2014 World Cup Picks: USA vs. Ghana

Nila Amerova

Friday, June 13, 2014 3:08 PM GMT

Friday, Jun. 13, 2014 3:08 PM GMT

USA have never beaten Ghana at the finals, but that’s exactly what they’ll need to do if they hope to shake things up in Group G. Join us as we preview the clash of hopefuls USA and Ghana, set to get underway on day six of World Cup Betting, and deliver our choice soccer picks.

USA have high hopes
USA’s record against Ghana isn’t promising; twice already they’ve lost narrowly to Ghana at the finals – and at pivotal moments, no less. Nor is USA’s record against Germany in Group G, the so-called ‘Group of Death’, much better. Only against Portugal do the Americans have one victory, a 3-2 victory in 2002. What all this means quite simply is that USA will be hard pressed to advance out of this group into the knockouts. However, if they are to do so – try to turn the odds in their favour – then, arguably, their best shot comes against Ghana and, to a lesser extent, Portugal.

USA are the underdogs of Group G at +1200 to win outright, and they are +700 underdogs to simply advance into the knockouts. Odds makers briefly improved USA’s odds, putting them ahead of Ghana in group betting markets, a move that was underscored by USA sweeping their warm-up series with three straight victories. However, Jurgen Klinsmann’s final squad selection, which is conspicuous for Landon Donovan’s absence, was a bit of jolt. In the face of an already shaky betting public’s faith on account of a tough group, it was yet another controversial elimination by the German national to have a polarizing effect amongst American World Cup fans. It remains to be seen whether it’ll prove to be a smart decision or one he’ll live to rue.  If markets were an indication, that USA are the quintessential underdogs of Group G isn’t a good omen.

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Ghana goes for hat-trick
Ghana will be looking to pull off a hat-trick against USA when they get their Group G campaign underway on day 6. Ghana beat USA twice in previous finals, both times 2-1 with the last encounter, in the R16 at the 2010 World Cup, going the distance in extra time.

The positive head-to-head record lends Ghana’s odds value, which are set at +163 to win outright at Bet365. They are the notional favourites, albeit on the short side of even money. More importantly, it should give the African side confidence going into the game.

Ghana played two friendly matches ahead of the World Cup, losing 1-0 to Netherlands but beating South Korea 4-1. Naturally, the victory was impressive but, arguably, so was the defeat to Netherlands. Granted Van Persie scored in the first five minutes to lift his side to a 1-0 victory, but the Black Stars thwarted the Dutch attack from that point on, defending stoically. It’s not as if they were without chances to draw level either.


USA vs. Ghana match betting tips and picks
This is a must-win game for both teams if they hope to shake things up in Group G, turn the table on expectations. Ghana, one of the strongest competitors from the African Continent, reached the quarterfinals in 2010. If they hope to pull off a similar feat in Brazil, they’ll need to get off to a strong start against USA.

Ghana look to be priced well for the victory at +163 at Bet365. Their attack is lethal, and can challenge some of the best teams in the world. USA’s defence will be sorely tested by Asamoah Gyan and Kevin-Prince Boateng, two of the most potent Black Stars on the pitch.

This doesn’t mean that USA should be underestimated. Nor is a Ghana victory a given. On the contrary, with USA tipped at +200 to win outright and the draw at +220, USA could well fancy their chances at the upset, or to simply thwart Ghana’s bid with a draw. After all, both their previous defeats to Ghana were decided by a goal, and each time the American’s had plenty of chances to win only to rue those missed opportunities. They have a score to settle here.

If World Cup bettors are inclined towards the upset, this is a reasonable matchup to consider. The World Cup betting lines are tight, odds just a hairbreadth apart. Both clear indications it could go either way. For our money, however, we’re leaning towards Ghana, just ever so slightly. So we recommend Ghana to win outright at +163 for your World Cup picks. As well, here are some markets that we feel could be interesting for both sides of the coin: Ghana and Yes on both teams to score at +550; 2-1 to Ghana at +900 or 3-1 to Ghana at +2200; 2-2 draw at +1800; Draw-Ghana double result at +450; Draw-Draw double result at +333.

World Cup Picks: Ghana to win outright at +163; Ghana and Yes for both teams to score at +550

 

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