Don’t let the soccer odds fool you. Canada (2-0-0) should be favored against the United States (2-0-0) in this juicy Sunday affair. USA has historically had the upper hand against its northern neighbors, but not with plenty of their best players absent.
Meanwhile, Canada is the hottest team in the Gold Cup and its eight goals lead the tournament. More importantly, Canada is closer to being at full strength, and with first place on the line, expect the underdogs to come out hungry for this one.
|USA||-½ -125||-125||2½ +115o|
|Canada||+½ -105||+400||2½ -145u|
USA: Not Done Yet
There is no FW/MF Christian Pulisic or MF Gio Reyna or FW Jozy Altidore. And yet, the USA is cruising and beat up on poor Martinique 6-1. It speaks to the depth of the soccer team as the likes of FW Daryl Dike and FW Nicholas Gioacchini are among the most prolific players in the tournament.
USA is still in the top three of possession time (64%) while GK Matt Turner has been solid in net. Gregg Berhalter has gone 22-6-3 with the team and almost won the Gold Cup in 2019. They have unfinished business here.
Canada: Almost There
Where have we seen this picture before: Canada starts the tournament strong with a boatload of goals and then gets sunk thanks to some patchy defending? If you guessed the 2019 Gold Cup, you’d be right.
Canada scored a whopping 12 goals, second only to Mexico and more than the United States. But it bowed out to Haiti after allowing three second-half goals. While Canada is more experienced now and has tightened up on its holes, there is plenty of work to be done.
For one, Canada still gives up the ball fairly often despite controlling most of the action. These lapses in play, albeit minimal, have yielded goals from the inferior competition. But upfront, Canada is still as potent as ever even without leading man FW Alphonso Davies.
Pick: Our Time
Missing Davies is a big blow to Canada. But +400 is a juicy underdog online betting price for Canada. The team still has CM Jonathan Osorio and FW Cyle Larin playing a man possessed. The 26-year-old has ten goals this year: seven from the World Cup qualifiers and three in this tournament.
— Canada Soccer (@CanadaSoccerEN) July 16, 2021
Canada managed to beat the USA 2-0 in their 2019 CONCACAF Nations League match. The USA still has on edge on defense as evidenced by having allowed one goal (and via penalty kick) to Canada’s pair.
The Canadians concede fewer shots per 90 minutes (7.5 versus USA’s 11.5) but their chronic breakdowns in their box can doom. It is likely that Canada outplays the USA for most of 90 minutes, but those few mistakes will allow the USA to capitalize. Still, Canada has enough to pull the upset here or at least settle for a draw.
Pick: Canada +½ (-105)
Bonus Pick: Not An Inch
Despite the combined 15 goals from both teams, don’t expect many celebrations here. Their last match saw five goals in total, four coming from the USA but historically, only one of their last four Gold Cup meetings have resulted in three or more goals.
Even if those were different teams, the zealous performances from these two will lead to most of the match being a battle for ball possession. A 1-1 draw or a one-nil victory for Canada are possible outcomes.