3 Prop Bets For 2022 World Cup Final Between Argentina & France
Koji Watanabe/Getty. Pictured: Lionel Messi and Julian Alvarez.
The biggest sporting event on the planet arrives on Sunday when France take on Argentina in the 2022 World Cup Final.
Both nations are two-time winners. France are attempting to be the first repeat champions since Brazil in 1958 and 1962, and Kylian Mbappe is attempting to join Brazil's Pele as the second player in World Cup history to win two titles before the age of 24.
Argentina are looking for their first title since 1986 after last reaching the final in 2014, while Lionel Messi is aiming for his first World Cup trophy after capturing his first Copa America with Argentina 17 months ago.
We had some extremely frustrating luck with our semifinal prop bets, going winless in four picks. However, we're talking about super-fine margins. A late goal from Morocco and a late goal from Croatia meant all four props would have cashed despite the outcome of each game being the same.
So, perhaps we're due for some regression. Read on for a full batch of promising Argentina vs. France props
Argentina vs. France Prop Bets
Argentina Team Total Over 1.5 (+200 via bet365)
Both Argentina and France have conceded five times this tournament, but the analytics suggest the South American challengers have played better defensively.
La Albiceleste have yielded only 2.4 expected goals (xG) compared to Les Bleus' 6.6 xG allowed.
Part of this probably owes to the fact that Argentina are naturally more ball-dominant, and to the fact that France are playing this tournament shorthanded in the spine of their team.
Midfielders Paul Pogba and N'Golo Kante were both ruled out before the tournament started, and center back Lucas Hernandez tore his ACL in the opener against Australia. His brother, Theo Hernandez, has filled in well but is also an injury question.
World Cup finals have been notoriously low-scoring since 1990. However, the three with the most goals in that span all included France. That suggests a national character that isn't about showing caution in big moments, and that matters.
Even if France try to be more conservative, they may not have the personnel to succeed against the best attacking side they've faced.
Argentina may be overly reliant on Lionel Messi's eight goal-involvements in 10 team goals scored. But, France haven't looked like the team capable of completely solving him.
Instead, Les Bleus may need a couple of goals to go back-to-back. So, it's definitely worth playing Argentina to score at least twice at +200 odds and an implied 33.3% probability.
Both Teams to Score First Half – Yes (+550 via bet365)
In a tournament where the obvious pattern of games tilted toward more attacking in the second half, these teams have cut against that grain.
France have scored a first-half goal in each of their three knockout stage games and in 4-of-6 games overall. Argentina have mirrored them. The teams have combined for 10 first-half goals total throughout this tournament.
When you compare it against overall tournament trends, France and Argentina have combined to score about 16.1% of the first-half goals in this tournament (10-of-62) while playing only 8.1% of the total first-half minutes.
Now, with all of that being said, both teams have scored only once in 12 games between the sides, when Australia held a brief lead in France's group opener.
But these are easily the most capable attacking squads that each will face in the competition. That makes it worth taking a shot on a higher-scoring but balanced first half at +550 odds and an implied 15.4% probability.
The same wager paid out in two of France's previous three final appearances.
Lionel Messi Over 0.5 Assists (+275 via bet365)
If you're looking for echoes of Diego Maradona leading Argentina to the World Cup title, it may have come in the semifinals.
The multi-goal victories for France and Argentina marked the first time both finalists won their semifinals by two or more since Argentina and West Germany did so in 1986.
Maradona did not score at the '86 final, but Argentina won 3-2 based on the late chance he set up for Jorge Burruchaga's winner.
He finished the tournament with five goals and five assists. Messi has five goals and three assists right now.
Notably, two of Messi's goals have come from the penalty spot, and his expected non-penalty goals and expected assists totals are both at 2.2.
You could argue France may be likely to concede yet another penalty after already giving away three, but that track record could also create the kind of defensive caution in the box that leads to assist opportunities.
At +275 odds and a 26.7% probability, it's worth betting on Messi to capitalize on one, possibly setting up Julian Alvarez.