Betting on team USA at the World Cup may be a long shot, but online bookies offer great odds meaning big payday if they win.
While the main attention of football fans and punters during the upcoming World Cup will be on the favorites and renowned players, some of them betting under American gambling laws will certainly back the Stars and Stripes.
Team USA are not favorites by any means, online sportsbooks in the United States give them 226.00 odds to win the World Cup, which is rather closer to the bottom of the list than its top. But still there are many believers among the fans and while betting on them lifting the trophy might be too out there, there are some markets where the Americans can live up to the expectations.
Tough choices for the coach
Betting on team USA at the World Cup
• Experts and bookies have low expectations of USA performance
• Many online sportsbooks in the United States are already accepting bets
• Klinsmann took a huge gamble relying on a duo of strikers
Jurgen Klinsmann has opted to leave Landon Donovan out of the USA squad, which caused lots of controversy and outrage among die-hard fans. His decision to take as many as 17 rookies to the World Cup has also been widely discussed. But still the biggest question for the Americans is how well their stars will do in Brazil.
Klinsmann took a big gamble when it comes to the frontline. The coach selected Clint Dempsey and Jozy Altidore to be the attacking duo, and a major part of the USA performance in Brazil will depend on these two guys. Naturally, outcomes for those who bet on sports in the USA will also be directly connected to these stars.
The attacking duo
Dempsey and Altidore are extremely vital to the whole team’s performance, and this is the big World Cup gamble, Klinsmann decided to take. Moreover, both stars have had various fitness issues recently. Considering all other teams have several substitutes when it comes to the attacking front, USA’s decision to stick with only 2 options seems pretty wild.
The Premier League season is now over, and Altidore has only managed to score once for Sunderland. As for Dempsey – he missed the first friendly match against Azerbaijan, but have put in a strong performance against Turkey last weekend. Clint is now back to Major League Soccer, and having had a weak end of 2013 he managed to find his form with Seattle Sounders this year.
Klinsmann has really put the Dempsey – Altidore duo to the test, allowing them to play full 90 minutes against Turkey instead of opting for reserve strikers Chris Wondolowski or Aron Johannsson. The same formation is expected from the German come the last friendly against Nigeria this Saturday.
Comments from the coach and the players
Here’s what Klinsmann had to share with the media: “Clint and Jozy need to really fine tune. That is why I left them out there for 90 minutes. They need to really read each other blindly and that comes only with time. Purposely I planned that. These two are dangerous and big-time players and hopefully making the difference for us this summer.”
Altidore has answered the recent criticism addressed to him: “Everyone is so worried about my confidence. Unbelievable. My confidence is fine, my man. It is not going to change whether I score a hat trick or I don’t score. I’m fine.”
The German coach has also said: “With Jozy, what we all wish is that he will score in the net. This opportunity, we wait for it. I wouldn’t mind if the goal comes against Ghana right away. People kind of sooner or later break through with goals. You have got to work for it. You have got to stay hungry and grind it out and sooner or later it is time and, boom, the ball is in the net.”
USA chances in Brazil
Both experts and bookies don’t really have huge expectations for the American team in Brazil. USA have been drawn into a very tough group consisting of Germany, Portugal, and Ghana. While beating Ghana will not pose a huge problem for Klinsmann’s men, the two European teams will certainly be a challenge.
USA are not the favorites to reach the last 16 from the group. Their odds at Bovada on qualifying from any position are 3.60, way behind 1.12 and 1.50 for Germany and Portugal respectively. Naturally, there’s no talk of them winning the group either: very long odds of 12.00. But if the European sides lose points against each other, Americans may stand a chance of making it to the knockouts, so the 3.60 odds might be considered a smart bet.