USMNT heavily favored against El Salvador


The United States men’s national team has a chance to top the CONCACAF World Cup qualifying table next week.

The USA are currently second in their first eight games of World Cup qualifiers and one point behind group leaders Canada. With home games against Honduras and El Salvador wedged around an away game in Canada Thursday through Wednesday, the U.S. can move up to first place by tying with Canada’s results in those two home games and a win on Jan. 30.

Nine points in those three games might seem a bit pretentious, but it’s not at all out of the question. Honduras and El Salvador are bottom of the group and Canada are without Alphonso Davies in their squad for those three games. Davies is unfortunately battling a bout of myocarditis after contracting COVID-19.

Three wins will also put the USMNT in a fantastic position to qualify for the World Championship. The top three teams in the group will automatically advance to the World Cup, while the fourth-placed team will face the winner of March’s Oceania Qualifier in a playoff.

Yes, there is CONCACAF action to bet on. (AP Photo/Brandon Wade)

This is how the table looks ahead of CONCACAF Round No. 9 of 14.

  1. Canada, 16 points

  2. United States, 15

  3. Mexico, 14

  4. Panama, 14

  5. Costa Rica, 9

  6. Jamaica, 7

  7. Salvador, 6

  8. Honduras, 3rd

And here are the odds for Thursday’s matchups via BetMGM. Each of the top four teams plays against a team from the bottom four. Things could really diverge between the top and bottom of the group. Or things could get really mixed up as the teams in the bottom half of the group take points.

USA vs. El Salvador (over/under 2.5 goals)

  • United States (-400)

  • El Salvador (+1150)

  • Tie (+450)

US Soccer made interesting decisions to host the El Salvador game in Columbus and the Honduras game in St. Paul on February 2nd. Does the US really have that much of an advantage in colder weather, especially when it’s snowing? That’s the hope. Thursday’s high in Columbus is expected to be 32 with no precipitation. We’re going here with three points for the USA. Everything else is a big disappointment.

Jamaica vs. Mexico (2.5)

  • Jamaica (+475)

  • Mexico (-145)

  • tie (+230)

Mexico will have a strong attacking lineup for these three games with Raul Jimenez, Hirving Lozano and Jesus Corona in the roster. Jamaica have West Ham’s Michail Antonio ahead and his wonderful goal gave the Jamaicans a home draw against the United States. We wouldn’t be surprised to see a draw here given how troublesome Jamaica can be, although the smart money seems to lie on a Mexico win.

Honduras vs. Canada (2.5)

  • Honduras (+290)

  • Canada (+100)

  • tie (+220)

This is a much bigger test for Canada than the rankings suggest. Qualifying on the road as a first-place team is never easy. We’re betting on a draw here as Canada could strategically look ahead to Sunday’s home game against USA.

Costa Rica vs Panama (2.5)

  • Costa Rica (+125)

  • Panama (+250)

  • tie (+195)

Costa Rica will put themselves in contention for the Top 4 with a win, while a win could increase Panama’s chances of making the Top 4 significantly. Again, a draw seems likely and we like the choice as the odds are almost 2-1.

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