Soccer Picks: Senegal vs. Ivory Coast World Cup Playoffs

Nila Amerova

Wednesday, November 13, 2013 10:40 PM UTC

Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2013 10:40 PM UTC

Senegal and Ivory Coast are set to collide in World Cup playoffs as the second leg of their tilt gets underway. Find out where the value soccer picks are to be had.

Betting on the winner

Senegal have a mountain to climb if they hope to rubber stamp an invitation to Brazil next year for the World Cup. Given the monumental task before them: to take down a Didier-Drogba-inspired Ivory Coast. One would expect the soccer odds to be stacked heavily against them, in the quadruple digits as they are on Ethiopia for example, who are tasked with a somewhat similar prospect against Nigeria.

This notion gains added momentum given the fact Senegal will not be enjoying home advantage in the second leg, as is the normal case in such ties. The country unfortunately was banned from playing at home following riots that broke out during an African Cup of Nations clash with (ironically) the Ivorians, who at the time were leading 6-2 before the game was forced to stop. Instead they will host Ivory Coast on neutral ground in Casablanca, Morocco, thereby losing any intangible benefits of a home atmosphere.

Yet, despite all that, the odds aren’t stacked exceedingly against Senegal. Of course, Senegal are listed as the underdogs. But at a reasonable price of +375 to win outright at Bet365 they aren’t priced out of the market exactly.

This soccer betting market outlook is down to two main facts: a) Ivory Coast will be playing on the away as well in the return leg of their playoffs tie and b) Senegal have the small advantage of an away goal in the first leg – a lifeline that could prove to be deciding if Senegal wins the second leg and keeps the star-studded Ivorians off the score sheet altogether.

So can Senegal build on those two key advantages to crush Ivory Coast’s dream of Brazil? Yes, they can. So French Coach Alain Giresse seems to think so as well regardless of what soccer odds makers believe. After all, form in qualifying was quite positive as Senegal finished top of Group J with an undefeated 3-3-0 mark to earn a spot in the playoffs. Moreover, they were solid from top to bottom, getting the job done by scoring nine and allowing only four against over the span of the six games.

Beating Ivory Coast is easier said than done however. Not for nothing are they listed at Bet365 as the hot favourites at -150 to win outright on the road. They are the strongest nation in African football right now, boasting some of the most notable talent in the game. As well, it’s hard to look past the healthy advantage they take into this game that puts them into pole position for Brazil.

Ivory Coast claimed an undefeated 4-2-0 mark in group action to win Group C and earn a spot opposite Senegal in the playoffs. Where Ivory Coast dominated was on offense, scoring 15 goals and conceding just five in six games. A taste of which Senegal already enjoyed in the first leg with both Didier Drogba and Salomon Kalou scoring. (The third goal that gave the Elephants the commanding lead unfortunately was an own goal by Lamine Sane.)


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Soccer Betting Verdict: Ivory Coast came through for soccer bettors in the first leg on their hefty odds to win outright and stand on the verge of completing the job at the weekend. More likely than not they will come through yet again despite what we expect will be a commendable rally by Senegal. That’s why we’re plumping down to the favourable soccer odds of -150 to win outright on Ivory Coast at Bet365. A soccer pick that we feel will gain value with a complimentary bonus soccer pick on the Over 2.5 at +100.

Soccer Free Picks: Ivory Coast to win outright at -150

Bonus Free Picks:  Over 2.5 at +100
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