Your Humble Handicapper has plenty of friends in the USA and has enjoyed all the time he spent on the other side of the pond. He may never been to Costa Rica that doesn't mean he isn’t a huge fan of the place and wishes them every success on the football pitch, as long as it in line with what he predicts.
Enough with the personal geography lesson…WHERE’S THE MONEY MIKE?
The USA or the form side and looking at their last five games they've got very prettily five wins lined up behind them and although they've only managed to keep a pair of clean sheets in that run they have outscored the competition 14 goals to 5.
Costa Rica by comparison lost their last two games but did go on a three-game winning streak before that.
In Costa Rica's last five games they have kept three clean sheets (in the three games played at home) but failed to find the back of the net when they played away.
It's usually been a very close call as Costa Rica is the last three games all ended by the same 1-0 scoreline.
They were only on the winning side of that once which is partly why the sportsbooks have 1-0 to USA at 7/1 and 1-0 to Costa Rica at 6/1.
Just to put things into perspective the bookies seem to like the idea that home advantage of playing Costa Rica's favour and have 6/4 to win this game was USA coming out on top at 7/4. The game ending tied, seems to be less likely now runs at about 11/5.
If you're looking at half-time full-time scores Costa Rica winning both is a 3/1, the game being drawn across the 45 and 90 is 7/2 and comparatively USA winning both halves is 4/1. None of those soccer odds really sing out to me, but if I was going to be forced to bet on the half-time full-time results I’d go for the game being drawn on the 45 and the home side coming out on top on the 90 which is around 9/2.
Head to head
Looking at the last five head-to-head meetings between these two sides it's been very close last three games have all been decided by that 1-0 scoreline, while a game before that was a 2-2 draw. Only once in the last five occasions has the game gone the way of the away side and that was a friendly back in September 2011. There's only been one draw and which was 2-2 as I mentioned above and I don't think that's very likely as it offered up by the sports books at 18/1 in this game.
The biggest win was back in 2009 when Costa Rica were 3-1 victors are paid on that score is available at 20/1 and is worth a friendly little bet if you have a soft spot for Costa Rica.
However I'm sure I said elsewhere that emotion has no place in this game (the game of gambling) so that's not where I am looking with my soccer picks.Prediction: The game ends drawn, 1-1 available at 5/1 with Paddy Power