Argentina vs. Ecuador prediction, odds, start time: Copa America 2024 quarterfinal picks by proven expert

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Argentina expect to have superstar Lionel Messi in the lineup on Thursday as they continue the defense of their title with a matchup against Ecuador at Houston’s NRG Stadium in the 2024 Copa America quarterfinals. Argentina, who defeated Brazil in 2021 to tie Uruguay for first with 15 championships in the tournament, won all three of their group-stage contests to finish atop Group A. They were without Messi for their 2-0 triumph over Peru on Saturday due to hamstring issues, but the forward has practiced this week and should be on the pitch Thursday. Ecuador were second in Group B after posting a 1-1-1 record during group play. The Argentinians defeated the Ecuadorians 3-0 in the quarterfinals en route to the crown three years ago.

Kickoff is set for 9 p.m. ET. The Argentinians are -220 favorites (risk $220 to win $100) in the latest Argentina vs. Ecuador odds, while the Ecuadorians are +750 underdogs. A 90-minute draw is priced at +300 and the over/under for total goals scored is 2.5. Argentina are -450 to advance, while Ecuador are +325. Before locking in any Ecuador vs. Argentina picks, you need to see what proven SportsLine soccer insider Jon “Buckets” Eimer has to say.

Eimer is a high-volume bettor who has vast knowledge of leagues and players across the globe. Since joining SportsLine, he has covered the English Premier League, Serie A, the FA Cup and much more. In 2023, he was red-hot, going 248-234-12 for a profit of $2,593 for $100 bettors.

Now, Eimer has broken down Argentina vs. Ecuador from every angle and locked in his picks and 2024 Copa America predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see Eimer’s picks. Here are the betting lines and trends for Ecuador vs. Argentina:

  • Argentina vs. Ecuador money line: Argentina -220, Ecuador +750, Draw +300
  • Argentina vs. Ecuador over/under: 2.5 goals
  • Argentina vs. Ecuador spread: Argentina -1.5 (+135)
  • Argentina vs. Ecuador to advance: Argentina -450, Ecuador +325
  • ARG: The Argentinians have won their last three Copa America quarterfinal matches by a combined 9-1 score
  • ECU: The Ecuadorians have lost six of their last seven competitive contests against Argentina
  • Argentina vs. Ecuador picks: See picks here

Why you should back Argentina 

The Argentinians scored five goals during the group stage of Copa America 2024, all in the second half of their matches, while the other three teams in Group A combined for one tally. The reigning champions have yet to concede in the tournament and are riding an eight-game winning streak across all competitions during which they have posted six clean sheets and outscored their opponents 17-2. Argentina also won eight in a row prior to the only loss during their current 20-2-1 stretch and did not allow a single goal over that run.

Messi tied for the lead in Copa America 2021 with four goals but did not convert in his first two games this year. Striker Lautaro Martinez, who scored three times during Argentina’s title run, has taken charge offensively in this edition of the tournament as ranks first with four tallies. Forward Julian Alvarez opened the scoring against Canada in the group-stage opener, but the 26-year-old Martinez has been the club’s sole provider as he capped that 2-0 victory and recorded the lone goal in a triumph over Chile before registering a brace versus Peru. See which team to pick here.

Why you should back Ecuador

The Ecuadorians dropped a 2-1 decision to Venezuela in their tournament opener but bounced back to defeat Jamaica 3-1 and battled Mexico to a 0-0 draw. The club, which has reached the quarterfinals for the third time in its last four Copa America appearances, did not allow a goal in the first half of its group-stage matches. That trend has a strong chance to continue, as Argentina has yet to convert in the opening half.

Winger Jeremy Sarmiento scored in Ecuador’s 2-1 triumph over Honduras in an international friendly prior to this tournament and proceeded to record the team’s lone goal against the Venezuelans. Defender Piero Hincapie also converted versus Honduras and helped give Ecuador the lead in their second group-stage contest when his cross deflected off Jamaican defender Kasey Palmer’s shin and into the net in the 13th minute. Midfielder Kendry Paez doubled the club’s advantage just before halftime and winger Alan Minda sealed the victory in the 91st minute. See which team to pick here.

How to make Argentina vs. Ecuador picks

Eimer has broken down Ecuador vs. Argentina from every possible angle and is leaning Under on the goal total. He also has locked in a pair of confident best bets, including one that offers a plus-money payout, and is offering a full breakdown of this match. He’s sharing his Copa America 2024 picks and analysis only at SportsLine.

So who wins Argentina vs. Ecuador on Thursday, and where does all the betting value lie? Visit SportsLine now to see which wagers in Ecuador vs. Argentina have all the value, all from the soccer expert who was red-hot in 2023, and find out.

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The CBS Sports Golazo Network provides soccer fans with wall-to-wall coverage of the most popular game in the world. Check it out now on, the CBS Sports app for connected TV devices, the CBS Sports mobile app, Pluto TV or Paramount+.

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