Black Friday is upon us. While Aunt Judy might be camping out for a discount DVD player (do they even make things like that anymore?), you’ll wake up to another dose of delicious World Cup soccer action.
Friday is the big one. The game day every American has been waiting for since the draw in April. On deck is a date with England on the biggest stage in the world. You can not ask for more. For better or worse, this day will be remembered across the American football landscape for decades to come.
If your nerves can take this much, I won’t blame you. But if you still want to gamble a little money, here are the bets that intrigue me the most.
Feel free to jump on the bandwagon with me or throw in my mentions about how silly my choices are. Either way, know your limits, enjoy yourself and buckle up for the glorious return of the World Cup.
Qatar is turning things around
Let’s get it out of the way. Qatar looked terrible as the tournament opened on Sunday. The pressure of an entire country seemed too much for the Maroons. All of this is true. Equally true is that the books overreacted to this single game. This is still the same group that won the 2019 Asian Cup and reached the semi-finals of the 2021 Gold Cup. No modern-day host country has failed to pick up at least a point. I expect a performance more in line with those triumphs in game two.
Senegal predictably struggled to find a breakthrough without their star man. A string of not-so-half-chances is all the Senegalese managed to score against the Netherlands.
I may end up regretting it, but the Qatar odds available are just too juicy to pass up. It could really end up in a one-goal game either way. By splitting the bet in two, I can win with a tie while still chasing the higher payout with a win in Qatar.
- Qatar Win (+450) – 0.5 units
- Qatar Double Chance (+125) – 0.5 units
The Netherlands and Ecuador deliver an exciting game
Both teams started the group stage with strong 2-0 wins. This game will likely decide who wins the group and I expect both sides to try. Each side has forwards that can make the other pay for allowing a whiff of an opportunity.
To me, this match calls for a 2-1 game. But hey, I’ve been wrong many times. However, I like the even money odds on the over.
- Total goals over 2.5 (+100) – 1 unit
America and England draw again
Twelve years ago, these two nations drew 1-1 at the 2010 World Cup. We could have a repeat performance.
England looked sharp in attack against Iran but the goal line flattered. The Three Lions have a wealth of talent that will pose problems for the USMNT backline, the weakest link in the roster. There is at least one goal for England in this game. How much more they get may depend on Matt Turner’s goalkeeping performance.
The US goalkeeper hasn’t clocked up many minutes in 2022 but his ability to stop shots can eliminate a higher expected goal gap.
Before Turner, this match suits this young American team. In recent years they have given their best when a match has dragged on and turned into an up and down of the track. This one has a high probability of turning into such an affair.
- Tie and both teams to score (+450) – 1 unit
As a bonus, I add Quick Picks for all games every day.
- Wales vs. Iran draw (+195)
- Qatar vs. Senegal Qatar (+480)
- Netherlands vs. Ecuador Netherlands (-135)
- Draw England vs USA (+280)
Author: Chris IveyChris is a senior writer covering Nashville SC. His work includes his piece “Three Thoughts” after each game in Nashville, which highlights major storylines and includes key video clips from the game. Chris’ other articles often navigate the complexities of rostering around the myriad of MLS rostering rules. Outside of Broadway Sports Media, Chris lives in Knoxville and is a licensed attorney who serves as in-house counsel for a large insurance company. Beyond NSC, he is always willing to speak about football and basketball in Tennessee, Manchester United, Coventry City and USMNT. Follow Chris on Mastodon