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Argentina vs Mexico World Cup Picks and Predictions: Messi & Co. Put Early Upset Behind Them

Argentina's opening game of the World Cup ended with a stunning upset loss to Saudi Arabia. As Group C play continues with Argentina vs. Mexico, our World Cup betting picks don't expect Lionel Messi & Co. to stay down for long.

Last Updated: Nov 26, 2022 11:27 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
Lionel Messi Argentina national team FIFA World Cup
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

An upside-down Group C at the 2022 World Cup continues on Saturday with Argentina — still the favorite to win the group in World Cup odds — facing Mexico.

Argentina sulk into Saturday's match having suffered one of the biggest upset defeats in World Cup history, falling 2-1 to Saudi Arabia. Mexico, meanwhile, saw off a Robert Lewandowski penalty to take a point off Poland.

Find out how we expect Argentina to rebound from an early humiliation in our World Cup picks and predictions

Argentina vs Mexico odds

Argentina vs Mexico picks and predictions

What happened in Argentina's opener against Saudi Arabia was deeply, deeply strange. What was not strange, however, was what preceded the script being flipped: Argentina taking an early lead.

The hallmark of this Argentina side that achieved an amazing 36-game unbeaten run was whistle-to-whistle dominance and fast starts. 

Of the 12 goals Argentina scored in their Copa America triumph in 2021, nine were scored in the first half. They found a goal in the first 45 of all seven games — without conceding in the first half once. Those quick starts translated to CONMEBOL qualifying, where they carried a lead into the break in 12 of 17 matches.

Though there are worthwhile concerns from Argentina's first game — such as how disconnected the midfield and attack looked without Gio Lo Celso — every expectation should be that this elite team comes out from the first whistle aiming to put an all-time upset behind them. 

A wild, once-in-a-generation upset isn't enough to shake my confidence in Argentina's chances of topping the group and it doesn't change their status as the world's pre-eminent fast starters. 

My best bet: Argentina first-half moneyline (+115 at PointsBet)

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Argentina vs Mexico side analysis

Despite the upset Argentina suffered in matchday one, they are sizable -175 favorites on the 3-way moneyline, with Mexico coming back at +550. I am fairly confident in Argentina recovering from the stunning loss to beat Mexico but we have better options than taking them as a short favorite on the 3-way line.

Given Argentina's dominance in first halves, I'd be much happier hitting them to win both halves at +140 than just the full-game moneyline — with the risk they fail to win the second half well worth that big bump in return.

Ultimately, I'll probably just play the first-half moneyline and sit back and enjoy.  

Argentina vs Mexico Over/Under analysis

Despite having a superb combination of ball-playing centerbacks and a talented shot-stopping keeper in Emi Martinez, any sort of blind faith in Argentina's defensive stability has to be questioned after allowing two goals to Saudi Arabia.

That said, even before matchday one, this shaped up as a decent matchup for Mexico to create goal-scoring opportunities. Argentina's relatively talent-poor fullbacks and high line leave them susceptible to attacks from the wide areas. In attack, Mexico plays through their wide attackers, mainly Chucky Lozano, who led El Tri in dribbles and shot-creating actions vs. Poland.

While obviously I expect Argentina to score several goals and win, I'm inclined to play both the Over 2.5 (+100) and both teams to score (+115).

Argentina vs Mexico game info

Location: Lusail Iconic Stadium, Lusail, Qatar
Date: Saturday, November 26, 2022
Time: 5:00 a.m. ET
TV: FOX, TSN

Argentina vs Mexico key injuries

Argentina: None.
Mexico: None.

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