Africa Cup of Nations

Africa Cup of Nations Semi-Finals Tips: Five bets from evens to 6/1

Brentford and DR Congo striker Yoane Wissa
Yoane Wissa will be a key man for DR Congo

James Eastham reveals the best bets for the Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals which both take place on Wednesday...

  • Back the Draw in both matches

  • High goals the smart selection

  • Yoane Wissa will be DR Congo's danger man

Nigeria v South Africa - Wed, 17.00

Will there be more shocks in store as we enter the semi-final phase of the Africa Cup of Nations? We think so.

This has been a tournament where the underdogs have done far, far better than expected - and we see no reason why that will change just because we've hit the last-four stage.

Nigeria are 1.635/8 to win in 90 minutes in their semi-final against South Africa on Wednesday. South Africa are 8.07/1, while the Draw is 3.613/5.

The Super Eagles are the tournament favourites now: they're 1/12.00 to lift the trophy, followed by hosts Ivory Coast at 15/82.88, then DR Congo (11/26.50) and South Africa (15/28.50).

Although underdogs have made it a long way at these finals, the favourites have fared far better on a match-by-match basis since the group phase ended.

In 90 minutes, favourites have won seven of the 12 knockout games so far. Four have ended in draws, with the underdogs winning just once in 90 minutes (that was a South Africa win, against Morocco, which may bode well for the underdogs here).

Even though favourites have finally found their rhythm, we've no interest in backing Nigeria here. They may have improved as the tournament has gone on - they've won their two knockout phase games to nil, for example - but their price is still too short for us.

The draw is where we prefer to focus our attention. If you'd backed the 90-minute draw in all 12 of the knockout games so far, you'd have emerged with a small profit.

And, historically, the draw is by far the most common 90-minute result in Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals. Eight of the last 20 semi-finals have ended in 90-minute draws, with at least one of the two semi-finals at seven of the last 10 runnings of this tournament ending in a stalemate.

Our strategy is to back both semi-finals to be level after 90 minutes. You need only one of the two games to end in a draw after 90 minutes to make a profit.

Back Nigeria vs South Africa Draw @ 3.613/5

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Ivory Coast v DR Congo - Wed, 20.00

Host nation Ivory Coast are 2.245/4 to win in 90 minutes, with DR Congo 4.3100/30 and the Draw 3.02/1. As mentioned above, our strategy is to back both of the semi-finals to be 90-minute draws.

If you were looking to back one or other of the teams to win, however, DR Congo would be our selection. Ivory Coast may have home advantage, but DR Congo have been the more effective of the two sides during the tournament so far.

They may also be peaking at the right time. After struggling for goals during the group phase, DR Congo have found their form in the final third, beating Guinea 3-1 in their last match. They'll head into this game full of confidence after that comprehensive quarter-final victory.

Ivory Coast continue to squeak through. After beating holders Senegal on penalties in the Last 16, they beat Mali with a goal late in extra-time in the quarter-finals.

For all the home fans' excitement about the Elephants' plodding progress, the fact remains that Ivory Coast have failed to win in 90 minutes since their opening match (2-0) vs Guinea Bissau (their overall record W1-D2-L2). So, if you don't like our 'back the draw' strategy, we suggest you support DR Congo And Draw on the Double Chance market at 4/61.67.

Our other semi-finals strategy is to back high goals. Africa Cup of Nations semi-finals are generally higher scoring than you might think.

Across the last 10 tournaments, the 20 semi-finals have produced an average of 2.5 goals a game in 90 minutes. The 10 semi-finals at the last five tournaments have produced an average of 2.5 goals a game as well, so the goals trend is stable.

Nine of the last 20 semi-finals have had Over 2.5 Goals in 90 minutes. At least one semi-final in eight of the last 10 tournaments has featured Over 2.5 Goals. And, significantly, 14 of the last 20 semi-finals have have had two or more goals.

If you'd backed Over 2.0 on the Goal Lines market at current prices in all semi-finals across the last 10 Africa Cup of Nations tournaments, you'd have lost just once, had your stakes returned once, and made a profit eight times.

We recommend you back Over 2.0 on the Goal Lines market on both the Nigeria vs South Africa and Ivory Coast vs DR Congo matches.

Back Ivory Coast vs DR Congo Over 2.0 on the Goal Lines market @ 2.26/5

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And why not try this Bet Builder?

Back DR Congo And Draw on the Double Chance market and Yoane Wissa in the Player to Score market at just under 6/17.00

Bet now

Now Read FA Cup Fourth Round Replay Tips: Five bets for Tuesday and Wednesday's games

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James' AFCON P/L

Staked: 38pts
Returned: +31.44pts
P/L: -6.56pts


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