The world’s biggest football bonanza is about to kick off on Monday. Although the official opening game is Sunday the 20th, only host Qatar plays Ecuador that day, while the real action starts Monday with the likes of England, the Netherlands, and the USA all in action.
Let’s get into some soccer picks we are betting on matchday 2.
England vs. Iran
Monday, November 21, 2022 – 08:00 AM EST at Khalifa International Stadium
At -300 to win, England represents zero value. Iran will be a difficult opponent, and we wouldn’t write them off covering the +1.5 spread at -130 or even +1 at +130. If you’re bold enough to believe Iran can cause an upset here, then you can bet them at +900 with the best sportsbooks.
The sportsbooks are not expecting many goals in this matchup either, with the over 2.5 goals coming in as high as +150, which is almost unheard of these days in soccer.
It’s a matchup against a defensively solid team and a team that (although start studded) struggles to break the opposition down when not counter-attacking.
Iran will favor England to have the ball.
Pick and Prediction
We are targeting England’s over-corner line in this spot. Iran is expected to set up defensively and look to counter-attack. England should pile up the corners in this one, and we believe 7+ corners is very achievable for this English team in this spot at -105.
We wouldn’t put anybody off taking an English corners ladder all the way up to over 9.5 at +500. Even if the English score early, we don’t expect them to sit back and soak up pressure for 70+ minutes.
Best case scenario would be Iran scoring first, as the corners would have a much better possibility of hitting with England seeking two goals.
Mehdi Taremi to see a shot on target in this matchup is incredible value at +225, if anybody is going to be shooting for Iran, it’s this guy, and his international goalscorer record is quite impressive having scored 28 goals in 58 games.
Predicted Score: England 2 – Iran 0
World Cup Pick: England Over 6.5 Corners (-105) at Bet365
World Cup Pick: Mehdi Taremi 1+ Shot on Target (+235) at Unibet
Senegal vs. Netherlands
Monday, November 21, 2022 – 11:00 AM EST at Al Thumama Stadium
Senegal is without striker Sadio Mane and this is reflected in their current betting odds at +500 to beat the Netherlands, while the Dutch are priced up as -135 favorites with the tie coming in as +280.
There is a much more likely chance of seeing goals in this game than the England vs. Iran match, and the sportsbooks agree with +110 odds for over 2.5 match goals.
The Netherlands missed out on the 2018 World Cup after finishing 2nd and 3rd the previous two. Despite not being as strong these days, they do have a lot of team spirit, and Louis Van Gaal has their tactics in good shape.
Even without any star players, the Netherlands will be a team not many will want to face in the knockout phase of the World Cup.
Picks and Prediction
The Dutch team will have an added advantage over Senegal without star player Sadio Mane to cause as much threat down his wing, plus they have two of the best defenders in the Premier League in Virgil Van Dijk and Nathan Ake.
Although Van Dijk is having a cold spell these days, he is still a top world-class defender and is going to be key in how far this Netherlands team goes.
We believe they will win this opening game against a Senegal team who might struggle to find the back of the net more than once.
We expect the Dutch to have a lot of the ball here and Senegal has some incredible ball-winners on their team, with the likes of Kalidou Koulibaly, Idrissa Gueye and Cheikhou Kouyate. We are liking the Dutch to see 14+ free kicks at +100.
Predicted Score: Senegal 1 – Netherlands 2
World Cup Pick: Netherlands Win (-140) at BetRivers
World Cup Pick: Netherlands Over 13.5 Free Kicks (+100) at Bet365