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2021 Africa Cup of Nations Betting Tips, Predictions & Ultimate Guide

Brett Curtis /
AFCON

The 2021 Africa Cup of Nations gets underway on Sunday 9th January 2022, with Cameroon hosting the tournament for the first time since 1972. Here at BettingPro.com we will keep you updated with all the best betting tips, predictions and offers on the competition, while providing a thorough overview of the format and teams competing within it.

2021 Africa Cup of Nations Betting Tips

Despite being viewed as a distraction to the traditional footballing calendar by many Europeans, AFCON is a great international tournament in its own right, featuring some of the world’s finest players. Here at BettingPro.com we will look to provide you with at least one betting tip per day, which you will find here on this page when the tournament starts, allowing you to win some money and enjoy the games simultaneously.

It’s the final! Ultimately Liverpool’s star attackers Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah have played huge roles in helping Senegal and Egypt respectively through to the last game of the tournament, with the two great African nations set to go head-to-head once again in March for a place at the Qatar World Cup later this year. We expect a tight, cagey game, which would be fitting of the competition as a whole given the lack of goal-mouth action at times. Penalties loom.

Our 2021 Africa Cup of Nations Betting Offers

Keep checking this page for AFCON tips and special offers. We will provide you with the most enticing offers to help you keep your fingers on the pulse and enjoy all the action.

You can also find our daily accumulators section here, which will likely feature plenty of AFCON tips throughout the tournament. Our tips section will also likely feature plenty of AFCON coverage throughout the tournament.

Africa Cup of Nations Trends and Betting Insight

11 of the 32 AFCON winners in the tournament’s history have been the host nation that year, suggesting there is more than a 33% chance that Cameroon will lift the trophy for a sixth time this year. However, the last host nation to win the tournament was Egypt in 2006, with seven nations winning away from home soil since then.

Clearly, then, home advantage is not what it once was. There are probably a range of reasons for this: more teams take part in AFCON than ever before, refereeing standards are likely to be higher (and therefore less subject to bias/pressure), pitches have improved, and less historically successful teams have hosted in recent years, such as Angola, Gabon and Equatorial Guinea.

It still plays a part, though, of course, with the bookmakers recognising this by installing Cameroon as fifth favourites in most places. The Indomitable Lions still have some decent players but they are not what they once were and will likely require a huge slice of luck and plenty of vociferous support to go all of the way this year.

Generally speaking, as with any tournament, it pays to research the teams’ strength of squads and their route to the final when assessing the most likely winner of AFCON, which we will hopefully help you evaluate in our guide.

Africa Cup of Nations Defending Champions

Egypt’s triumph in 2010 was also the last time a defending champion retained AFCON, with Cameroon (2002) and Ghana (1965) the only other two nations to achieve this feat in the tournament’s history.

Algeria head to Cameroon as defending champions after beating Senegal 1-0 in Egypt three years ago, suggesting they will have an extremely tough task on their hands to defend their title despite being second favourites with most bookmakers.

Senegal, who are my tip for the title this year, are regarded as the favourites with most bookmakers, but they will be aiming to become only the second nation after Cameroon in 1988 to go from runners-up to winners at the very next tournament.

What Are The Best Africa Cup of Nations Betting Markets?

Who will win 2021 Africa Cup of Nations?

As mentioned, the 2019 finalists Algeria and Senegal lead the betting market with most bookmakers, and it is easy to see why. Senegal, who have never won AFCON despite twice reaching the final, are arguably the only nation with world-class individuals in each band of the pitch, with Chelsea’s Edouard Mendy, Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly, Paris Saint-Germain’s Idrissa Gueye and Liverpool’s Sadio Mane more than capable of leading The Lions of Teranga to glory.

Senegal are also the highest-ranked African nation (20th in the world), with north African outfits Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia all lagging behind in 28th, 29th and 30th respectively, suggesting there may be a bit of a gap in quality.

