We’re at the halfway point of the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament and the USA are top of the pile, following their sensational 2-0 victory over Mexico. But can they build on that success and keep up the winning momentum when they head to the Caribbean? We are here to help you with picks for FIFA World Cup betting.
|Jamaica v USA|
Which Team is in the Best Form?
The USMNT have not been that consistent during their qualifying games, and their resume includes points dropped against El Salvador and Canada, as well as a defeat against Panama. But they have generally been heading in the right direction, and after scraping a 2-1 over Costa Rica, they struck a major blow by beating Mexico – for the third time in 2021 – to top the qualifying group.
Jamaica are five points off the top three and that is largely down to their poor start. They earned just one point from their first four games – a draw against Costa Rica, but they have improved since then, holding Canada to draw and picking up a win against Honduras and an away point in El Salvador. Getting anything out of this game, however, would be considered a major bonus.
What does the Head to Head Record Say?
The history of games between these teams has been one-sided, to say the least. Jamaica have beaten the USMNT three times, the latest coming in a friendly in 2019, but they’ve suffered 18 defeats.
In World Cup encounters, both in qualifiers and the tournament itself, their record is just as bad, winning only once and losing six times, although they have managed six draws, suggesting that they can match these opponents in the biggest games.
Team News for USA World Cup Qualifier
Atlanta defender Miles Robinson was sent off late against Mexico and will miss this game and Mark McKenzie is the most obvious replacement. Christian Pulisic, returning to USMNT action, came off the bench to score the opener in Cincinnati, and so maybe given the chance to start in this game, and both Gianluca Busio and Paul Arriola may also be promoted to the starting lineup.
Star striker Michail Antonio came off the bench to score Jamaica’s opening goal against El Salvador but against these opponents, Theodore Whitmore may prefer to have his strength and dynamism on the pitch from the start. Antonio’s fellow UK-based stars Ravel Morrison and Liam Moore, who both started on the bench may also be in line for a starting spot.
Which Team is the Best Bet?
Being able to play away from home has taken some of the pressure off Jamaica for their last two games, and they have responded well, picking up four points. In fact, they were unfortunate not to get all three against El Salvador, as the home side equalized in the last minute of normal time.
Returning to home soil raises a tough dilemma for Whitmore. With 5,000 fans expected to be admitted to the game – a reversal of the Jamaican government’s original position that no fans would be allowed in the ground, the crowd noise and atmosphere could give his side a boost and make the match an uncomfortable one for the visitors, but if Whitmore opts to defend in-depth, that could deflate the crowd.
For Gregg Berhalter, there are no such dilemmas. They have the strength in depth to outclass Jamaica in most departments, and providing that they take steps to contain Antonio, they should be confident about their chances. There is also less riding on the game for USMNT than the home team, who cannot afford to slip any further behind the front three in the Group.
This is a relatively tricky game to weigh up, but the visitors are in good form and will be confident after their performance in the Mexico game, so a USMNT bet looks the best option.
Other Bets for USA World Cup Qualifier
Jamaica doesn’t score many goals, even with Antonio in their ranks, and the Over/Under market indicates that bookies are expecting a low-scoring game, but I think they may have got it wrong.
The home team will be desperate to get something out of this game and that means at some point they will probably have to take the offensive. When that happens, USMNT will be able to benefit from more space behind the Jamaican defense. There are plenty of goalscorers in these two line-ups so this could be an opportunity to back Over 2.5 goals at good odds.
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