Breakdown on Argentina for 2018 FIFA World Cup Odds

Argentina 2018 World Cup Odds

World soccer powerhouse Argentina is among the betting favorites for World Cup 2018 in Russia, and for good reason. They are one of only eight countries to have held the title and one of just five to have achieved this feat twice.

La Albiceleste were runners-up in 2014, losing the final to Germany in extra time on a clinical and decisive finish from Mario Götze.

Their 23-man roster has been named, but not without controversy. Serie A co-leading scorer Mauro Icardi is a glaring omission from the side. The Inter Milan striker potted 29 this season, seven ahead of Paulo Dybala and 13 ahead of Gonzalo Higuain, two of his countrymen who have been selected ahead of him. That said, this squad still has the potential to showcase one of the most electrifying attacks in the tournament.

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Argentina’s odds to win World Cup: +900

Oddsmakers are offering Lionel Messi’s squad at +900 to leave Russia with the biggest prize in world football. There’s decent value here as this side will carry three of the nation’s top 10 all-time leading scorers and four of its most capped players of all time.

This is Messi’s team and many are suggesting it is he who decides the personnel that will accompany him on the quest in what could be his last World Cup tournament. The 30-year-old center forward had yet another great season of club play, scoring 40 in all competitions for his La Liga champion Barcelona side. His talent is undeniable, and success in Russia could cement him among the greatest of all time but his ego has the potential to unravel the chemistry needed to make a deep run.

Argentina’s Odds to win Group D: -160

Betting odds to win Group D from online shop Sportsbook see Iceland at +1400, Nigeria at +1100, Croatia at +230 and Argentina as the fave at -160. This could arguably be labeled the “Group of Death” as every side will be competitive.

Messi dragged his countrymen kicking and screaming through qualification and will no doubt have to do much of the same to get them out of this group.

They’ll open their campaign against a feisty Iceland squad led by Gylfi Sigurdsson. Although they should get a victory here, anything less than three points in this fixture will create immense pressure for the rest of Argentina’s group stage.

Croatia poses the biggest threat to Argentina’s hopes of advancing as top seed from this group. The Croatians have a veteran side with big names all over the pitch and the +245 draw looks attractive in what could prove a reserved fixture.

The Nigerians currently sit as +650 dogs in their match with Argentina. These odds feel a little long considering the African club came back from two down to beat the Argentines 4-2 in a November friendly, played on Russian soil no less.

Argentina’s Best World Cup Bets

As much as I’d like to consider Argentina a contender, their qualification showing was less than a ringing endorsement. This team is a wild card, but their odds don’t reflect my opinion so I’m going with a group prop.

Group D will have its share of drama but I do like Argentina to advance. It’s a bit chalky but Argentina and Croatia to finish as the top two in their group, in either order, is available at -185 from online sportsbook Sportsbook. Argentina first, Croatia second can be had at EVEN.

Argentina’s Player to watch: Lionel Messi

There is a touch of disdain for the superstar in this article, but despite any alleged meddling in the side selection, there is no doubt about what he brings to any starting XI.

For the better part of a decade, there have been only two names that could be considered the best in the world and any others are third at best.

Along with Cristiano Ronaldo, Messi will undoubtedly go down as one of the greatest to ever grace the pitch, so it’s no surprise that Messi is the betting favorite to win both the MVP and leading goalscorer titles at the World Cup in Russia.

If this Argentine side should again advance to the final or win the whole thing, their No. 10 will be the centerpiece. A bet on Messi to win Golden Boot at +1100 and/or to win Golden Ball at +900 would not be ill-advised.

Argentina’s Road to Russia

Entering qualification as the 2014 World Cup runner-up and ranked No. 1 in FIFA rankings, La Albiceleste were poised to display their wares and challenge a deflated Brazilian side to claim the throne in South America.

Well, the script was flipped and Argentina struggled mightily, taking just one of a possible nine points through their first three games, including a 2-0 loss at home to Ecuador. They finished qualification with a relatively sad plus-three goal differential, scoring just 19 times through 18 contests. Three of those goals came from their captain, Lionel Messi, in their final game of qualification.

Messi’s heroics prevented what would have been considered a national tragedy as his side entered that final matchday in a must-win situation after Peru and Colombia drew 1-1.

This preview was originally posted on 2018-05-23 and was updated on 2018-06-14

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argentina’s 2018 World Cup Squad
-Nahuel GuzmánGKTigres UANL6
-Willy CaballeroGKManchester City2
-Franco ArmaniGKRiver Plate0
-Gabriel MercadoDEFSevilla20
-Cristian AnsaldiDEFTorino5
-Nicolas OtamendiDEFManchester City53
-Federico FazioDEFRoma8
-Marcos RojoDEFManchester United55
-Nicolas TagliaficoDEFAjax3
-Marcos AcuñaDEFSporting Lisbon9
-Javier MascheranoMIDHebei China Fortune142
-Eduardo SalvioMIDBenfica8
-Lucas BigliaMIDAC Milan57
-Giovani Lo CelsoMIDParis Saint-Germain4
-Éver BanegaMIDSevilla61
-Manuel LanziniMIDWest Ham United27
-Maximiliano MezaMIDIndependiente1
-Angel Di MariaMIDParis St-Germain93
-Cristian PavónMIDBoca Juniors4
-Lionel MessiFWDBarcelona123
-Gonzalo HiguaínFWDJuventus70
-Paulo DybalaFWDJuventus12
-Sergio AgüeroFWDManchester City84
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