Will the USA advance into the World Cup knockout stages at the conclusion of round 3 or will the Nigerians serve up a shocker? Find out as we preview Group D action on the day's soccer betting card
USA -400 vs. Nigeria +900; draw +500
Group D is living up to its pre-tournament billing of the 'Group of Death' with a whole slew of scenarios that could emerge at the close of round 3, including the unthinkable: US might not advance into the knockouts. Can the USA deliver on their pre-tournament expectations?
Certainly, it's not been an easy go of it in this expanded tournament for the formidable two-time World Cup champions USA. Although they opened their competition with a convincing 3-1 win over Australia they were dealt a setback by worthy opponents Sweden in round 2. The Swedes were coming off a shock 3-3 draw to Nigeria in their opener, so they had no option but to make a point in their clash. And so they did according to our recommended soccer picks.
As it is, the US women lead the group albeit with just four points. Australia trail a point behind and Sweden two points behind. Finally, Nigeria prop up the group with a point. Still, this is a tightly packed group with all manner of possible scenarios emerging at the close of round 3. USA may be the favorites at -400 to win outright, but they certainly don't have this game in the bag.
Nigeria stunned Sweden by rallying back twice on match day 1 in Group D to force the draw. Against the Aussies they didn't play badly nor was it a lack of scoring chances that saw them slip to the 2-0 defeat. It's just the way the ball rolls sometimes as they struggled on finishing touches. In any event, there's a lot to like about the Super Falcons so don't take the fact that nobody is giving them a chance as an absolute assessment. They are trading as the decisive underdogs across sports betting platforms, as high as +900 underdogs at Bet365 and even higher at other sportsbooks, but they might fancy their chances.
Recommended Soccer Picks: Nigeria Women to Win or Draw +300: Over 2.5 -225
Australia +260 vs. Sweden -105; Draw +260
The Swedish women are in a spot of trouble as their World Cup bid hangs in the balance of the outcome of this game. They let a prize opportunity slip through their fingers on match day 1 when they settled on a draw with the so-called group minnows Nigeria. So much for that assumption. That said the Swedes were complacent and allowed a two-goal lead slip through their fingers early in the game. After taking the lead once again and going up 3-2 they fritted that away by allowing Nigeria to level the score almost instantly. Credit to the Swedes though they did bounce back in game 2 with a crucial draw against the USA that kept their campaign alive. Still, they are on the outside looking into the knockouts and only a win over Australia will assure them advancement into the knockouts.
In the last four meetings between these two nations the Swedes haven't lost to Australia going 3-1-0. The most recent was at the 2011 world finals, which they won 3-1. Given their track record of success against the Matildas, the Swedes have to fancy their chances as the -105 soccer odds favorites.
By those same soccer odds, which are only just over Even money, the Swedes aren't exactly a shoe-in for your soccer picks. The Aussies revived their campaign with a round 2 win over Nigeria, which put them into the coveted second place in the table. They are one step closer to the knockouts and one has to assume they'll play as if their lives depended on the win. Which it does, actually. Given what is at stake their +260 soccer odds seem disingenuous. What's more, the Aussies know that a draw combined with a USA win over Nigeria would be enough to take them through.
This is a tough game to call in more ways than one. Reality is Sweden have yet to win a game in this competition. They've only mustered up two draws despite the hype that preceded them ahead of this world finals on account of a bronze medal finish at the Olympics. This is a team that belongs in the knockouts, but they repeatedly fail to deliver in big game situations. Can they be trusted to deliver tonight? The Aussies have the confidence and they are in the ascendancy, which are intangibles that can't be overlooked. Sweden should win as the -105 soccer betting favorite, but don't be surprised if the Aussies shake things up in this competition.
Recommended Soccer Picks: Australia to win at +260 - Australia to win or draw at -118: Over 2.5 at -105