Africa Cup of Nations

Africa Cup of Nations Final Tips: Back Nigeria and Ivory Coast to end in shoot-out drama

The Africa Cup of Nations Final in Abidjan on Sunday night looks set to go down to the wire, writes James Eastham...

  • Well-matched sides go head-to-head

  • Back the game to go the distance

  • Low-scoring encounter on the cards

Nigeria vs Ivory Coast - Sat, 20.00

Nigeria are narrow favourites to win the Africa Cup of Nations when they face hosts Ivory Coast in the final on Sunday night.

The Super Eagles are 9/10 to lift the trophy, while Ivory Coast are 19/201.95. These odds look about fair based on how the tournament's unfolded so far.

Both teams have played well in patches without being fully convincing. Both wobbled in the group stages before growing in confidence and playing - at times, at least - with more fluency during the knockout phase.

Nigeria are 2.8615/8 to win in 90 minutes, while Ivory Coast are 3.211/5. The Draw's available at 2.915/8 - and it's this third potential outcome that really attracts our attention.

Looking back at Africa Cup of Nations finals down the years, the 90-minute draw emerges as the value pick. The historic statistics show that the draw occurs more regularly than the market suggests.

Four of the last 10 Africa Cup of Nations finals - and six of the last 12 - have gone to extra-time. The frequency with which this happens makes the odds on the draw very good value as we head into this weekend's showdown.

Back The Draw @ 2.915/8

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What's also significant is that all nine finals that have gone to extra-time since penalties were introduced as a method of deciding the winner have gone to penalties. So if, like us, you think this game may well go to extra-time, it's worth looking at the match being decided by a shoot-out.

Nigeria in Pens and Ivory Coast in Pens are available at 7/18.00 and 15/28.50 respectively in the Method of Victory market on the Sportsbook. We suggest splitting your stakes across these two outcomes so that you'll make a profit if the game goes to spot kicks.

Back Nigeria to win on pens @ 7/18.00

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Back Ivory Coast to win on pens @ 15/28.50

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On the goals market, we would prefer to back low goals than high goals. There are two reasons for this, the first relating to Africa Cup of Nations finals of the past.

Africa Cup of Nations finals tend to be low-scoring. Of the last 10 finals, eight had Under 1.5 Goals in 90 minutes. The average goals-per-game count in 90 minutes across those last 10 finals was just one goal per game, so the historic trend is clear.

Secondly, the knockout phase at this tournament has been fairly low-scoring. Of the 14 knockout games played so far, five had no goals or one goal, six had exactly two goals, and just three had three or more goals. The average goals-per-game count (in 90 minutes) in the knockout phase to date has been 1.86.

Under 2.0 is available on the Goal Lines market at 1.855/6. Both the historic trend in finals and the knockout phase trend at this tournament suggest this would be a good selection.

Back Under 2.0 on the Goal Lines market @ 1.855/6

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And why not try this Bet Builder?

Back The Draw and Under 2.5 Goals @ 2.9215/8

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James' 2023-24 AFCON P/L

Staked: 42pts
Returned: +36.04pts
P/L: -5.96pts


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