Bettors will rake in money if the fifth time proves to be a charm for Iran.
Team Melli will face Morocco on Friday at 11 a.m. ET in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in a 2018 FIFA World Cup Group B game. Neither 37th-ranked Iran nor 41st-ranked Morocco are expected to survive the group stage, so a victory in this opening game is necessary for an improbable run to the knockout rounds.
Iran never has advanced past the knockout rounds in four World Cup appearances, while Morocco has reached the group stage once in four tries.
Let’s look at the Morocco vs. Iran betting lines.
Current betting line (via OddsShark.com):
Morocco win +120
Iran win +265
Total goals: 2
NESN.com’s picks: Draw, under
Morocco appears to have the stronger squad, but nothing about the team screams “certain victory” over an Iran team that will be organized and tough to break down. Caution will rule this game, with the teams desperate to avoid defeat ahead of looming contests against Spain and Portugal. Take the draw.
There won’t be much star power on display. Lacking genuine difference makers, these teams probably will close up shop and attempt to frustrate their opponent into making mistakes. That’s a recipe for one goal at most.
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