High Hopes for USA’s Brazil Send-Off
USA descend on Nigeria as the favourites, smack on even money at +100 (or thereabouts) to win outright across all sportsbook platforms. The clash represents Coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s last chance to prepare the Red, White and Blue for Brazil.
As it were, USA scheduled three friendly matches in the lead up to the finals – Azerbaijan, Turkey and Nigeria. It would be a gross overstatement to suggest that either nation represents an exceedingly arduous challenge, fitting enough to prepare USA for a tough Group G. Nonetheless, USA have come away with victories in their first two friendly matches. They beat Azerbaijan 2-0 and Turkey 2-1. Now, they’ll look to sweep the triplet on winning form, and ride that momentum into Brazil.
Cup Long Shots, Nigeria
Nigeria have already played two friendly matches with Scotland and Greece, both of which settled on draws – 2-2 to Scotland and 0-0 to Greece. Their clash with USA represents their final Brazil send-off as well.
The uninspiring draws in both previous friendly matches perhaps can be explained by a rather fortuitous Group F that includes Argentina, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Iran, and from which many believe the Super Eagles are quite capable of advancing. Perhaps, that thinking (amongst several other things) has encouraged this lack of impetus, a notion they can afford to take it easy on preparations.
Argentina are the favourites to win Group F at -450. Bosnia-Herzegovina are deemed second favourites to win at +600 while Nigeria are the third favourites at +900. Iran are the long shots of the group at +3300; arguably, their World Cup case is best served in contrary markets, such as finishing bottom. In fact, they are a tempting World Cup pick at -175 to finish bottom of Group F.
vs. Nigeria Betting Tips and Picks
Nigeria, tipped at +280 to win outright, will have all to do against the USA on home soil. Playing against a hostile house, filled to the brim with thousands of fans, is a tough ask. Still, the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations champions are a capable side with several standout players. They qualified for Brazil convincingly and, recently, finished third in the African Nations Championships with a 1-0 win over Zimbabwe.
Although USA won the first two fixtures of their send-off series, Jurgen Klinsmann isn’t quite satisfied with the performance his lads deposited in either match. Much was to be desired in the clash against lightweights Azerbaijan, with attacking initiative coming rather late –goals by Diskerud (75th minute) and Johannsson (81st minute). And against Turkey, USA weren’t much better, but at least they went on the attacking initiative early and successfully.
Nigeria present USA’s toughest test of the send-off series, making it a must-win clash. The premium on the win could pay dividends towards their campaign. A defeat to Nigeria, on the other hand, could be detrimental to their World Cup odds, not least their confidence as well.
Soccer Free Picks: USA to win outright at +100