The excitement is building as the 2022 World Cup on FOX kickoff gets closer and closer. The United States Men’s National Team (USMNT) is the youngest team in the tournament, and they are sure to bring great youthful energy to the pitch in Qatar, starting with their opener against Wales on November 21.
The USMNT has received a flood of bets to win the World Cup at FOX Bet. More people are betting on the United States to win than favorites and powerhouses such as Brazil and Germany. But bettors know that nothing is impossible in a tournament like this.
Even if you don’t think the United States can win it all, there are other fun ways to show your support and pocket some money in the process while betting on Gregg Berhalter’s squad in Qatar.
Let’s jump into my five fun ways to bet on the United States in the 2022 World Cup (odds courtesy of FOX Bet).
How important is Christian Pulisic to team USA in 2022 FIFA World Cup?
Stu weighs in on Christian Pulisic and the role he will play for team USA in the tournament.
PICK: Haji Wright to be the last scorer in the United States vs. Wales game (+670 at FOX Bet)
Let’s get the risk out of the way right off the bat: First, we have no idea how much Wright will play at the World Cup. We also don’t know if he will get on the field against Wales.
But clearly, coach Berhalter saw something in Wright at the last camp to get him on the team, even though soccer pundits who projected the USMNT roster did not have him making the final cut. Wright, who is a strapping 6-foot-3, has fared well in the Turkish league (nine goals in 12 games) but did not play once for the USMNT in World Cup qualifying. His only goal for the United States came in a friendly against Morocco in June.
That said, I envision Wright coming into the game as a substitute. Once he gets in, he has the potential to score, which is why this wager is worth a sprinkle.
PICK: United States to reach the quarterfinals (+450 at FOX Bet)
It might sound like a massive reach that the USMNT could get here, but the market suggests they will get out of group play. If the United States finishes second in the group, its Round of 16 matchup would likely be against the Netherlands, where it would be a considerable underdog. The other two potential games might line up against either Ecuador or Senegal. The latter would have been a major problem, except their best player Sadio Mané suffered an injury and will not play.
In the surprise scenario in which the USMNT wins its group — maybe the pressure gets to England? — it would be favored against Ecuador or Senegal. The United States advanced to the quarterfinals in 2002 before losing to Germany. They also reached the knockout rounds in 2010 (lost to Ghana) and 2014 (lost to Belgium), with the last two defeats coming in extra time.
I’m bullish on this young squad, so this is a fun bet to make and an even more fun one to root for.
PICK: Weston McKennie to be the United States’ top overall goalscorer (+1600 at FOX Bet)
McKennie has not scored for the United States since the game-winner against Honduras in February. But he is third on this young USMNT in goals in international play (nine, behind Christian Pulisic and Jordan Morris), so the potential is there.
Nobody has a handle on Berhalter’s forward rotation, but we know McKennie is a fixture as midfielder in the starting lineup. We also know that United States opponents will do their best to scheme out Pulisic. Enter McKennie, who has been in terrific form for his club, Juventus, and could emerge as a big star for the U.S. in this tournament.
PICK: Over 3.5 goals for the United States in the 2022 World Cup (-120 at FOX Bet)
If you are bullish on the USMNT reaching the knockout rounds, this is a bet you should make. In the years the team made the World Cup knockout rounds this century, they scored seven goals (2002), five goals (2010), and five goals (2014). The bet is priced as if they will not make the knockout rounds, yet the United States is favored to get out of the group. Wales and Iran are not formidable defenses, and even if the United States does not score against England, getting four goals in the other three games is not too tall a task.
This bet is also a fade of what we last saw — the USMNT offense sputtering and not scoring against Japan and Saudi Arabia in their final World Cup tuneups.
PICK: United States to be the lowest–scoring team in the World Cup (+2500 at FOX Bet)
A decent hedge against some of these props is to bet the USMNT as the lowest–scoring team at the World Cup. After all, we are talking about the youngest team in the field. If the United States loses the opener to Wales, its entire tournament hinges on a game against England, one of the best teams in the field. In the sad scenario of an 0-2 start, Berhalter may trot out some reserves for the match against Iran, so the young guys get some experience on the biggest stage in soccer.
In 2006, the United States was drubbed in the opener 3-0 against the Czech Republic and only scored two goals total. That was nearly the worst at the World Cup, with Trinidad and Tobago (0), Togo (1) and Angola (1) performing worse. This year’s field is much stronger at the bottom than in 2006.
Hey, we are all in on this year’s team, but this is just a smart way to cover your bases. Let’s go USMNT!
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