Spain up next to take best shot vs. U.S. women's soccer team

June 23, 2019 06:09 PM

Knockout round action for the United States women’s soccer team begins Monday (FS1, 11 a.m. ET) with an elimination battle vs. Spain.

Betting markets see Spain as very similar in quality to Sweden, the most recent victim of the U.S. The closing line will likely finish near last Thursday’s prices. The U.S. will be laying just over a goal, about 70-75% to be ahead at the end of regulation on the three-way equivalent. 

Don’t forget that three-way betting (picking either team, or a draw) is different now than in group play! There has to be a winner on the field in the march to a world championship. If there is a tie at the end of regulation (regular time plus injury time), teams play a 30-minute overtime period. If the game is still tied, penalty kicks ensue.

Always be clear with your sportsbook, which time frame affects your money. “Odds to advance” will include overtime and penalty kicks if needed. Those will look like baseball money lines, but with much higher prices on the favorites (and returns for the underdogs) in some cases. Goal lines and three-way betting are based only on regulation play. 

A dominant run through group action solidified the USA’s role as tournament favorite. Granting an easier slate than others enjoyed, the team barely had to break a sweat. 

If you throw out cakewalks vs. Thailand and Chile (whom the market rated as the two worst teams in the field based on a composite of goal lines), the U.S. still shut down respected Sweden with a 16-7 edge in shots, a 4-2 advantage in shots on goal, a 5-2 mark in corner kicks, and a possession edge of 62% to 38%. That with Alex Morgan sitting out the second half. 

Spain must find a way to launch meaningful shots at net. U.S. opponents have failed thus far, with a grand total of five shots on goal through three games. 

In Spain’s 1-0 loss to powerful Germany (its most comparable opponent to the U.S. based on pre-tournament futures prices), it could only manage two shots on goal despite 16 launches and a 59-41% possession advantage. 

When USA-Spain is in the books, the rest of the Monday and Tuesday calendar will feature games from the more wide open lower half of the knockout bracket. 

  • Sweden vs. Canada (Monday on FS1, 3 p.m. ET): The Canadians are likely to close as a market favorite in a projected thriller. Both teams finished as runners-up in their groups. 
  • Italy vs. China (Tuesday on FS1, noon ET): A Cinderella story could be written in Italian or Mandarin as two pre-tourney long shots vie for a spot in the quarterfinals. Italy has been more impressive in group play, giving it the market nod here. 
  • Netherlands vs. Japan (Tuesday on FS1, 3 p.m. ET): Expect similar pricing here to the game above, with the European sides expected to play each other in the quarters. 
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