The 2022 FIFA World Cup semifinals are set, and the first pairing to take the pitch will include one team that expected to be here and another that’s surprised just about everybody by making it this far. Tuesday’s match between Argentina and Croatia will determine which team meets the winner of France vs. Morocco in the final.
It makes for an intriguing game between one of the tournament’s early favorites and a capable underdog that got here by eliminating the top team in the world during the quarterfinal round. Read on for a look at the best World Cup odds on Argentina vs. Croatia.
World Cup Semifinal Odds
Argentina vs. Croatia, Tuesday, 2 p.m. ET
- Moneyline (Regular Time): Argentina (), Croatia ()
- Spread: Argentina (), Croatia ()
The Argentine squad captained by Lionel Messi, in what’s likely to be his final World Cup, always expected to make it this far. It probably also expected that it would have to tangle with tournament favorite and South American rival Brazil once it got here. That problem was solved by Croatia’s upset victory in penalty kicks during the quarterfinal round, and now Argentina has to avoid making the same mistakes the Brazilian side did against this deceptively capable underdog.
For 90 minutes, Brazil played Croatia as if it was certain that the breakthrough goal would materialize at any minute. It never did, not until extra time, and then Croatia struck back by capitalizing on one of its few shots on goal in the waning minutes. One thing this Croatian team has learned is that it has a good shot against any team in a low-scoring affair. If you take out the 4-1 victory against a Canadian team that was lucky just to qualify, Croatia has made it all the way to the semis on the strength of just one goal scored in regulation time. The last two of its victories came in penalty kicks, where goalkeeper Dominik Livakovic has been the clutch performer.
Argentina has the superior offensive firepower here. Take your eyes off Messi even for an instant and the ball could be in the back of your net. And, as he proved in the quarterfinal win over the Netherlands, he’s also capable of brilliant passes to set up his teammates in great scoring position. Croatia will want to make this a defensive battle, and if it can go into halftime with a scoreless game on its hands it will probably consider that a successful game plan in action. The big question is whether Croatia has the ability to get back in the game if it falls behind early.
One variable that is in Croatia’s favor is overall roster availability. Argentina will be missing two players due to yellow card accumulation. It also has a couple players hampered by injury, while Croatia isn’t missing anyone headed into this match.
Other Betting Options for Argentina vs. Croatia
First half total
Neither of these teams have been particularly fast starters, and oddsmakers aren’t exactly expecting an offensive explosion in the first 45 minutes of play, with the total currently at for the first half.
Odds to score the first goal
Oddsmakers seem to like Argentina’s chances to get on the board first, and Messi is the clear favorite to draw first blood in this match at odds. Lautaro Martinez isn’t too far behind, with the line currently at .
Odds on both teams to score
With a low-scoring game expected, oddsmakers aren’t necessarily convinced that both teams will get at least one goal in this match. If it’s Argentina that strikes first, Croatia will have to abandon its normally defensive approach and press hard for an equalizer. That’s also when the potent Argentine counter-attack can capitalize.