World Cup 2022: Best bets for U.S.-Netherlands match

By VSiN Staff  (VSIN.com) 

December 2, 2022 07:49 PM
Pulisic

Best bets for U.S.-Netherlands World Cup match

It's win or go home for a surging Team USA this Saturday as they take on The Netherlands in the first knockout round of the World Cup.   

Our soccer handicapper Nigel Seeley and VSiN producer Matt Santos give their best bets for the match.

Nigel Seeley: After an extraordinary evening of tension, the USA, under the leadership of Gregg Berhalter, sealed a place in the knockout stages of the 2022 World Cup with a 1-0 defeat of Iran. 

The celebrations across the country were slightly muted by the injury to goal scorer Christian Pulisic while scoring the winning goal to send the US through. The good news is that the Chelsea star expects to be fit to play in the round of 16.

Waiting for the US are The Netherlands, unbeaten with victories over Senegal and Qatar alongside a draw with Ecuador and conceding only one goal in the process. Their final game, a 2-0 defeat of hosts Qatar, featured goals from Frenkie de Jong and Cody Gakpo. Gakpo has scored in every game so far, and veteran Dutch coach Louis van Gaal hopes he will continue that streak in this vital game with the US. Gakpo is the man  the USA defense has to contain, as apart from the PSV striker, I haven’t been that convinced by many in this Dutch side who are being labeled “boring.”

The Netherlands will be confident of victory and advancing to the last eight, and at odds of +100, I think they will be heavily bet outside the US. They have beaten the US in four of their last five meetings, but US fans can take some heart from the fact their team triumphed in their previous 2015 meeting in a 4-3 thriller, a 500/1 chance to happen this time around.

Van Gaal will probably turn to Barcelona striker Memphis Depay, whose biggest contribution so far has been playing 66 minutes in the defeat of Qatar. He has scored 21 goals in his last 25 games for the Oranje and could cause the US plenty of problems, but he isn’t fit, and Team USA contained an unfit Harry Kane very easily in the group stages.

The Netherlands are deserving favorites, but the US has a real chance in this match. It’s not a surprise that the public is getting behind the team with them now down to +330 to win in 90 minutes and +185 to qualify for the quarterfinals.

In the draw with England, where they missed chances for a famous victory, and the victory over Iran, they showed real flair, attacking intent, and pace going forward. They fully deserve to be here, and this young team is only growing in confidence. I can see this being an exciting game with two offensively-minded teams. Gakpo could be one of the stars of the tournament, and the US has to try to accomplish what three other sides have failed to do—stop him from scoring. Gakpo will be a popular play at +250 to score in the match.

Although the US has only netted twice in three games in Qatar, they have had 28 shots in this World Cup and had five on target against Iran. I think the pick in this game is in the Both Teams to Score market, and I am going to take BTTS “yes” at +110 which looks too big to me. Good luck to all my friends in the US and all VSiN readers. You are one game away from the quarterfinals, and hopefully, England will join you. And before I sign off … it’s “football,” not soccer.

Play: Both Teams to Score +110

Matt Santos: The Round of 16 gets underway with an intriguing matchup between the United States and the Netherlands on Saturday. Most had Oranje winning Group A, as they did, but those that watched their matches could probably agree that we haven’t seen the strongest performances from this Dutch team.

While they defeated Senegal 2-0 in the opening match, it took them until the 84th minute to get their first goal, only firing off 10 total shots. In the 1-1 draw versus Ecuador, they only fired off two shots, finishing with 0.10 expected goals (xG) per FotMob. Oranje finally put together a complete performance in their final match versus Qatar, where they won 2-0.

The USMNT have proven they can play tough defense against any matchup. Aside from the penalty-kick goal conceded to Gareth Bale in their first match versus Wales, the USMNT have kept the ball out of the net in their last two matches. They allowed only eight shot attempts from England and allowed just four shot attempts from Iran.

Now that we’re in the knockout round, I expect teams to play even more conservatively. One mistake at this stage can be the one that sends either team home.

Keeping that in mind, I’m going to play the First Half Draw at (-110) odds. For both teams, the first order of business is not allowing the other team to attack them on their side of the pitch consistently.

I wouldn’t be surprised if we got through an entire 90 minutes without a goal being scored, which is why I like the ‘No’ on the Both Teams To Score prop at (-125) odds. This match has after extra time (AET) written all over it, and I could see a late goal by either side or this match coming down to penalty kicks to decide who advances.

Plays:

Both Teams to Score: No (-125)

First Half Draw (-110)

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