England vs USA
Thursday, September 26, at Misaki Park Stadium
Team USA’s Rugby World Cup campaign begins against England on Thursday and it is likely to be a distinctly lopsided affair. England is the +500 second favorite to win the tournament with Bet365 and it opened its tournament by beating Tonga 35-3 at the weekend. USA is a +150000 outsider to win the trophy, and the sportsbooks expect it to struggle. England is the 33-point favorite to win this game, but USA could surprise a few fans on Thursday.
England was without key forward Mako Vunipola for its opening victory over Tonga, and the Saracens superstar will not return for at least a couple more weeks. His brother, Billy, was in action along with several other big guns, including Maro Itoje, Sam Underhill, Manu Tuilagi, Owen Farrell, Jonny May and George Ford. England has just four days’ turnaround between games, so coach Eddie Jones could shuffle his pack for his game. Joe Cokanasiga, Mark Wilson and George Kruis could all come into the team to show what they can do.
Cardiff winger Blaine Scully will lead Team USA into this game against England. His is a veteran of 50 Test matches and he previously spent two years playing in England for Leicester. Harlequins centre Paul Lasike, Saracens prop Titi Lamositele and Sale fly-half AJ MacGinty are among the Premiership players in this USA line-up. Coach Gary Gold, formerly of Bath and Worcester, has made five changes from the team that beat Canada 20-15 on September 7.
USA would pull off the greatest upset in Rugby World Cup history if it was to win this game. Nobody is realistically expecting it to triumph. England is the -10000 favorite in the moneyline betting, and you can find odds of +3600 on the USA to win the game. The big question is whether England can cover that 33-point spread. It has a big, monstrous pack, bags of experience and a great deal of pace and power, so even if it rotates a few players it should be capable of beating USA by more than 30 points. It gave a lacklustre performance against Tonga and still won by 32 points, and Jones will demand a better showing this time around.
Best Pick: England -33 (-191) with Bet365