World Cup Picks: Best Prop Bets For Morocco Portugal & England France
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We’ll learn which teams will make up the second World Cup semifinal match on Saturday.
First, Portugal take on Cinderella story Morocco, perhaps with star Cristiano Ronaldo again relegated to the bench.
Then, England and France meet in one of the most attractive quarterfinal fixtures in recent World Cup memory.
With four games already played, we’re getting a better sense of the teams involved. That leads us to our three favorite prop bets for the Saturday slate.
World Cup Picks
Morocco vs. Portugal: Draw/Portugal – Halftime/Full Time (+333 via bet365)
Portugal coach Fernando Santos stunned nearly everyone when he dropped Ronaldo from the starting XI in a 6-1 romp over Switzerland in the round of 16.
But Ronaldo’s replacement Goncalo Ramos scored the first hat trick of the tournament. Suddenly, a team thought to be just outside the top tier of contenders looked like a squad that could win it all.
That said, Morocco won’t be surprised if Santos makes the same decision on Saturday. And the North Africans have kept clean sheets against Croatia, Belgium and Spain to reach this stage.
This will almost certainly be tougher for Portugal than Switzerland were. However, they will have more of an edge in the second half than Morocco’s other opponents after Morocco had to go 120 minutes against Spain.
Portugal have already won twice from a halftime draw, and they could do it again here as Morocco’s tank eventually empties. So playing Draw/Portugal on a Halftime/Full Time wager at +333 odds and an implied 23.1% probability makes sense.
Morocco have yet to concede a second-half goal this tournament, but given the fatigue and caliber of opponent, this will be their toughest second half yet.
England vs. France: No Goal Before 31:00 (-120 via bet365)
England and France are among the most prolific attacking forces of this tournament, but both have shown considerable patience.
In what is easily each side’s most difficult opponent, it’s unlikely either will take too many risks early.
That makes a bet on a scoreless first 31 minutes at -120 odds and an implied 54.5% implied probability pretty appealing.
That wager has cashed in 7-of-8 games so far between these sides at this tournament. And if you extend it back to UEFA Nations League play, the same bet has landed 80% of the time (16 games out of 20).
England vs. France: England to Score 1 Goal Exact (+150 at Bet365)
The analytics suggest France’s tournament performance is more sustainable.
Les Bleus have scored nine goals and conceded four, closely shadowing their xG created and allowed. Meanwhile, The Three Lions have scored 12 goals and conceded only two.
However, they’ve nearly doubled their xG created in terms of goals scored, and this feels like a spot for a somewhat inconsistent attack to regress to the mean.
The stage of the competition also matters. England have scored exactly one goal in four of their nine games in the knockout phase of major competitions under Gareth Southgate.
France have conceded exactly one goal in every match this tournament. Some of that has to do with squad rotation against Tunisia and an inconsequential late penalty against Poland. However, their injury-depleted midfield is also probably playing a role.
If it weren’t for those absences, this might be a place you bet on France keeping a clean sheet. Instead, backing the Three Lions to score exactly once at +150 odds and an implied 40% probability is the way to go.