However, these nations tend to have stronger defensive organisation and discipline, which can prove particularly crucial at tournaments as they can often be low-scoring and nervy in nature due to the amount at stake. With Algeria boasting Riyad Mahrez and Egypt Mohamed Salah in attack, it would be foolish to rule them out even if Senegal do look to have greater individual quality across the pitch.

One other nation who can definitely go all of the way are Ivory Coast. Most of their Golden Generation finally led them to glory via a penalty shoot-out against Ghana in 2015 and have since retired, but there is still plenty of talent within The Elephants’ ranks, including the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Sebastien Haller and Franck Kessie.

Who will be the Top Goalscorer at 2021 Africa Cup of Nations?

There will be some superb attacking talent on display at this year’s AFCON, with the Premier League’s top goalscorer Mohamed Salah arguably the most in-form player in world football. As such, it is no surprise to see Salah installed as the bookmakers’ favourite to score more goals than any other player at AFCON.

There are some main factors to always consider when evaluating your prediction for top goalscorer at a tournament:

  1. How highly do you rate the player?
  2. Does he take penalties?
  3. Is the team built around him, or do they share the goals around?
  4. How long do you expect his nation to last at the tournament?
  5. Does his nation have an easy group where he could rack up some ‘easier’ goals?

Salah certainly ticks the boxes for 1, 2 and 3. Egypt are far from the most talented side across the board at this year’s AFCON, with Salah largely carrying the hopes of a nation on his shoulders. Whether he ticks boxes 4 and 5 then, is up for debate, as it would be no surprise to see the Pharaohs knocked out at the first knockout stage having been paired with Nigeria in Group D.

With Senegal tipped by many (myself included) to stay the course, then, it could instead pay to look towards Salah’s club team-mate Sadio Mane at bigger odds. Both often take penalties for their country and head to AFCON in fine form having both scored in their last games for their club.

Likewise, Ivory Coast’s Sebastien Haller scored more goals than any other player during the Champions League group stage, and should receive plenty of service from the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Nicolas Pepe.

Since the turn of the century, no player has ever scored more than five goals at a single AFCON tournament, with Shaun Bartlett, Samuel Eto’o (twice), Mohamed Nagy and Odion Ighalo all winning the top goalscorer award outright when scoring this amount. It may only take three or four goals to share the award.

2021 Africa Cup of Nations Betting Tips FAQ

How does the format work at 2021 Africa Cup of Nations?

24 nations qualified for this year’s AFCON and have been placed into six groups of four. The winners and runners-up from each group will be joined in the last 16 by the four highest-ranked third-placed sides. Essentially, this is the exact same format as the last two European Championship’s.

Which group is the ‘Group of Death’ at 2021 Africa Cup of Nations?

Group D and Group E both look particularly strong given that they comprise four of the six favourites to win the competition with most bookmakers in the shape of Egypt and Nigeria in Group D, and Algeria and Ivory Coast in Group E.

Progressing to the knockout stage should not be an issue for these nations, but it may make their path to the final more difficult as finishing second in the group may mean facing a winner from another group.

Who are the best bookmakers for 2021 Africa Cup of Nations?

Most leading bookmakers will have various markets priced up for this year’s AFCON, with Sky Bet and Paddy Power likely to have the best special offers on the tournament. If you are yet to sign up for an account, it is worth making use of their sign-up offers in order to potentially maximise your profits.

Why is it called 2021 Africa Cup of Nations despite taking place in 2022?

Similarly to Euro 2020, which actually took place in the summer of 2021, the 2021 AFCON was delayed for a year. Originally, the tournament was scheduled to take place during the summer of 2021, but it was moved to the winter due to unfavourable climate conditions in Cameroon.

How can I watch 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in the UK?

All 52 matches during this year’s AFCON will be broadcasted live on Sky Sports.

Where is 2021 Africa Cup of Nations held?

This year’s AFCON is being held in Cameroon, with six venues across five host cities (Douala, Yaounde, Garoua, Bafoussam and Limbe). The final will take place on Sunday 6th February 2022 at Olembe Stadium, which is a 60,000-seater in Yaounde, the capital of Cameroon.

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