- What: Croatia vs. Belgium, 2022 FIFA World Cup - Group F
- When: Thursday, December 1, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. EST
- Where: Ahmed bin Ali Stadium in Qatar
- How to watch: Peacock (ESP), Fox Sports (EN), Telemundo
Croatia and Belgium are set to square off in a Group F World Cup matchup on Thursday as the calendar turns to December. Croatia is the current leader of Group F, having collected four points through their first two matches, while Belgium has struggled in the opening round, with three points to show for their first two games. Canada is already knocked out of the tournament, meaning Belgium, Croatia, and Morocco are fighting for the final two spots.
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Croatia vs. Belgium Odds
|Croatia||0.0 (-112)||+160||O2.5 (+102)|
|Belgium||0.0 (-108)||+165||U2.5 (-122|
Heading into Thursday's showdown, the two pre-tournament group favorites don't have much separating them. Croatia is considered slight favorites with (+160) odds to win, compared to that of Belgium at (+165). The draw comes in with (+245) odds and is also an intriguing option for bettors. As for the goal total, the game is set at a total of 2.5 goals, leaning towards the under at (-122).
Croatia Best Bets
After a scoreless draw against Morocco in their first game of the tournament, Croatia responded with a resounding 4-1 win against Canada. They'll now look to face what, on paper, is their toughest task of the tournament thus far in Belgium. Fortunately for Croatia, the Belgian squad does not look like all it was touted to be, having underperformed in each of its first two games.
Croatia is slightly favored in this game, and after a sensational second half against Canada, they'll be feeling confident heading into the matchup vs. Belgium. While Canada got on the board with a second-minute goal from Alphonso Davies, Croatia rebounded with four straight goals to send the Canadians out of the tournament.
Belgium's defense looked flimsy against Morocco, especially in the second half, something the Croatian side will aim to exploit. After a dominant performance from Luka Modric and Mateo Kovacic in the midfield last time out, the Croatian midfield duo will look to repeat with another strong game against Belgium. If they can win the midfield battle, Belgium will be in control of the game and will better be able to dictate the outcome.
In short, I expect the Croatians to deliver a win against Belgium. The Belgian squad doesn't appear confident, and they also seem to be experiencing some inner turmoil after Kevin De Bruyne indicated the team was "too old" to win the World Cup. Croatia will not be plagued with that type of self-doubt, and I expect them to have the confidence to secure a win. I'm backing Croatia Money Line at (+160).
Belgium Best Bets
The Belgium squad that was ranked as the No. 2 team heading into the World Cup looks in complete disarray. After a humiliating 2-0 defeat against Morocco, a draw or loss against Croatia would be disastrous for their hopes of advancing to the knockout stages.
Belgium was held goalless against Morocco and only put up one goal in their 1-0 victory over Canada in their first game. Neither were convincing performances from the squad, despite the disparity in star talent. Now, with their backs against the wall, Belgium is clearly lacking confidence and has to face arguably the best team in their group. With Croatia coming off a four-goal outing against Canada, the Belgian defense may have their hands full.
While Croatia will have plenty of offensive hubris, the Belgians will be desperate to improve their goalscoring tally. With just one goal through their first two games, Belgium has fallen far short of expectations, but getting some shots past Dominik Livakovic could give their fans a reason to celebrate. If they can break the deadlock earlier, they can find some much-needed confidence in their attacking play.
There hasn't been a ton of goals at this World Cup, but with advancement to the knockout stages on the line, I think both offenses will look to come out firing. Neither team will be content with a draw, particularly not the Belgians, so I'm expecting that attacking mentality to hold up throughout the match. Because of that, the first bet I'm targeting in this game is the Total Goals OVER 2.5 (+102).
In addition to the game's over, I'm going to double down on the thought process that both teams will be active in front of goal, taking the bet of Both Teams to Score at (-128). While this bet has only hit once through the first four games combined for both teams, there's going to be a different level of desperation when it comes to finding an end product on Thursday.
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