Africa World Cup Qualification – Matchday 2

Africa World Cup Qualification moves to Matchday 2, as the final phase of group stage will decide which five nations will represent CAF at the World Cup in 2018.

There are 20 nations left in the hunt for Russia, as five groups of four continue their qualification process that will eventually launch five group winners to the biggest stage the sport has to offer.

As we reveal the lines for the two matches from group A being played from November 11 – 13, we see Libya expected to get crushed at home against Tunisia. Even the handicap -1 line carries juice, so let’s show the lines for both matches in this group and discuss a play to utilize.

From there, we will transition through all five groups’ tables and matches, with lines and predictions for at least one match in each group.

Group A (After Round 1)

Congo DR – 3 Points
Tunisia – 3 Points
Guinea – 0 Points
Libya – 0 Points

Lybia vs Tunisia – November 11
3-Way 1×2 Lines:

Home: +600
Away: -225
Draw: +290

Handicap/Spread:
Lybia +1 +100
Tunisia -1 -120

Total 2.5:
Over +115
Under -135

____________________________

Guinea vs Congo DR – November 13
3-Way 1×2 Lines:

Home: +170
Away: +150
Draw: +210

Handicap/Spread:
Guinea 0/Pk +100
Congo DR -120

Total 2:
Over -110
Under -110

Congo DR handed Libya a 4 – 0 thrashing in the opening round of the final group stage, although most of that was due to a poor defensive approach from the Libya. Libya is expected to struggle in this group as the final round unfolds, and they are heavy underdogs at home on matchday 2.

In Congo DR’s 4 – 0 win, both of the experience front line men accounted for three of the four goals scored in the opening round against Libya. Dieumerci Mbokani and Ndombe Mubele have accumulated 36 and 32 international caps between them, respectively. Only midfielder Yannick Bolasie can say he has earned 30 caps among all the midfielders, although Chancel Mbemba sits on 28 showings of his own at only 22 years old.

Defender Issama Mpeko brings the most experience for his nation, with 45 appearances for Congo DR.

Congo DR is chasing their first World Cup appearance since the 1974 games, although most Congo fans would rather forget about the event altogether. Group stage resulted in three losses and a -14 goal differential. That was because they were outscored 14 – 0, which is, well, I think you can decipher how that went, and we’ll just move on.

For now, Congo DR has come out of the gate as the team to beat with the big 4 – 0 win over Libya, so can they follow it up and be one of five CAF teams in Russia?

We believe they can do just that, and there is a play to be made here with a reasonable line attached to it, with a safety net in place to boot.

The Congo Pk Draw no Bet action at -120 is pretty reasonable here, considering that Guinea is likely to be outclassed throughout this entire group stage.

A Draw no Bet, means just that, and if Guinea some how gets a result of any type, we will be shocked.
So invest in the -120 offer towards the Congo DR 0/Pk DNB, expecting to come away with at least a point here, and push the action, at worst.

Let’s move to group B and check out the table before we discuss the two matches taking place on November 12.

Group B (After Round 1)

Nigeria – 3 Points
Cameroon – 1 Point
Algeria – 1 Point
Zambia – 0 Points

Cameroon vs Zambia – November 12
3-Way 1×2 Lines:

Home: -170
Away: +450
Draw: +265

Handicap/Spread:
Cameroon -1 +115
Zambia +1 -135

Total 2:
Over -135
Under +115
___________________________

Nigeria vs Algeria – November 12
3-Way 1×2 Lines:

Home: +140
Away: +190
Draw: +215

Handicap/Spread:
Nigeria 0/Pk -135
Algeria 0/Pk +115

Total 2.5:
Over +135
Under -115

The one play that stands out here from the two matches on the board, actually comes in the form of an Asian Handicap line. The Over 2 & 2.5 AH line chimes in at -115 at most sites offering African World Cup Qualifying odds, and there is value there to be had.

Nigeria played Zambia to a 2 – 1 match to open group B play, and Algeria drew with Cameroon 1 – 1 in their first match in the round.  We have seen Algeria involved with so many high-scoring affairs dating back to the African Cup of Nations that was recently played, and we hope that carries over into the final stage of World Cup qualifying this week.

A 1 – 1 match would obviously result in only a half loss in this situation, but we project that third goal coming to cash the ticket outright. Safety nets are okay in certain situations, however, and at -115 that is a fair enough option to chase the Over 2 & 2.5 Asian Handicap offer from the line setters on matchday 2.

As we move to the matches being played in group C, Ivory Coast has early control of the group after a 3 – 1 win over Mali. A draw in the affair between Gabon and Morocco left each team with a point headed towards matchday 2, so let’s check out some lines, and offer a surprising play from one of the matches.

