- What: Morocco vs. Spain, 2022 FIFA World Cup - Knockout Stages (Round of 16)
- When: Monday, December 5, 2022, at 10:00 a.m. EST
- Where: Education City Stadium in Qatar
- How to watch: Peacock (ESP), Fox Sports (EN), Telemundo
After some stunning results in the group stages, Spain finished second place in their group behind Japan. That lines them up for a matchup against Morocco during the knockout stages, who were the surprise winners of their group. Despite dominating Costa Rica in their opening game, Spain went winless in its next two matches. Meanwhile, Morocco stunned Belgium and beat Canada to win their group. We're going to make some Spain vs. Morocco World Cup picks.
Before we dive into the Morocco vs. Spain betting action, make sure to take a look at our soccer betting guide in order to get all the tips and tricks you need. Additionally, take a look at our useful World Cup betting guide which has plenty of information.
Morocco vs. Spain Odds
|Morocco||+1 (-114)||+630||"O 2|
|Spain||-1 (-102)||-178||"U 2|
Heading into the matchup, Spain is considered the favorite to advance to the quarterfinals. Spain (-178) is expected to take care of business vs. Morocco (+630), and to do so in regulation. A draw is also unlikely at the end of 90 minutes, with the tie coming in at (+295) 0dds. The spread is leaning towards Morocco +1 at (-112) odds. The total score is set at "2, 2.5" goals, leaning toward the under (-114).
Morocco Best Bets
Morocco was the surprise winner of World Cup Group F, placing ahead of Croatia and helping to knock Belgium out in the group stages. Now, they'll face another difficult task in Spain. Morocco, despite their tremendous form in the group stages, is considered to be a major underdog against Spain. At (+630) odds to win the game in regulation, Morocco isn't expected to put up much of a fight.
Still, Morocco has been doubted all tournament long. Initially deemed a longshot to get out of the group stages, Morocco stunned Belgium, defeated Canada, and drew 0-0 with Croatia in order to emerge as group winners. Now, they'll look to once again use their underdog status to earn a surprise win over Spain, and there's reason to believe they can do just that.
Hakim Ziyech has been sensational at the World Cup. When in form, Ziyech is as dangerous a player as they come in the attacking third, whether he's setting up teammates or finishing off a jaw-dropping strike himself. He'll be critical as Morocco looks to deploy a counter-attacking strategy against Spain. While possession will be hard to come by, Spain lost to Japan despite having more than 80 percent possession in the game.
If Morocco is clinical with its counter-attacks and protects their next well like they have throughout the tournament, an upset could certainly be on the cards. Achraf Hakimi has cemented himself as one of the top fullbacks in the world through his play in Qatar on both ends of the pitch, so perhaps he and Ziyech can produce some magic for the Moroccans.
Spain Best Bets
After a sensational World Cup opener against Costa Rica, the Spanish team seemed to get complacent. Spain scored just two goals in its final two group-stage matches, despite having netted seven against Costa Rice in a lopsided affair. Things have been more difficult for Spain since then, as the team looks out of sync and is unable to finish off their chances in front of the goal. Despite 12 total shots against Japan, Spain only generated two "big chances," and only scored once.
They'll need to make more of their domination of the ball if they're going to reach the quarterfinals. While they aren't struggling to gain possession and control the pace of the game, they simply aren't turning that possession into enough quality chances. 82 percent possession should be more than enough to comfortably pick up a win, but a lethal Japan counter-attack and some disappointing build-up play saw Spain stunned on Thursday.
Still, even with Spain struggling to score, they've topped the match's projected total in every single World Cup game thus far. Spain will have a chip on its shoulder regarding its recent performance in the attacking third, and the team should look to apply more pressure when in possession. This game figures to be another in which Spain wins the midfield battle, so the real challenge for them will be making the most of their chances.
Because of that, I'm expecting Spain to be more clinical in front of the net and for this game to cruise past the over of 2, 2.5 goals. That's the pick for this one, Morocco vs. Spain over 2, 2.5 total goals (-102). Spain has proven to be capable of putting up goals in a hurry, and I'm expecting them to get back to that form during their clash vs. Morocco.
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