing about Argentina’s defense: It has conceded just two goals through five Copa America games. Having kept a clean sheet earlier in the tournament against Uruguay, I expect them to be more than capable of containing a Colombia team that will be focused on the counter attack.

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Struggling Colombia Without Key Playmaker

Colombia’s Copa America was controversial before it even started. James Rodriguez was left out of the team after missing the final two games of the Premier League season with a calf injury. Rodriguez declared himself fit, but the national team doctors disagreed.

The results without Rodriguez have not been ideal. Including two World Cup qualifiers before the Copa America, Colombia has won just two of their seven games and one of five in this tournament.

The balance in the Colombia team has been thrown off by Rodriguez’s absence. Manager Reinaldo Rueda is instead opting for a 4-4-2 for most of the tournament. Luis Diaz and Juan Cuadrado provide the width, although Cuadrado missed the quarterfinal against Uruguay, while Rueda has three more-than-capable strikers to choose from up top: Atalanta’s Duval Zapata and Luis Muriel and new Eintracht Frankfurt signing Rafael Santos Borre.

It hasn’t really worked for Colombia — they have scored just three times in five Copa America games — mostly due to a lack of creativity without Rodriguez. It’s nice having a bunch of goal scorers in your team, but when none of them can really create chances, it’s an issue.

Expect Colombia’s 4-4-2 to be especially defensive against an in-form Argentina team that looks poised for a trip to the final.

Betting Analysis & Pick

We’re not going to overthink this one.

Argentina has won four straight, while Colombia has won just once in five games this tournament. Getting Messi & Co. at anything below -140 is great value for bettors.

The best number for Argentina is -127 at DraftKings, so I suggest you jump on that.

Pick: Argentina -127 (play to -140)

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