2023 AFC Asian Cup Favorites and Underdogs Revealed

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Posted: January 8, 2024

Updated: January 8, 2024

  • 2023 Asian Cup favorites and underdogs are here
  • The tournament kicks off on Friday, January 12th

The kick-off of the Asian Cup is scheduled for Friday, January 12th; the participating teams vying for the title of the strongest in the Asian continent boast a roster of notable star players. Let’s have an insight into the 2023 AFC Asian Cup favorites and underdogs, as well as betting odds. 

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What Do We Know about the 2023 Asian Cup?

The 2023 AFC Asian Cup, the 18th football competition among national teams in the Asian Football Confederation, was initially slated to be hosted by China. However, the country withdrew due to a COVID-19 outbreak, making Qatar the host nation. With recent experience arranging the FIFA World Cup, Qatar possesses the necessary infrastructure for such an event, and its national team is set to defend the Asian champion title.

Nine stadiums that served as venues for the last World Cup will host matches throughout the tournament, with Lusail Stadium as the primary venue. Despite undergoing reconstruction after the World Cup, Lusail Stadium remains the country’s largest and will host the final match. The odds for the final will be available at online gambling sites in Australia, so don’t miss them.

The final stage of the Asian Cup will feature 24 national teams from the continent. Qatar secured a spot as the host nation, while the remaining 23 teams advanced through a qualification tournament, partially combined with qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup. 

Groups and competing teams 

All participating teams are divided into six groups, each consisting of four teams. The top 2 from each group and the four best-performing third-placed teams will progress to the Round of 16.

2023 AFC Asian Cup favorites and underdogs
Picture Source: Wikimedia Commons 

The tournament will then proceed in a knockout format to determine the best team in the Asian continent.

Group A 

The first group comprises Qatar, China, Tajikistan, and Lebanon. In this group, Tajikistan stands out as the only debutant in the tournament. Qatar and China, as stronger teams, are expected to secure the top two positions comfortably.

Group B 

Australia, Uzbekistan, Syria, and India are set to play in Group B. The first two countries are the favourites in this group at 22Bet. Notably, the Syrian national team, currently led by former Inter Milan and Valencia coach Hector Cuper, adds an exciting dynamic. The Indian national team is not likely to contend for advancement from the group stage.

Group C

Are there 2023 AFC Asian Cup favorites and underdogs in Group C, consisting of Iran, UAE, Hong Kong, and Palestine? Yes. The Iranian national team secured bronze in the previous Asian Cup, while the United Arab Emirates, led by renowned Portuguese coach Paulo Bento, is also noteworthy. Hong Kong’s national team makes its first appearance in the tournament in 50 years so that they can be the dark horse.

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Group D 

Welcome Japan, Indonesia, Iraq, and Vietnam in Group D. It features the main favourites of the competition – Japan – with Iraq considered the primary contender for the second spot in the playoffs. Hence, their 22Bet Sportsbook odds are the best (unlike Indonesia, which participates in the Asian Cup for the first time since 2007).

Group E

South Korea, Malaysia, Jordan, and Bahrain are in Group E. The Korean team is predicted to take the top spot, with Jordan and Bahrain expected to compete for advancement to the Round of 16. South Korea’s national team is coached by legendary Jürgen Klinsmann, who won bronze with the German national team in the 2006 World Cup. Bahrain’s team, led by Juan Pizzi, triumphed with Chile in the Copa America seven years ago.

Group F

Finally, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Kyrgyzstan, and Oman will play against each other in Group F. Roberto Mancini, who recently led Italy to triumph at the European Championships, now guides the Saudi Arabian national team, the current favorite in the group.

2023 AFC Asian Cup favorites and underdogs
Picture Source: Wikimedia Commons 

It will be intriguing to see how far the Saudi team can progress in the tournament bracket under Mancini’s legendary guidance.

2023 AFC Asian Cup favorites and underdogs

So, who are the 2023 AFC Asian Cup favorites and underdogs? Online sportsbooks in Australia see the top 5 contenders for the trophy:

  • Japan – 3.40
  • South Korea – 6.50
  • Iran/Australia – 7.50
  • Saudi Arabia – 8.00
  • Qatar – 9.00

Japan leads the odds of winning the 2023 Asian Cup

The Japanese are undeniably the primary favourites. They not only boast the most successful track record but also possess the most decorated squad. In the Qatar World Cup, the island nation advanced to the 2nd round, defeating former world champions Germany and Spain. While they finished as runners-up in the 2019 Asian Cup final, they are now considered the top favourites with pre-tournament odds of 3.40, suggesting the highest likelihood of winning the upcoming tournament.

2023 AFC Asian Cup favorites and underdogs: South Korea

Despite not securing a tournament victory in the past 60 years and making it to the finals only once in 2015, South Korea holds second in the pre-tournament odds, establishing itself as a strong contender. Inspired by Heung-min Son, they have the potential to go all the way and claim the title. In the last edition, they exited in the quarterfinals after a defeat by Qatar.

If you also follow other football competitions, check out our AFCON winner predictions.

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Iran and Australia’s odds come toe to toe

Australia reached consecutive finals in 2011 and 2015, winning the latter edition. However, they faced a surprising quarterfinal loss to the Emiratis in 2019. In the Qatar World Cup, they reached the Round of 16, narrowly losing to the eventual champions, Argentina. With odds placing them in third position, the team is considered among the top 5 contenders for the Asian Cup 2023 title.

With pre-tournament odds identical to Australia (7.50), Iran, three-time winners, aims to end their nearly 50-year trophy drought since their last title in 1976. While it won’t be an easy challenge, Iran is considered among the favourites for the upcoming tournament.

Saudi Arabia’s chance to get the Asian Cup trophy

Saudi Arabia, the only nation whose fans could confidently inquire about Messi’s whereabouts in the last couple of years, managed to defeat Argentina, the GOAT’s only World Cup loss recently. Although they finished behind Poland, the Green Falcons demonstrated their capabilities. With odds at 8.00, they are expected to be among the favourites for the AFC Asian Cup 2023.

2023 AFC Asian Cup favorites and underdogs: Qatar

Qatar has made significant progress as the host and defending champions in recent years. After hosting the World Cup, locals are set to host the AFC Asian Cup. The challenge lies in competing as participants rather than hosts. Despite pre-tournament odds ranking them sixth, it’s clear from online betting tips that they should be regarded as one of the top-5 favourites for the title.

Click here to try the best odds at 22bet Sportsbook 

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