African Cup of Nations 2013

Didier Drogba

 

The highest competition in African Football is upon us.  16 African nations will battle it out to see who are not only champions of Africa, but also will attend the 2013 Confederations Cup in Brazil this June.  With more at stake this go around, things are more likely to be hotly contested.

One place to find value is in the future champion of the Cup of Nations.  Here is currently where the 16 participants stand in the current Crotistics rankings with South Africa being the host nation factored in:

Rank Team Predictor Odds Group
11 Côte d’Ivoire 97.65 +180 D
38 Ghana 95.77 +650 B
42 Algeria 95.51 +1600 D
53 Tunisia 95.19 +2000 D
58 Mali 94.92 +1600 B
59 Nigeria 94.86 +960 C
65 Angola 94.71 +4600 A
69 South Africa 94.59 +910 A
79 Zambia 94.37 +1500 C
85 Morocco 94.16 +1600 A
102 Cape Verde Islands 93.56 +6700 A
104 Congo DR 93.45 +6700 B
117 Togo 93.14 +7000 D
126 Burkina Faso 92.85 +5100 C
141 Ethiopia 92.50 +20000 C
146 Niger 92.40 +17000 B

 
What can we gather from these numbers?

1. Ivory Coast should win the entire tournament.  At +180, this is a fantastic bet.  If the Ivory Coast makes the finals, they will certainly be a massive favorite to win it, and holding this futures ticket, you can bet the other team +0.5 or higher to possibly cash in on two wagers and not just one.  Ivory Coast plays all 3 of their group games in Rustenburg, and if they win the group, their quarterfinal game will also be in Rustenburg.  This is a big advantage.  Don’t be scared of the strength in Group D.

2. South Africa, despite hosting the tournament, seems unlikely to win.  Their group is very close, and things could easily not go their way.  At only +910, this is not a wise decision.

3. If you’re looking for a longshot, look at either Mali or Angola.  At 16 to 1, I like Mali because they shouldn’t have a problem advancing to the quarterfinals.  Additionally, since Group A is rather weak, they also have a good shot at advancing to the semifinals.  At +1600 this is pretty good value.  I also like Angola at 46 to 1.  Given these rankings, if everything goes as planned, Angola would actually meet Mali in the quarterfinals.  If this happens, and you bet Mali and Angola, you would be guaranteed to have a semifinal squad with great odds.

Out of these futures, I would take Ivory Coast, Mali and Angola.  There is a very realistic possibility that Ivory Coast could meet one of the other two teams in the finals.  Regardless, your best bet is to go with the deserved favorite of the tournament.

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