Senegal vs Netherlands Odds, Pick & Prediction | Match Preview
Pictured: Boulaye Dia of Senegal. (Photo by Ryan Pierse – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)
Senegal vs. Netherlands Odds
2.5 (+110 / -138)
2.5 (+110 / -138)
As different as the Netherlands and Senegal may seem intuitively, there's a bit of a mirror image at play here in both these teams' Group A opener.
Both only lost once in their respective qualifying campaigns, and each arrive in Qatar with questions at striker.
For the Dutch, leading qualifying scorer Memphis Depay has been out with a leg injury since a September UEFA Nations League match against Poland. He says he's fit, but he may be unlikely to start after that lengthy sabbatical.
Meanwhile, Senegal were hit this week with the news that Bayern Munich attacker Sadio Mane will miss the tournament with a bone injury on his right leg. He scored three goals and assisted four more on a team that scored 15 across eight qualifying matches.
Here's where I see value in the fixture.
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Senegal Bring Confidence Into Fixture
This is only the West African nation's third World Cup appearance, but every time they've reached this stage they've acquitted themselves well.
Their 2002 upset of then-defending World Cup champion France and subsequent quarterfinal journey is well-remembered. And just four years ago, much of this same 2022 group was desperately close to another trip to the knockout phase, losing to Japan on the fair play tiebreak.
It's hard to overstate the loss of Mane, but if Senegal have anything going for them it's their defense, which has plenty of European pedigree and is led by Chelsea center back Kalidou Koulibaly.
They conceded only five goals in World Cup Qualifying and just two in their run to winning the African Cup of Nations. Even more impressively, they haven't conceded more than once in a game across that period.
Netherlands in Ridiculous Form
Holland may have lost during their qualifying campaign, but they're unbeaten since Louis van Gaal's managerial return.
The Clockwork Orange won all of their home qualifiers by multiple goals since van Gaal's arrival. And their two UEFA Nations League wins over Belgium since then helped knock the Red Devils off their perch atop the FIFA World Rankings.
It's hard to know what to make of a competition like the Nations League, but it should give Holland some confidence that they can score goals without Depay. He led the side with three in the competition, but Denzel Dumfries, Steven Bergwijn and Cody Gakpo all had two.
Senegal vs. Netherlands Pick
If Mane was healthy, it'd be extremely tempting to pick Senegal to pull off this upset.
Without him, it just becomes too hard to envision, even if you think oddsmakers are favoring the Dutch too heavily.
You can leverage that lean in other ways, though. The safest way to do so may be on a wager of Senegal at +1 at -110 odds.
This is not a team that concedes easily, and the Dutch have a good but not great history against African teams, with all three wins by a single goal. Senegal have never lost a World Cup game by multiple goals.
If you're hunting for a greater return, consider the draw at +300 odds and an implied 25% probability.
The Pick: Senegal +1 (-110)
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