Mohamed Salah’s The Pharaohs lead odds to lift the trophy on their home soil, followed by Senegal. The Super Eagles of Nigeria come in as third favourites, overcoming Ghana
The first round of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations is nearly finished, with two matches left to go this Tuesday. This enables betters to see squads’ performances up close and assess whether they really have what it takes to claim the title. And the verdict is in: hosts Egypt are still favourites to go all the way, though Senegal have overtaken Ghana’s second place, who, in turn, are now behind the Super Eagles in fourth.
First things first
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Where should I be investing my money?
Playing at home is always a great advantage in any sports competition. If you add the confidence this gives teams to Egypt’s track record as the most successful AFCON side with seven titles, it comes as no surprise that Mohamed Salah and co still lead bets to be the champs.
The Pharaohs, who defeated Zimbabwe 1-0 in the opening match of the tournament, now face underdogs DR Congo in the second round on Wednesday, 26 June at Cairo International Stadium, confident that they will secure their second win. Oddsshark puts the home team at 4.51 odds of lifting their eighth Africa Cup of Nations trophy.
Another side that has been catching everyone’s attention is Senegal, even though they have failed to win an edition of the tournament until now. The Lions of Teranga are packed with talent in the likes of Mané, Kouyaté and Koulibaly.
To make things better, with the exception of Algeria, their group looks rather uncomplicated with Kenya and Tanzania, whom they defeated 2-0 in the first round, and which could explain why they overtook Ghana as second favourites to the cup. If you believe they will go all the way for the first time and decide to bet US$5 on this side at 5.09, you could make an easy US$25.45.
Will the Super Eagles surprise everyone and claim their fourth cup?
Lacking major stars and still somewhat of a mystery, Nigeria did not show impressive football and teamwork skills in their first round match. So much so, that AFCON debutants Burundi made for tough opponents and were only closely overcome 1-0 by a late 77-minute goal scored by Odion Ighalo.
Nevertheless, the Super Eagles, who open Matchday 2 of the competition against Guinea this Wednesday, have betters’ confidence when it comes to chances of winning their fifth Africa Cup of Nations. Priced at 6.7, our boys are the third favourites to win the title and overtook Ghana’s prior position.
This could change, though, if the Black Stars, who face Benin today at 9 p.m. in Ismailia, display an impressive performance. They certainly have the talent to do so, with stars like Asamoah, Ayew and Gyan in their roster. The down side is that they are in a tough Group D alongside Cameroon, Benin and Guinea-Bissau.
Still, Ghana have significant 8.6 odds of ending a long dry spell since 1982, their last AFCON championship, as well as frustrating second place finishes in 2010 and 2015.
Ivory Coast come in ahead of several North African squads
Another team to keep an eye on is Ivory Coast. In recent years, two-time title holders the Elephants have achieved significant results in the competition, namely as runners-up in 2006 and 2012, as well, of course, as winners of AFCON 2015.
With rising star Nicolas Pépé of Lille as well as Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha in their ranks, they stand at 9.17 odds of going all the way in this 32nd edition of the tournament, according to Oddsshark.
Next up come a slew of traditional North African squads. Morocco lead the pack, priced at 10.5, followed closely by Algeria, who come in at 11.9 of the stakes and, finally, Tunisia at 17.1.
Ajax star Hakim Ziyech’s Atlas Lions edged past Namibia 1-0 in the first round, while the Desert Warriors and their traditional attacking play downed Kenya 2-0. Tunisia, on the other hand, drew 1-1 with Angola this Monday.
AFCON 2019 Outrights: Top 10 favourites to claim the title
Egypt – 4.51
Senegal – 5.09
Nigeria – 6.7
Ghana – 8.6
Ivory Coast – 9.17
Morocco – 10.5
Algeria – 11.9
Tunisia – 17.1
Cameroon – 20
Mali – 23