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2022 World Cup May Be Morocco’s Miracle Hollywood Ending
As many people start a sentence or a speech or a phrase these days, full disclosure …
Here’s what I know about Morocco:
Tinseltown has made a ton of beautiful, famous films there, including “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Gladiator,” and, of course, “Casablanca,” which, fun fact, was shot at Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank, Calif., in 1942.
Their citizens’ love of food (Moroccan-spiced lamb shanks, my lord) and fun and fútbol appears to be unmatched.
Everyone now realizes, as many did long before me, that they also have a damn good national squad.
A soccer aficionado, colleague, and friend, who I sometimes call Roberto Downey Clemente, just for fun and because I love ‘em all, believes these lads have a fighting chance to, if not win the whole thing, at least advance to the semifinals.
This after the awesomely-named Atlas Lions schooled the Spaniards in Education City, Qatar, during the penalty-kick dramatic part of a stunning 3-0 PK (WTF?) victory.
But before we get into possibly how those mighty Lions might keep advancing, here at OddsSeeker.com, we’ve got you covered on ways to wager on the World Cup, starting here: World Cup Betting Favorites: Golden Boot, Golden Glove, and Golden Ball Picks.
We’ve also got you covered for the other football. As of this writing, there are 19 states, and also D.C., that offer online sports gambling, with more to come in 2023, just in time for Super Bowl LVII on Feb. 12., 2023, in Glendale, Ariz.
I’ll also have a college football bowl game best bets post later this week.
Moving on, here are the problems that Morocco faces: The Lions next play Portugal, which destroyed the Swiss like a block of cheese at a fondue party.
This, with Ronaldo barely playing. His substitute, Goncalo Ramos, scored a hat trick in the victory.
So those two teams will meet on Saturday, Dec. 10.
The winner of that match would then play the victor of England-France.
There’s a reason this is an absolute major long shot for Morocco to become champs, but as my buddy says of the Atlas Lions, “They have the star players to do it.”
That includes Hakim Ziyech who plays for Chelsea and Tuesday’s PK hero Achraf Hakimi from Paris Saint-Germain.
Their bad-ass goalie is named Bono. The U2 singer’s new memoir is partly titled: “Surrender.”
Coincidence? Yes, but In the name of love, this could happen.
OK, so the odds should be even longer than this, but money is coming in on Morocco and here’s another reason why:
In Morocco’s last 50 matches, their record is 38 wins, 10 draws and only two losses. Solid.
Plus, they’ll absolutely have the crowds behind them. As ESPN’s Mark Ogden wrote:
“The Atlas Lions' matches have been an incredible, vibrant, claustrophobic experience in Qatar's stadiums so far. The noise is the sort that rattles through you; the sounds of "Allez Maghreb" beat inside your head; the players thrive off it, while opponents seemingly struggle to communicate through the din.”
He added: “In the first World Cup to be staged in an Arab nation, Morocco's progress ensures that the whole region still has a team to throw its support behind.”
My buddy agrees, saying that region of the world (northwest Africa) will be loud and proud as it roots for Morocco, the last Arab representative in the Cup.
When Morocco manager Walid Regragui was asked if his team could win it all, his response was, "We set ourselves an objective to give everything we have and get out of the group stages," he said. "After that, why not? Aim for the sky. We need to change our mentality and we will be a difficult team to beat. Why not dream about winning that trophy? As African teams, we need to set this objective."
The definition of a Hollywood ending is generally, “an improbably positive outcome to a real-life situation.”
Sports seem to be mimicking movies lately with wild outcomes and soccer also looks particularly unpredictable lately. Viva parity!
So if you’d rather not risk any money at all on Morocco winning the whole thing (+4000 at BetMGM, who offer great odds and bonuses), then my pal also likes the odds of the Atlas Lions at +500 (courtesy of DraftKings Sportsbook) to beat Portugal and advance to the semis.
Momentum and rabid fandom always are big factors in sports and Morocco has both of them like star-crazed Academy Award voters and attendees.
And … ACTION!