Group C – (After Round 1)

Côte d’Ivoire – 3 Points
Gabon – 1 Point
Morocco – 1 Point
Mali – 0 Points

Mali vs Gabon – November 12
3-Way 1×2 Lines:

Home: +105
Away: +230
Draw: +220

Handicap/Spread:
Mali -0.5 +105
Gabon +0.5 -125

Total 2.5:
Over -140
Under +120
_______________________________

Morocco vs Ivory Coast – November 12
3-Way 1×2 Lines:

Home: -105
Away: +260
Draw: +225

Handicap/Spread:
Morocco -0.5 -105
Ivory Coast +0.5 -115

Total 2:
Over -145
Under +125

Surprise play right? Coming to you now, because this one could raise an eyebrow of the pundits out there.

Mali at home, to take three points on the 1×2 line is offered at +105, and that is at least decent value on the home side there. Mali let an early lead completely disappear to Ivory Coast on matchday 1, scoring in the 18th minute, to only surrender three unanswered goals in the first half.

Let’s see if they can hold onto that lead this time, score first, and come through with three points at Stade 26 Mars.

Morocco has not beaten the Ivory Coast dating back to 1973 — 9 meetings ago — and to think that this squad is going to leave Morocco without a point seems to good to be true. To see a +0.5 line towards the Ivory Coast is certainly worth a suggestion from us here at GMS.

So we have two plays there in group C. The Mali 3-Way line to win outright at -105, and the +0.5 handicap on the Ivory Coast to, at worst, get some type of result to cash that ticket.

Let’s transition to group D, and there is a play here that again seems like a gift from the line setters. Here is the table after round 1, and the lines for the two matches from the group being played on November 12.

Group D – (After Round 1)

Senegal – 3 Points
South Africa – 1 Point
Burkina Faso – 1 Point
Cape Verde – 0 Points

South Africa vs Senegal – November 12
3-Way 1×2 Lines:

Home: +150
Away: +170
Draw: +200

Handicap/Spread:
S. Africa 0/Pk -110
Senegal 0/Pk -110

Total 2:
Over -125
Under +105
___________________________________

Cape Verde vs Burkina Faso – November 12
3-Way 1×2 Lines:

Home: +110
Away: +230
Draw: +205

Handicap/Spread:
C. Verde -0.5 +110
B. Faso +0.5 -130

Total 2:
Over -105
Under -105

The best play by far from these two contests, comes in on that total between South Africa and Senegal.

Does -125 concern you on a straight 2 for a total? Have you seen either of these two nations play football lately?

Even the Both Teams to Score Prop bet comes in at +110, and that too holds some value at that price.

Expect no less than a 1 – 1 match with South Africa and Senegal, and take the Over 2 at -125, along with the Both to Score option at +110.

Finally, group E has Egypt out in front early with three points from their 2 – 1 win over Congo. Ghana and Uganda played to a scoreless draw in the other match from the group, so let’s give you the table, and the lines being offered from both affairs.

Group E (After Round 1)

Egypt – 3 Points
Ghana – 1 Point
Uganda – 1 Point
Congo – 0 Points

Uganda vs Congo – November 12
3-Way 1×2 Lines:

Home: -110
Away: +300
Draw: +210

Handicap/Spread:
Ghana -0.5 -110
Uganda +0.5 -120

Total 2:
Over -120
Under +100
_____________________________

Egypt vs Ghana – November 13
3-Way 1×2 Lines:

Home: -105
Away: +255
Draw: +220

Handicap/Spread:
Egypt -0.5 -105
Ghana +0.5 -115

Total 2.5:
Over +110
Under -130

From all of the lines we see from these two matches, the Under 2 at Mandela National Stadium between Uganda and Congo sure seems tempting enough to make a play here.

Even if these two muster up a 1 – 1 result, that might be the best we will see. If we push that action and just walk away unscathed, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world.

Okay so let’s put a bow on this article, and sum up the plays being offered.

Congo DR 0/Pk DNB @ -120 vs Guinea

Nigeria vs Algeria Over 2 & 2.5 Handicap @ -115

Mali +105 3-Way 1×2 to Win over Gabon

Ivory Coast +0.5 Handicap Over @ -115

South Africa vs Senegal – Over 2 @ -125; Both to Score @ +110

Uganda vs Congo Under 2 @ +100

In Bocca Al Lupo, or wait, Good Luck…. well in this case I guess we should say Yoo dara o, and let’s see how things go down on matchday 2 around the landscape of African World Cup Qualifying.

About EJ the Rainmaker

EJ Garr has been a freelance sports writer and handicapper for more than 20 years. He appeared as a featured writer in Beckett's Magazine for the 2014 World Cup. An experienced radio host, he also lends his voice to the radio shows on the Sports Palooza Radio Network, which includes a weekly segment dedicated to the NY Cosmos.

About EJ the Rainmaker

EJ Garr has been a freelance sports writer and handicapper for more than 20 years. He appeared as a featured writer in Beckett's Magazine for the 2014 World Cup. An experienced radio host, he also lends his voice to the radio shows on the Sports Palooza Radio Network, which includes a weekly segment dedicated to the NY Cosmos.

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