Africa Cup of Nations

Africa Cup of Nations QF Tips: Nigeria to produce high-scoring performance

Napoli and Nigeria striker Victor Osimhen
Victor Osimhen will have a key role as ever for Nigeria

James Eastham looks at the first two Africa Cup of Nations quarter-finals taking place in Ivory Coast on Friday...

  • Super Eagles favourites to lift trophy

  • Back goals as they face Angola

  • DR Congo vs Guinea too close to call


Nigeria the new favourites

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations has been the underdogs' tournament and nothing shows this more plainly than the current odds in the outright market.

The top three sides (Senegal, Algeria, Morocco) in the pre-tournament outright betting - and, incredibly, seven of the original top 10 teams from the betting - have been knocked-out, leaving the field wide open as we enter the quarter-finals.

Nigeria are now the 15/82.88 favourites to be crowned champions, having been 10/111.00 seventh favourites before the tournament began. Behind the Super Eagles are hosts Ivory Coast (13/53.60), followed by Mali (11/26.50), DR Congo (10/111.00) and South Africa (11/112.00). Cape Verde (12/113.00), Guinea (14/115.00) and Angola (18/119.00) complete the list of the sides still left in the tournament.

Given how many upsets there have been on a match-by-match basis at the Africa Cup of Nations so far, the odds on top two Nigeria and Ivory Coast are too short to have any appeal. If anything, consider laying those two sides, although we prefer to leave the outright market alone.

Nigeria vs Angola - Fri, 17.00

High goals looks the smart bet as Nigeria take on Angola on Friday afternoon.

The 2023 Africa Cup of Nations has been higher-scoring than most people expected, and we see no reason why the trend should end here.

The group phase produced an average of 2.47 goals per game - and, contrary to some expectations, the high-scoring pattern has continued into the knockout phase.

The eight Last 16 games produced 17 goals, which is a lower average (2.12) per game than we saw in the group phase, but still higher than the Last 16 matches produced at the tournament two years ago.

Six of those eight Last 16 clashes featured two or more goals in 90 minutes. And six out of the eight games that these two sides have played at this tournament so far have had two or more goals, too.

Over 1.5 & 2.0 on the Goal Lines market is available at 1.84/5. With this selection, you'll make a profit if the game has two or more goals. This selection would have paid out on 31 of the 44 (70 per cent) Africa Cup of Nations games so far.

Back Over 1.5 & 2.0 on the Goal Line @ 1.84/5

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DR Congo vs Guinea - Fri, 20.00

The draw is our selection as these two sides go head-to-head in Abidjan on Friday night. DR Congo are 2.56/4 to win in 90 minutes, while Guinea are 3.65 and the Draw is 2.942/1.

It's hard to make a strong case for DR Congo winning in 90 minutes based on how the tournament's played out so far, because DR Congo have reached the quarter-finals without actually managing to win a game in 90 minutes.

They drew all three of their group matches, and then beat Egypt on the penalties in the Last 16 after a 1-1 draw at 90 minutes.

Underdogs Guinea went W1-D2-L0 through the group stage, and then beat Equatorial Guinea 1-0 in the Last 16 thanks to a Mohamed Bayo goal deep into injury-time. They're arguably too big to win here given their form.

We prefer the draw, however, simply because DR Congo have been so difficult to beat. The odds say there's roughly a 35 per cent chance of this game ending all square at 90 minutes. We think the chances of it ending in a stalemate are bigger than that.

If you're looking for Bet Builder selections on this match, consider Under 2.5 Goals. While the tournament may have been relatively high-scoring generally speaking, these two teams have contributed little to that trend. All eight games involving these two sides have featured Under 2.5 Goals, with three of their games jointly featuring Under 1.5 Goals.

Secondly, look at certain players to commit fouls. DR Congo's Gedeon Kalulu has committed 14 fouls in his four games so far, committing at least three fouls in each of those four matches. For Guinea, Aguibou Camara has committed four fouls in each of his side's past two matches.

Back the Draw @ 2.01/1

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Why not try this Bet Builder?

Back DR Congo vs Guinea Under 2.5 Goals, Either Side to Win on Penalties, Gedeon Kalulu to Commit 1 Or More Fouls, and Aguibou Camara to Commit 1 or More Fouls @ 5/16.00

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Recommended bets

James' AFCON P/L

Staked: 34pts
Returned: +29.94pts
P/L: -4.06pts

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