Bad news first, ‘Boppers. The United States Men’s National Team’s betting markets as of Qatar’s kickoff give the squad virtually no chance to win the 2022 FIFA World Cup, the outcome handicapped at odds of (+15000) or 150-to-1.
Supporters of USMNT football should not take the team’s skeptical World Cup odds as indicative of global disrespect for the Stars & Stripes. Long odds are to be expected next to every nation that’s not in South America or Europe, since no national team outside the confederations of UEFA and CONMEBOL has ever won a world championship.
Brazil currently leads FanDuel’s championship World Cup betting with (+450) odds to win FIFA gold in Qatar. Only 4 other nations are offered at more than a 10-to-1 gambling risk alongside the South American dynasty. Sportsbook users have to scroll a long way, through many less-renowned soccer brands, before finding futures odds on the USA.
Fortunately, there are countless alternative options for betting on United States soccer at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Other long-term World Cup odds available on the USMNT include (+430) or about a 4-to-1 betting price on the United States to reach the World Cup quarter-final round in December. Users should still be cautioned that reaching the quarter-final round of the FIFA World Cup is considered an ultimate milestone for soccer nations without a realistic opportunity to wear gold medals after the championship match. Those looking for a higher-percentage futures pick in World Cup odds on the Stars & Stripes can find (-105) betting odds on the USMNT to qualify out of Group B in round-robin play against England, Iran, and Wales.
Team USA is a (+550) pick to surprise and finish ahead of England atop Group B. The United States also opened as a (+155) money-line favorite vs Wales (+185) on November 21, a line that’s been shrinking against the reasoning of most pundits as of late.
Dodgy Roster Moves, Shrinking Odds to Beat Wales
The USMNT is a linchpin of controversy again going into the 2022 FIFA World Cup, as manager Craig Berhalter has chosen to leave 2 of the youthful Yanks’ finest players off of the 26-man roster in Qatar. Among the jilted are Manchester City goalkeeper Zach Steffen, and the exciting 19-year-old attacker Ricardo Pepi of the German club ranks. USMNT has other options (and older options) at forward and in midfield, and English Championship goalkeeper Matt Turner is expected to mind the posts at least as well as Steffen might have in Group Stage, considering that both players are currently toiling in Championship with Man City’s depth-chart filled to the brim with quality as usual.
The veteran Turner’s limitations are as obvious as his virtues in the goal box, and Pepi is approximately as old as some of France’s key players were in 2018. Nonetheless, the odds on Stars & Stripes to defeat Wales on Monday (Monday afternoon in the United States) are finally growing in price at (+140) on the money-line, as users wager confidently on Christian Pulisic’s team to win.
It’s also notable that USA’s futures-odds markets are not growing in popularity so much as the team’s line-to-win in Round 1. Christian Pulisic is a 60-to-1 dark horse bet to score the most goals in Qatar and win the Golden Boot, but the Chelsea star’s durability issues – along with the team’s youth – are seen as prohibitive.
Wales struggles to beat fundamentally-sound FIFA opponents like Denmark and Finland, but recently attempted 13 shots to Poland’s 6 in an unfortunate Nations League defeat, pointing to the side’s craft against teams with a single great attacker like Pulisic. It potentially will take a crew of even younger performers to step up and score for Stars & Stripes to get USMNT into the medal round, leaving as much room for speculators to grab an against-the-grain O/U pick as to yell “boo” and pick Wales.
Christian Pulisic and several young 20-something playmakers are taking USMNT football into a new era. But with the U.S. still cast as a steep underdog, bettors should pay attention to coaches’ quotes and players’ moods throughout the round-robin.
World Cup odds can be affected when FIFA’s underdogs answer the media’s predictable questions about trying to win. If a squad appears “cocky” despite overwhelmingly long odds to win the World Cup, the team’s free-spirited approach can lead to Group Stage stunners and high-scoring outcomes, such as the United States’ 2-1 upset of Colombia at the Rose Bowl when America hosted the FIFA World Cup in 1994.
The team’s failure to score in its next 2 matches, both defeats, illustrated the downside of a Cinderella squad’s cavalier attitude going into bouts against elite footballers from European clubs.
Follow WagerBop for FIFA-handicapper Nikola‘s match previews and round-by-round picks throughout the 2022 World Cup.
Kurt has authored close to 1000 stories covering football, soccer, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, prize-fighting and the Olympic Games. Kurt posted a 61% win rate on 200+ college and NFL gridiron picks last season. He muses about High School football on social media as The Gridiron Geek.