Women's World Cup: USA vs. England Semifinals


USA (5-0-0) vs. England (5-0-0)

Tuesday, July 2, 3;00 PM EST

Soccer Free Picks: OVER 2.5 +110

Recommended Sportsbook: Bet365

USA the team to beat

From the start of the tournament, the USWNT was the team to beat in the eyes of the field of competitors and, in turn, across sports betting platforms. They are the No.1 ranked team in the world and the 2015 champions.

If the USA, now priced in minus-money at -125 to win a second straight trophy, hope to successfully defend their title, they’ll need to get past a very confident England side. The Lionesses are ranked third in the world and according to bookmakers are the second best bet to lift the trophy at +350 with Bet365.

USA beat host nation France in the quarterfinals 2-1, both goals courtesy of Megan Rapinoe, who has been quite the internet starlet over the course of the competition, and not always in the best of lights.

The USWNT as a group grabbed headlines with their over-the-top goal celebrations in a 13-0 beat down of Thailand in group play. Recently, Rapinoe moved to the forefront of media attention because of her comments about being invited to the White House should USA win the title again. Her comments didn’t go down well with Donald Trump, prompting a Twitter spat. Against France, Rapinoe’s Randy Orton pose promptly made the rounds.

Lover her or hate her, the 33-year-old captain is integral to the team’s success. Her two goals over France increased her tally to 14 goals in her last 16 appearances at the World Cup. Indeed, her penchant to find the net makes her a likely bet to score in the semi-finals. Rapinoe to score first or last is a tasty +600 bet, while to score anytime is a tempting +210. In fact, this is a very solid market to consider for your soccer picks.

England defeated Norway 3-0 in the quarterfinals to book their spot in the semis. Phil Neville’s side put in a sublime performance, one of the best accounts of their campaign. Lucy Bronze scored a superb goal against Norway that had many suggesting it should be the goal of the tournament. Had David Beckham, who’s at the tournament supporting his nation’s lasses, quite impressed too.

As superb as Bronze was in the game over Norway, it is teammate Ellen White that could prove a threat to the USA defenders in the semis. In fact, White is competing with Rapinoe and Alex Morgan for the golden boot of the tournament.

The trio has netted five times in France. Alex Morgan, priced at +260 to score first or last, and at -120 to score anytime, scored all her five goals against tournament lightweights Thailand. Since then she’s not found her scoring feet. As a result, her price tag does seem a bit generous. White, meanwhile, is priced at +800 to score first or last and +300 to score anytime.

England has never advanced beyond the semis of the World Cup, so beating the USA would not only prove a massive upset in the tournament but also history in the making. In 2015, England finished third in the World Cup after beating Germany. England to qualify for the final is priced at +162 with Bet365 while USA to qualify for the final is priced at -225.

The USA has lost just once to England in all competitions, but at the World Cup, they remain undefeated by England. (They met in 2007 where USA prevailed 3-0). As such, USA is favored to win this match at -115 in straight up betting markets.

Most recently, the pair met in the SheBelieves Cup and settled on a 2-2 draw, a mark that could give manager Phil Neville and the Lionesses room for optimism. England is priced at +320 to win straight up while the draw is priced at +250. Double result betting offers an England win or draw at a tempting -106 – that’s a great market for those looking to hedge their bets.

Against Spain and France, the USA defense was found wanting. They were sloppy against Spain, practically gift wrapping the goal to Spain on some poor passing near their goal. Similarly, France broke down the defenses from a set piece.

Neville will have taken stock of these lapses, surely, and England will look to strike first. Playing the USA on the back foot could be a recipe for disaster. The OVER 2.5 is priced at +110 while the UNDER is priced at -143.

Consider the last few games went OVER in both camps, the smart bet might be to take the OVER for this game. Heck, many soccer betting fans are harking after a bit of a goal-fest between two standout competitors.

Soccer Betting Verdict: There is value on both sides of the coin. The USA is obviously the popular soccer pick, on account of their dominance and superiority in the women’s game. England, however, has come leaps and bounds over the last few years. They can mastermind the upset.

England is a credible threat that the USA will not take lightly. If England bursts out of the gate with a verve and swagger and gets on the scoreboard early, anything can happen. Certainly, it would make the possibility of an upset more likely.

Soccer Free Picks: Over 2.5 at +110