Bafana Bafana – 10/1 (11.0) to win the competition outright with Paddy Power - have not won a single game in the tournament since 2004 and need some serious inspiration if they are to end that jinx against their Group A rivals.
Morocco take on Cape Verdi in the other game and if any match ends 0-0, Paddy Power will refund all losing First Golascorer, Last Goalscorer, Correct Score and Scorecast singles.
Arsenal striker Gervinho got the winner two minutes from time as Paddy Power’s 11/8 (2.38) favourites the Ivory Coast overcame Togo 2-1 in their opening game on Monday night.
Last year’s beaten finalists – after Didier Drogba missed a penalty against 20/1 (21.0) outsiders Zambia – are desperate to claim the crown after being beaten in two recent finals.
The Ivorians know time is running out for the so-called "golden generation" that features Drogba, as well as Premier League stars Yaya and Kolo Toure from Manchester City and Newcastle’s United’s Cheikh Tiote.
They have swapped the under-soil heating for a month in the sun in Africa in a bid to finally deliver the Africa Cup of Nations to what many believe is the best team the Ivory Coast has had, or is ever likely to have.
A win over Tunisia in their next Group D encounter should see them safely through to the quarter finals.
The last four tournaments have seen 125 goals scored - part of the 319 since 2006 in a tournament that on average features more than 2.5 goals every game.
Things started a little slowly on Saturday with both opening games ending 0-0 between Angola and Morocco and South Africa and Cape Verde – in a tournament not normally known for its attention to detail when it comes to defending - or goalkeeping.
The current competition is being played in successive years to avoid future clashes with the World Cup and in 32 games last year there was only one 0-0 result. Many punters have already have their bets refunded by profiting from the lack of potency in front of goal.
There have been 14 different winners of the tournament since 1957 with Egypt – who failed to qualify this time - winning it on a record seven occasions.
Ghana are second favourites at 7/1 (8.0) but are missing their European-based stars such as Michael Essien, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Muntari while the Ayew brothers have been dropped.
Nigeria have reached four semi-finals in the last six tournaments and John Obi Mikel and Victor Moses will be trying to lift some silverware with the Super Eagles who are 9/1 (10.0) with Paddy Power to win the tournament outright.
Things did not go exactly to plan when they conceded a 94th-minute equaliser against 33/1 (34.0) shots Burkina Faso on Monday after Celtic’s Efe Ambrose was sent off in the 75th minute.
They now face Zambia in Group C on Friday afternoon but a win should set them up for a quarter-final appearance at least.
|Paddy Power will refund all losing First Golascorer, Last Goalscorer, Correct Score and Scorecast singles if any Africa Cup of Nations match ends 0-0|
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Jim Knight is Betting Editor at Goal.com and has been tipping football games since he was old enough to place a bet. He is a Leicester City fan, writer and member of the We Are Going Up Podcast
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