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Belgium vs Morocco Odds, Pick | World Cup Match Preview

Belgium vs Morocco Odds, Pick | World Cup Match Preview article feature image
Credit:

NurPhoto/Getty. Pictured: Leander Dendoncker and Kevin De Bruyne.

  • Belgium and Morocco will meet each other on Sunday morning in the World Cup.
  • Is there a high value bet to be made in this match?
  • See why Anthony Dabbundo believes the answer is yes.

Belgium vs. Morocco Odds

Sunday, Nov. 27
8 a.m. ET
FS1
Belgium Odds -106
Morocco Odds +300
Draw +250
Over/Under 2.5 (+110 / -138)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No) (-110 / -110)
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute World Cup odds here.

Belgium won their opening match of the World Cup 1-0 against Canada, but the Belgians’ underlying numbers in that match raise some major red flags ahead of their match with Morocco on Sunday.

They relied on the excellent goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, poor finishing from the Canadians and a few controversial penalty decisions that went their way. 

Morocco played one of the least eventful matches in the first round of matches in their goalless draw with Croatia. They struggled to create much going forward but showcased a real defensive solidity out of possession.

The market has moved against Belgium rather harshly since those two matches were played. They were as high as -160 on the three-way moneyline, but are now as low as -105 to take all three points and book their spot in the knockouts.

Belgium’s defense conceded more than 2 xG in that match, but can Morocco present the same problems that Canada did?

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Belgium Need Better Performance

Outside of some transition moments through the midfield and Kevin De Bruyne, there was very little attack from Belgium against Canada. They produced 0.8 xG in the match and just nine total shots. Belgium touched the ball in the Canadian penalty area 14 times in total, while Canada had 34 touches in the Belgian penalty box.

Everything I feared for this Belgian side was exploited. Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld no longer look like top class center backs at their advanced ages. There wasn’t enough ball stopping or ball winning in the Belgian midfield to prevent Canada from getting into the penalty area.

And without Romelu Lukaku, the two-man counterattacking duo of De Bruyne and Lukaku prevents them from being an elite transition team. Michy Batshuayi did manage to produce five shots, 0.5 xG and a goal, which is excellent production, but he’ll be facing a much better defense against Morocco on Sunday.

Only one player in the Belgian side managed to get more than one successful tackle in — wing back Yannick Carrasco. The wing backs have never been great for Belgium and now they’ll have to go up against Achraf Hakimi and Hakim Ziyech in the wide areas.

Morocco Finding Form But Need Results

Morocco didn’t control a ton of the possession against the elite Croatian midfield, but very rarely were the Moroccans under consistent pressure defensively in that first match. Croatia lacked real quality in the final third despite their elite midfield.

This match profiles a bit differently. Belgium’s midfield isn’t nearly as good, which should present opportunities for Morocco to have more time on the ball and run at the Belgian back line. But the Belgians are also a much more efficient attack in that they create clearer scoring opportunities without consistently controlling the flow of the game.

Morocco have a decided advantage in the wide areas in this match though, and Hakimi’s ability to progress the ball up the wings is a major key for them threatening the penalty area. Belgium’s lack of pace and quality in the defensive transitions was extremely evident against Canada.

The Moroccans’ center back pairing of Roman Saiss and Nayef Aguerd is considerably better than the Canadian center back pairing, which will be crucial toward limiting the opportunities for Belgium to get in behind the defense. Noussair Mazaroui did go off injured on Wednesday, but he’s also expected to start on Sunday.

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Belgium vs. Morocco Pick

The final score and ultimate Belgian victory is masking a ton of cracks for the side. The golden generation is long past its peak based on the match against Canada and Morocco is once again a live underdog in this group.

As much as Morocco struggled to create chances against Croatia, Croatia have a much better defense as constructed than Roberto Martinez’s Belgium.

Conceding 2.4 xG to Canada is one thing, but it could have been even more when you consider that two of the three borderline penalties weren’t called against Belgium.

Given how poorly Wales, the Netherlands and Poland have also played at this World Cup, their Nations League results also don’t look nearly as convincing anymore. It’s hard to make the case that Belgium will improve much given that Martinez is unlikely to make more than a change or two.

Morocco managed to overcome a midfield talent deficiency in their first match to get a draw, but there’s not really a single area on the pitch where Belgium has more talent than Morocco. Outside of De Bruyne creating magic in transition, Belgium are in a lot of trouble and remain a fade team for this entire tournament.

The Pick: Morocco +0.5 (-110)

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