There are only a few days left until the United States Men’s National Team play their first match of the 2022 World Cup against Gareth Bale’s tough Wales side.
Rest assured, we’ll have match-by-match betting tips for all three USMNT Group B clashes and – American fans hope – every match beyond that.
But before we break down the group opener, let’s take a look at some of our favorite prop bets on Team USA, including a play on Christian Pulisic.
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Team top scorer: Christian Pulisic (+300 via BetMGM)
Pulisic led the Americans with five goals in World Cup qualifying, and while it’s our chalkiest prop on the board, it remains one with value for a very simple reason: Pulisic will take all penalties.
Two of his five qualifying goals came from the point, which proved to be the margin of his lead over the rest of the team. While the United States may be less likely to get a penalty at World Cup level than in qualifying, that’s not unheard of, especially at the first ever World Cup with video review.
Landon Donovan converted America’s final World Cup penalty in a 2–1 extra-time loss to Ghana in the 2010 Round of 16. He also finished as America’s top scorer with three goals in the competition.
Most team assists: Antonee Robinson (+3,000 via Bet Rivers)
Yes, you read that right, +3000. You get lines like this when bettors aren’t quite aware that a player’s role for his club is very different from his role for the national team.
At left-back, Robinson is arguably the safest starter on Gregg Berhalter’s side, and he’s played the most games of any American in qualifying.
Unlike Fulham, the United States are counting on him to advance in the transition and serve crosses. His three assists in qualifying made him the only American player to achieve more than one.
Is he likely to advance as often against the likes of Wales, England and Iran as he did against El Salvador and Honduras? Probably not.
But there will definitely be times to play counter in this tournament, and the prize here is just too good to pass up.
Most yellow cards: Weston McKennie (+700 via Unibet)
Unlike fellow central midfielders Tyler Adams and Yunus Musah, McKennie is crucial to the US national team as a provider of dangerous second runs from midfield in a team without great striking options.
The Juventus man was also tied for the second most yellow cards in qualifying with full-back De’Andre Yedlin and winger Tim Weah, and the leader – centre-back Miles Robinson – is in the process of to rehabilitate a torn ACL.
Berhalter will want McKennie on the pitch if he’s healthy enough after picking up a minor injury in the build-up. If he’s on the court, chances are he’ll find himself scrambling to recover a few times after making that second run and then trying to defend a counter.
This is the first tactical foul territory. Add his personality as one of the feisty members of the team, and it’s a game of common sense at the price.
Elimination stage: Quarter-finals (+700 via DraftKings)
There are plenty of reasons to be hesitant about the Americans’ chances at this World Cup.
They will be favorites in two of their three group matches, a role that did not always suit them. They are the youngest team to play for the United States since the team that ended a 40-year drought by qualifying for Italia ’90. And one more thing, they were disappointed – to put it mildly – in their last two tune-up friendlies in September.
But the young teams are extremely inconsistent. This can lead to misfires, but it can also lead to better performance than they have to.
Plus, of all the previous World Cup trips for the USA, their group probably looks the most like 2010. They also played England, along with two other teams they were favored against, and ended up fight their way to win the group.
If the Americans win or even advance here, the Round of 16 assignment will likely be better than it would have been elsewhere in the tournament. Even the Netherlands are a team that you could realistically see this American team beat on a good day.
None of this should provide that it will be occur. A fall in the group stage remains a very real possibility. But at +700 odds, it’s a good chance to take.
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