It has been a long 20 year wait for Morocco. Having last made the World Cup in 1998 it has been a frustrating exile. Morocco will always have the boast of being the first African team to make the last 16. This was done at France in 1998. However, that accomplishment was not a portent of things to come. Instead it was the ultimate high point. Fans of the Atlas Lions are understandably thrilled to be back in the mix. But few teams are given less of a chance with the World Cup betting odds.
2018 FIFA World Cup Morocco
Date and Time: June 14 through July 15, 2018
2018 FIFA World Cup TV Coverage: Check Listings
Morocco and fans are likely thrilled to just get an invite to the party. Seems like nobody is giving them much of a chance. Only Panama and Saudi Arabia are less respected. Morocco simply lacks the history and name brand cache to attract betting action. Historically, they have won only two times in 13 World Cup matches. While the Atlas Lions bring experience, they lack depth. Hard work and defense was Morocco’s ticket to Russia. They are the only African team to qualify without permitting a goal. Problematic is where goal scoring is going to come from.
No Chance in Group B
Group B figures to be a Death March for the Moroccans. Both Spain and Portugal are favored powerhouse teams. Morocco stands no chance against either team. But where they do have hope is in their matchup against Iran. In fact, Morocco is a +130 chalk to defeat the Iranians. Beyond that there is also the realistic chance that defense can keep the Atlas Lions competitive against the Big Two. Sure, they lack the firepower of Spain and Portugal. But the Moroccans structure and work ethic impresses all. To many this has been a classic underachiever program.
Much of the credit for Morocco’s resurgence goes to the head coach. Herve Renard brings a youthful and dynamic presence. The 49 year old Renard won two African Nations Cup titles. He turned the trick with Zambia in 2012 and Ivory Coast in 2015. It has been Renard’s defensive tactical structure that provided a realistic path.
Khalid Boutaib will be key to Morocco’s chances with the World Cup betting odds. Boutaib has emerged as a superb a striker in his pro career. He posted 32 goals in 58 games in France with Strasbourg and in Turkey with Yeni Malatyaspor. He also added to his resume with four of Morocco’s 11 goals in qualifying. Also looming large is Ayoub El Kaabi. He scored nine goals for the Atlas Lions in the African Nations championship. Undeniably Morocco’s goal scoring as the lead sportsbook concern. Boutaib and Kaabi must shoulder the burden.
Matchup to Watch
Undertakers may find Morocco appealing with the World Cup betting odds. Their style of play should lead to low scoring matches. Their lack of firepower will doom a deep run. But perhaps the Atlas Lions can lay a foundation for the future. The matchup with Iran is key.
2018 FIFA World Cup Betting Odds Picks
Look for Morocco to earn a win over Iran. And to use it as a springboard for 2022.
World Cup Betting Online Pick: Morocco to defeat Iran.
Check out Morocco’s Road to Russia!