What can we expect from the US men’s team in connection with the completion of the group stage of the World Cup? Former Sportzshala Senior Fellow Paul Carrcurrently Senior Director of Content at TruMedia and covering his fourth Men’s World Cup, host of Sportzshala FC And Thomas broadcaster and Sportzshala analyst Dalene Cuff offer their tips and betting suggestions for the third (and possibly last) US match of the tournament.
So it all comes down to this for USMNT. Win against Iran and they will advance. Draw or lose and they go home. They are currently the favorites in this game (-110) and are heavily beaten by England. Let’s put this on the line. Will they win?
Carr: Maybe I’m trying to cast a reverse curse, but I don’t think the US will succeed. Iran has been slightly better offensively in this tournament, with Mehdi Taremi and Sardar Azmoun both being better offensive players than anyone from the US. Also, Iran’s defense isn’t that bad, as seen in England’s 6-2 loss, because England just went through with it. Iran will most likely have a draw and I think they will get at least that. I’ll take Iran double chance at -120.
Cuff: Well, I hope Paul’s double curse works for our team and my wallet, because I’m taking Berhalter’s battalion into win (+101). Can the US come close to the performance, especially in midfield, that they had against England? I think they can score one goal that can win this game. Iran’s approach will be particularly interesting to watch as a draw plus an England victory will see them through to the next round. I think this game will be very intense, especially in the beginning. On Monday we saw 15 out of 28 matches ended 0-0 after the first half, I think this is another one of them. I like under 0.5 goals in the first half (+165).
Matt Turner has yet to win this world championship. Will his streak of steady play in front of the net continue? Would you bet (+130) on him staying dry, or on the team as a whole (+190) for a nil win?
Carr: I don’t mind the US clean sheet price, but I’m wary of it because it feels like a game that can get weird late when one team (most likely the US) is aiming for a goal. As my comment above suggests, I don’t agree with a US zero win.
Cuff: I like the clean sheet price and I can play it. The USA missed so few chances (and only one goal, which was a penalty after Walker Zimmerman’s mental breakdown, who committed a foul in the box). However, this second half can really open up if Any a goal is scored and either team needs to attack. I can’t play from win to zero in this scenario.
Christian Pulisic hits the crossbar against England. Will he finally put one of them against Iran? He is currently +250 scorers at all times. If not for him, which Americans would you risk playing here, what could be the team’s farewell performance?
Carr: Timothy Weah (+275) is an American I would play with if I had to, although I wouldn’t place any bets until the lineup is complete. Taremi (+300) is also tempting as a likely Iranian penalty taker. He’s had a great run for Porto this season, scoring 13 goals, including five in five Champions League matches.
Cuff: As Paul pointed out, you won’t be able to play this until you see the lineup. I took Weah as the USMNT top scorer before the tournament even started, so I was leaning towards that. I also think Weston McKennie at +480 is worth a look. He is always dangerous on set pieces, which can lead to an ‘old school USA’ goal, but he also runs into the box from midfield and is dangerous.
Any other props you are thinking of?
Carr: It must be different under game, right? Or at least one more under the first half? I’d rather play under 0.5 goals in the first half (+165) because, as mentioned, the end of this game can turn into a crazy meeting on the track. In two games in the first four halves, the US and Iran averaged eight shots and less than 1.0 expected goals each. I think we will see this warning again on Tuesday.
Cuff: I was always told to “read all instructions” before taking a test. I didn’t do it. I agree with Paul’s choice above. Under 2.5 goals is -155, so there is no value in that. Both Teams to Score at -130 is slightly better, but I wouldn’t play either at current odds.