Africa Cup of Nations 2024 Betting Tips

AFCON 2024 Tournament Predictions

This weekend the 34th edition of the Africa Cup of Nations kicks off with Senegal slight favourites in the football betting odds to retain the crown they won on penalties two years ago. 

Elsewhere, there are a plethora of other superbly put together sides in the running. Indeed, this is as open a field as can possibly be hoped for, with at least six nations serious contenders, and another three far too good to be considered outsiders. 

Before we break down the stand-out candidates, however, some admin is necessary, to explain why this tournament is being held in January, when originally it was scheduled for last June.

In recent months it has become the norm for AFCON to coincide with summer months in the northern hemisphere, with powerful European clubs finally getting their way about no longer losing their star players mid-season.

So it was that this competition was supposed to take place in the Ivory Coast six months ago.

Only then, an especially bad rainy season was anticipated, meaning the tournament was postponed until now. This has resulted in AFCON 2023 confusingly being held at the start of 2024.

It also means that over the next couple of weeks, stretching to four weeks for the most successful teams, Premier League clubs will be without 31 of their players, as much, or as little, as that matters.

But back to those favourites, from which Senegal have a slight edge having won AFCON last time around and furthermore reached the final in 2019. 

Football Prediction tips at 888sport

With long-standing coach Aliou Cisse at the helm, the Lions of Teranga will no doubt be deployed in a 4-3-3 set-up, a formation that has served them very well in recent years.

At the back Kalidou Koulibaly and Moussa Niakhate are rock-solid, the latter so often outstanding for Nottingham Forest this term. In midfield the vast experience of Idrissa Gueye compliments the energy of Tottenham’s Pape Matar Sarr.

Up front, meanwhile, the nation that exited last winter’s World Cup courtesy of England in the last 16, arguably possess the most formidable array of attacking options. 

Sadio Mane’s attributes need little introduction. Alongside the former Liverpool ace, Nicolas Jackson has started to prove his worth at Chelsea with seven goal involvements in his last nine club starts.

There are goals in this team and perhaps the only negative concerning their prospects is a tough group pairing with Cameroon.

Five times winners of the tournament, the Indomitable Lions certainly head to South-West Africa accompanied by high expectations with Cameroonian journalists insisting this is their time to atone after falling short in 2021, finishing third despite hosting the event. 

With Vincent Aboubaker – scorer of 37 goals in 98 international appearances – and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting in their ranks, Cameroon are a match for anybody, but 12 months of poor form is naturally a worry, a litany of draws and losses not helped by Rigobert Song failing to settle on his strongest eleven. 

Besides, Group C also contains Gambia, the surprise package last time who are more than capable of offering up an upset or two.

Their football may be pragmatic, bordering on the boring, but conversely goals – both for and against - follow Tom Saintfiet's team around with welcome regularity. 

Calculator for bets

In Group F, Morocco should progress with ease, and moreover Walid Regragui’s men are strongly fancied in the sports betting to at least reach the last four having done precisely this against all odds in Qatar.

There is an irony to this thinking in that the Atlas Lions have yet to reach a semi-final at AFCON in nine times of trying but with a defence featuring Achraf Hakimi, Nayef Aguerd and Romain Saiss you can see the logic. 

And going forward, Hakim Ziyech can always be relied upon to pull off something spectacular on the biggest stage.

Egypt too are widely tipped to prevail and understandably so given their fantastic track record at AFCON.

The Mo Salah-inspired Pharaohs have finished runner-up in two of the last three tournaments but ominously have enjoyed an imperious 2023, losing only once. 

Lastly, there is Ivory Coast to consider, winners of AFCON in 2015. No host nation has triumphed for nearly two decades but when a country has so many attacking options they can afford to omit Wilfried Zaha they have to be taken very seriously. 

Midfielder Frank Kessie is their player to watch, the ex-Milan star excelling in Saudi Arabia, and as for team form the Elephants have scored a remarkable 16 times in their last three outings. 

Senegal are the team to beat. The Ivory Cast may just be the team to beat them. 

*Credit for all of the photos in this article belongs to Alamy*

Stephen Tudor is a freelance football writer and sports enthusiast who only knows slightly less about the beautiful game than you do.

A contributor to FourFourTwo and Forbes, he is a Manchester City fan who was taken to Maine Road as a child because his grandad predicted they would one day be good.