What can we expect from the United States men's national team after a 1-1 draw in their first match against Wales on Monday? Former ESPN senior researcher Paul Carr, now senior director of content for TruMedia and covering his fourth men's World Cup, ESPN FC host Dan Thomas and ESPN broadcaster and analyst Dalen Cuff offer their tips and betting suggestions for the United States' second match against England.
After watching England's six-goal outburst against Iran, there's no real surprise to see them as heavy favorites against an American side that barely held on to tie Wales in their opening match. With the odds sitting at England (-175), USA (+470), Draw (+300) is there any chance Gregg Berhalter's charges can keep it level with the Three Lions?
Paul Carr: Of course! (The American says optimistically.) Since a draw is a decent result for both teams, I think this game will be tight, particularly early on. The US tended to play that way in the toughest qualifiers, away in the Octagonal, averaging fewer than six shots and half an expected goal per game in the first half. And they didn't show signs of counterattacking well against Wales. Harry Kane won't be 100 percent and Gareth Southgate has also preferred a defensive setup in major tournaments. I lean toward under 2.5 goals at -120.
Dan Thomas: The concern I would have is how knackered everybody looked at the end of the Wales game. I can only see an England win and a convincing one at that.
Dalen Cuff: I love Paul's positivity and my heart says the same, but my head says a draw would be great. Given how the US team played and looked, to Dan's point in second half, a point would be a great result. I won't play a side until seeing the lineup, to confirm Kane starts and the US lineup and any changes. This will be a tight match that the US will go into thinking they can't lose. That might be their downfall, but I do like the under as well -2.5.
Given how strong the US side looked in the first half against Wales, would you take a chance at USA Win 1st Half/England Win 2nd Half (+1000) or any other 1st Half Result/2nd Half Result prop?
Carr: This is so dependent on the US setup that I wouldn't make a play without seeing the lineup. If Tim Weah starts again, look for the US to aggressively play long balls over the top and threaten the shaky England defense immediately. If Brenden Aaronson is in, the US will likely look to press defensively a bit more. And if Gio Reyna starts, that might mean the US will try to possess the ball. Or maybe there's a bigger tactical wrinkle coming. Regardless, this game could go a lot of different ways depending on each team's approach.
Cuff: I'm told I talk too much ... NO.
It's still more likely that the US can advance from this group than not, but did you see enough from the matches on Monday to roll the dice on them to actually win Group B (+800)?
Carr: It wouldn't be the worst bet, considering that a US win on Friday would mean a win over Iran would win the group, and even a draw might be enough. But with +500 odds for the US to beat England, you're better off just betting them to win Friday, then roll some or all of that money over to Tuesday's game, when you know exactly what the US needs to advance.
Thomas: I can't just write no again. So I will say I don't believe this is a bet you should go anywhere near.
Cuff: Given the situation with any other team not named the US, I would never bet them to win this group in this scenario ... so again take the emotion out of it. Any money laid on the US to win the group now is money wasted. To qualify at -125 is where you should be.
Are there any other props from this game that stand out to you?
Carr: Given the anticipated conservative nature of both teams, I think +185 on no first-half goals is worth a shot. It's not a fun bet to make, but we'll likely see a lot of caution early on, and I think this game gets to halftime 0-0 well over a third of the time.
Thomas: I like Paul's bet a lot. Elsewhere a yellow for Tyler Adams who very much plays with his heart on his sleeve at +330 looks like a brilliant bet.
Cuff: I actually really like both the bets above, but I'll also add Both Teams to Score NO -115.