We are now moving into the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup and the USA has secured a favorable draw against El Salvador. The other three games all look like close encounters, however, and there is plenty of value to be had for bettors going into this round of fixtures.
Costa Rica topped its group after beating Honduras and French Guiana and securing a draw with Canada. But its reward is a very tricky quarterfinal match against a Panama team that also secured seven points in the group stage. Panama drew with the USA, but then beat Nicaragua 2-1 and Martinique 3-0. The Panamanians finished level on points and on goal difference with the USA but ended up second on goals scored so they can count themselves as unfortunate: had they scored one extra goal they would now be playing El Salvador rather than Costa Rica. This is likely to be an extremely tight match between two strong teams. They drew 0-0 last time they met, which was last month in World Cup qualifying, although Costa Rica won both previous games: 3-1 and 2-1. The Ticos should just have the edge and the +125 looks really interesting on them to win it with William Hill. If you are feeling more cautious, Marathon Bet has -175 on Costa Rica to qualify.
USA Vs. El Salvador
The USA got off to a slow start, drawing with Panama and scraping a 3-2 victory against Martinique, but things finally clicked when they beat Nicaragua 3-0 last time out. This is a young and experimental team that Bruce Arena has picked, so it was always going to take time for them to find a collective rhythm. They are second-favorites for the tournament and, despite missing star players, they should beat a relatively poor El Salvador team here. El Salvador took just four points in the group stage and finished third, behind Mexico and Jamaica, but made it through to the knockout phase as one of the two best-performing third-placed teams. As a result, they get the toughest draw (along with the other third-placed team to make it through, Honduras, which will play tournament favorite Mexico) and this should prove a bit of a mismatch. As such the odds are low – the best price you can get is -400 with William Hill – so you have to look at other markets for value. USA and the over 2.5 goals looks good at -125 with Betway, as does USA -1.5 Asian handicap at -130 with Bet Victor.
Jamaica Vs. Canada
These two solid if unspectacular teams both finished second in their groups with five points apiece. That means they are both unbeaten and it should be a really tight, low-scoring game as they are very evenly matched. A draw would not be a surprise here and it could go to extra time and penalties. The draw is +200 with Bet365, while William Hill has +550 on 1-1 and 0-0.
Mexico Vs. Honduras
Mexico beat Curacao 2-0 in its final group game to top Group C with seven points. Coach Juan Carlos Osorio has frustrated fans by constantly rotating his starting 11, and Mexico has struggled against top opposition like Chile and Germany -- but against teams like Honduras, Mexico been consistently winning. Last time they played Mexico won 3-0 back in June. Like the USA, Mexico has left out many of its star players – many of whom are in preseason training with their European clubs – but it has a strong domestic league and this is a great shop window for several players who are staking a claim for a place in the squad for next summer’s World Cup. Honduras has already lost to Costa Rica in this competition, and Mexico should be able to get the better of it here. The straight Mexico win looks good at -175 with Betway.