Who will win Asian Cup 2024? Prediction, odds, best bets, upsets for Japan, Australia, more in AFC championship | Sporting News

Who will win Asian Cup 2024? Prediction, odds, best bets, upsets for Japan, Australia, more in AFC championship | Sporting News

The 2023 Asian Cup, to be played in early 2024, will pit the best teams in the AFC together to determine the confederation’s champion for the current football cycle.

Originally set to be contested in China through the summer of 2023, the tournament was moved to Qatar due to the country’s zero-COVID policy and thus changed to the winter to avoid Qatar’s scorching summer heat.

Qatar is also a defending champion, having surprised the Asian Confederation in 2019 by defeating Japan in the final to win its first continental title. They beat another strong side in South Korea along the way, a run that was expected to set them up for glory as they hosted the 2022 FIFA World Cup.

Yet after becoming the first host in World Cup history to be eliminated in the group stage, Qatar was pegged back in its quest for global recognition and now must battle its way back to continental glory through a logjam of strong sides.

The Sporting News takes you through the favorites to win the continental crown in Asia and who could be poised to come out on top.

USA: Click here to see the latest odds and bet on 2023 Asian Cup matches from BetMGM

Asian Cup 2024 prediction, odds

Odds to win Asian Cup in 2024

Japan +200 Palestine +10,000
S. Korea +450 Jordan +10,000
Australia +600 Bahrain +10,000
Iran +600 Vietnam +15,000
Saudi Arabia +650 Lebanon +20,000
Qatar +900 India +25,000
Uzbekistan +2500 Tajikistan +25,000
UAE +2500 Indonesia +25,000
Iraq +3300 Malaysia +25,000
Oman +500 Thailand +25,000
China +6600 Kyrgyzstan +25,000
Syria +10,000 Hong Kong +50,000

Prediction: South Korea to win 2023 Asian Cup (+450 on BetMGM)

The strongest sides don’t always come out on top in these knockout-style competitions, but there’s no debating that South Korea possesses the most talented team and complete team, bereft with stars in all phases of the game.

Led by Tottenham star Heung-Min Son, who is enjoying a revival campaign after his disappointing 2022/23 season, this South Korea team is not only star-studded but also in form. Son and fellow Premier League forward Hwang Hee-Chan of Wolves are both pouring on goals as well as creating chances for teammates, while 22-year-old Kang-In Lee has forced his way into the PSG midfield.

Add in Bayern Munich defender Min-Jae Kim, who moved to the German side this year after a breakout season with Napoli, and there’s no part of the pitch that this South Korean side lacks. The Taegeuk Warriors should make good on that talent by lifting the Asian Cup trophy.

Who will reach the Asian Cup final in 2024?

Odds to reach the final in Asian Cup 2024

Japan +110 Bahrain +5000
S. Korea +160 Jordan +5000
Australia +275 Palestine +6500
Iran +275 Vietnam +6500
Qatar +330 Lebanon +12,500
Saudi Arabia +400 Tajikistan +12,500
Uzbekistan +400 India +15,000
UAE +1000 Indonesia +15,000
Iraq +2000 Malaysia +15,000
Oman +2000 Thailand +15,000
China +2500 Kyrgyzstan +15,000
Syria +3500 Hong Kong +15,000

Prediction: South Korea to reach 2023 Asian Cup final (+160 on Caesars)
Prediction: Japan to reach 2023 Asian Cup final (+110 on Caesars)

While it’s often foolhardy to try and predict the group stage to generate knockout stage matchups when flushing out final participants, with the Asian Cup groups so top-heavy, it’s not as dangerous to do so. In fact, it’s smart in this case, because it can help us know who will be on the opposite side of the bracket and thus a viable finals contender.

With our pick of South Korea to win the tournament, they are naturally one of the selections to reach the final as well. Yet we must do our best to figure out which team they could face in the final.

If South Korea wins Group E, as they well should, it would place them in the bottom half of the bracket. Therefore, we would be smart to find a likely top-half participant to reach the final alongside them. Top-half final contenders will likely come in the form of Group B, D, or F winners — with Australia, Japan, and Saudi Arabia the overwhelming favorites in those groups.

