This article is part of our World Cup series.
There's not much to separate Argentina and France, and that's how finals should be. While the odds may change by the hour, both teams were -110 to win the World Cup at the time of writing at DraftKings.
World Cup Best Bets for Argentina versus France
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You could argue that France are the better overall team and you'd probably win that argument. Outside of Lionel Messi, it's reasonable to suggest that France are equal or better at every other position on the pitch. The key part to that statement is "outside of Messi" because he makes Argentina. If you stop Messi, you can stop Argentina. Famous last words.
I think Argentina fell into something last match and it's a wonder if they'll take that same approach. All three of their goals against Croatia were off the counterattack with Julian Alvarez running past defenders or Messi dribbling past defenders. I believe that was the peak of Argentina in this tournament, as they've shown numerous times that scoring isn't guaranteed even with possession. While they did enough to get past the likes of Poland and Australia with possession, France present a different problem.
France are kind of what Argentina want to be because they don't care about possession and are fine defending until they can get Kylian Mbappe or Ousmane Dembele running on the wings. They're also better built to send crosses in with Olivier Giroud sitting at the top of the attack.
So how will this match go if neither team wants the ball? There should be goals. The odds point to a low-scoring match, which is normal for World Cup finals. In five of the last 10 finals, there has been one goal or fewer. Teams tend to play more tentative because they don't want to allow that first goal.
For most of the tournament, that's exactly how Argentina have played. They possessed the ball and didn't open themselves up to big opportunities on the counter. They gave up .15 expected goals to Saudi Arabia, .27 to Mexico, .32 to Poland, .59 to Australia, .55 to Netherlands and .52 to Croatia.
Of course, none of those teams had Mbappe or Dembele or Giroud or Antoine Griezmann. According to the odds, Argentina will suffocate this match as under 2.5 goals is -180 with 'No' on both teams to score at -120. If you think that'll happen, take the -120.
However, I see things a little differently. This is easily the best attack Argentina have faced and they won't have as easy of a time defending. At 34 years old, Nicolas Otamendi seems like the weak link at center-back, and it's hard to see he or Cristian Romero dealing with the speed of Mbappe on the counter.
Unless Argentina start strong against what was an illness-hampered back line 48 hours before the match, I think France get the first goal at -105. If that happens in the first half, this match will open up, though I don't think Argentina will put too many bodies forward to go down more than a goal early, making 1-0 France at +295 in the first half a good look, as well.
Yet, Argentina will score. Messi will not be denied in his final World Cup match. France gave up at least one goal in their first five matches and probably should've allowed one to Morocco. Messi and company will get opportunities, especially if France are sitting back with a 1-0 lead, similar to their match against England.
And that France-England match is what I think is most comparable for this game. There will be opportunities for both teams and Argentina will probably get more of them. France will convert one or two times but won't have an overwhelming amount of shots. If I could bet under on number of shots for some of these French guys, I'd do it (check out PrizePicks).
On the other side of that, you can grab Alexis Mac Allister +170, Enzo Fernandez +175 or Rodrigo De Paul +200 to have at least two shots. Unless Argentina score first, I could see two of those guys hitting that number.
But because I think there will be goals, my main plays will be on over 2.5 goals at +145 and both teams to score at -105. Both teams to score no draw is intriguing at +230 and it's the bet that hit in the England match.
Both teams seem to be at their best on the counter and at club level, that usually means goals. Things are a little different in a World Cup final, but given France's experience, I think they'll steal a goal early to open things up.
If you really want to pick a side, I think France are the better team but Messi's magic will win out in the end.
World Cup Final Betting Picks Argentina vs. France
- France to score the first goal -105
- Over 2.5 goals +145
- Both teams to score -105
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