Betting Picks For 2021 Africa Cup Of Nations
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Betting Picks For 2021 Africa Cup Of Nations

After two different postponements, the 2021 Cup of Nations is finally happening — right now in 2022. With the African tourney underway, we're previewing the event from a betting angle. Read on if you want free betting picks for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations!

The "World Cup of Africa", as it's called, began on January 9 and runs through February 6 — all inside the host nation, Cameroon. Soccer betting lines to win the tourney are out and here are the top countries favored to take the title.

2021 Africa Cup of Nations Preview

Technically speaking, the tournament has already begun so this is less a Cup of Nations preview and more of a what's already happened. The 24 qualified teams are currently duking it out in six groups (four teams in each). That's a change from year's past when only 16 teams participated in the event.

Each group goes through a round-robin format with three matches for each. The top two point-getters in each of the six groups automatically qualify for the knockout stage. But so does the top four third-place teams. So in total, 16 of the 24 teams (exactly 66.6%) will advance to the elimination tournament. From there, it's win-or-go-home format until a champion is crowned.

Inevitably, teams will finish tied in points once the group stage is completed. Per usual with soccer tourneys, tiebreakers are as follows — goal difference, goals scored, and if needed, disciplinary points. But the tricky part is in the group stage, these tiebreakers are applied in head-to-head matchups of the tied teams only, which is not the case with third-place rankings since those countries didn't play one another.

On a usual basis, the Cup of Nations is played once every two years. But due to postponements, there's been a larger gap between this year's event and the last one. Taking place in the summer of 2019, Algeria beat Senegal 1-0 to become "kings of Africa." Knowing this, it should be of no surprise why both are the two betting favorites right now, per the most-used Canada sportsbooks

2021 Africa Cup of Nations Betting Picks

In a field of 24 teams, you almost have to make multiple futures bets when picking an outright tourney winner. But in a field of 24 teams with the threat of COVID-19 looming, you MUST make at least two bets. An infection, or worse, an outbreak can derail a team's chances before they even step on the pitch. Therefore, here are our two different 2021 Africa Cup of Nations betting picks:


Simply put, no one has the more loaded roster than Senegal. Its starting 11 is dotted with talent in the big European leagues. And even more, the Lions of Teranga might have the single best player in all of the continent — Sadio Mane of Liverpool (though, his club teammate, Mo Salah of Egypt, might disagree with that statement).

Of course, the knock on Senegal is they've lacked international success for almost its entire history. They've finished runner-ups twice at this event but still haven't won it. The country has also qualified for the World Cup a meager two times with all of three wins to show for it. 

But that was then and this is now: Senegal is the real deal. Behind the game-changing abilities of Mane, we expect Senegal to be the team to bet in Cameroon. Bet on them with confidence to win its first-ever Cup of Nations. 

Senegal to win 2021 Cup of Nations
Sports Interaction

Ivory Coast

Some bettors are of the belief that the Ivory Coast's "window of opportunity" has closed. We are not one of those bettors. Sure, the Ivory Coast last won this tourney in 2015 and some of its former greats like Didier Drogba and Yaya Toure are long goners, but this team is still riddled with talent, including multiple that are or did play in the English Premier League.

At a rather long 9.00 betting line, we love the "bang for your buck" that Ivory Coast provides. Paired with a bet on Senegal, you're getting the "best of both worlds" from a betting line perspective. 

Ivory Coast to win 2021 Cup of Nations
Sports Interaction

How To Bet The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations?

Between all the group stage and knockout games, bettors will have a never-ending menu of bets to make on the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations from now until the championship game on February 6. If you want in on the fun — which c'mon, you must if you've read this far — then visit one of the Canadian bookmakers we've listed in the table underneath.

Heck, your bets could also be free-of-cost with a sportsbook bonus that pays in free play. Almost every site offers a bonus and some of the best ones are detailed underneath. As you can see, hundreds of dollars in free play are there for the taking. To claim your free play, click one of the "get bonused" buttons below!