All three are solid contenders — but all three also have weaknesses. Australia are a strong side, and can beat anyone in this field with their best performance, but have a patchwork roster and are prone to letdown performances. Saudi Arabia has proven the ability to bunker and counter, and could benefit from the home-field advantage, but do not sport the most talented squad.

In Japan, however, there is a clear betting favorite. They are not quite the electric, in-form squad that toppled Germany and Spain at the World Cup and took Croatia to a penalty shootout, but they remain a nation with top talent. They demolished Germany again in a friendly last September, and their March draw with Uruguay looks better and better as the South American nation topples CONMEBOL giants.

This tournament is set up well for a South Korea vs. Japan showdown in the final, which would present an exciting affair.

Who will advance from the Asian Cup group stage in 2024?

24 teams will contest the 2023 Asian Cup, beginning with the group stage.

The top two teams in each group will advance, and four of the six third-place finishers with the most points will also move on to the Round of 16.

Because the Asian confederation is so top-heavy, many of the groups should be quite straightforward, but there are sure to be a few upsets here and there.

Group A

  FIFA Rank Qualify/Win Group
(Caesars — USA)
Best finish
Qatar 61 -5000 / -350 Won title (2019)
China 81 -700 / +400 2nd (2x, last 2004)
Lebanon 99 +150 / +1600 Group Stage (2x)
Tajikistan 109 -135 / +1000 None (first appearance)

Predicted Winner: Qatar
Predicted Runner-up: China
Predicted Third-Place Qualifier: Lebanon

Group B

  FIFA Rank Qualify/Win Group
(Caesars — USA)
Best finish
Australia 29 -5000 / -250 Won title (2015)
Uzbekistan 74 -2000 / +200 4th (2011)
Syria 90 -300 / +1200 Group Stage (6x)
India 101 +600 / +7500 2nd (1964)

Predicted Winner: Australia
Predicted Runner-up: Uzbekistan
Predicted Third-Place Qualifier: None

Group C

  FIFA Rank Qualify/Win Group
(Caesars — USA)
Best finish
Iran 24 -10,000 / -250 Won title (3x, last 1976)
UAE 72 -2000 / +200 2nd (1996)
Palestine 93 -133 / +1600 Group Stage (2x)
Hong Kong 147 +350 / +5000 3rd (1956)

Predicted Winner: Iran
Predicted Runner-up: UAE
Predicted Third-Place Qualifier: Palestine

Group D

  FIFA Rank Qualify/Win Group
(Caesars — USA)
Best finish
Japan 20 -50,000 / -1200 Won title (4x, last 2011)
Iraq 67 -2000 / +600 Won title (2007)
Vietnam 95 +100 / +3000 4th (2x, last 1960)
Indonesia 149 +350 / +5000 Group Stage (4x)

Predicted Winner: Japan
Predicted Runner-up: Iraq
Predicted Third-Place Qualifier: None

Group E

  FIFA Rank Qualify/Win Group
(Caesars — USA)
Best finish
S. Korea 27 -20,000 / -1200 Won title (2x, last 1960)
Jordan 84 -225 / +1000 Quarterfinals (2x, last 2011)
Bahrain 85 -225 / +1000 4th (2004)
Malaysia 138 +185 / +3500 Group Stage (3x)

Predicted Winner: S. Korea
Predicted Runner-up: Jordan
Predicted Third-Place Qualifier: Bahrain

Group F

  FIFA Rank Qualify/Win Group
(Caesars — USA)
Best finish
Saudi Arabia 54 -10,000 / -350 Won title (3x, last 1996)
Oman 73 -800 / +350 Round of 16 (2019)
Kyrgyzstan 96 +225 / +2500 Round of 16 (2019)
Thailand 114 -175 / +1000 3rd (1972)

Predicted Winner: S. Arabia
Predicted Runner-up: Oman
Predicted Third-Place Qualifier: Kyrgyzstan

Asian Cup 2024 live stream, TV channel

  TV channel Streaming
USA  — Paramount+, CBS Sports Golazno Network
Canada  —  —
UK  —  —

The 2023 Asian Cup, played in early 2024, will be broadcast in the United States exclusively on Paramount+, CBS’s streaming service. All matches will be streamed on Paramount+, with a few select games aired on the new CBS Sports Golazno network.

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