FOX Sports Betting Analyst
Betting on Women’s World Cup odds really starts to pick up now, with the 32-team tournament kicking off Thursday. Two-time defending champion USA first takes the pitch Friday.
To say the U.S. Women’s National Team is a favorite against Vietnam is an understatement. The American side is a massive, massive favorite in a Group E opening match that starts at 9 p.m. ET (FOX and FOX Sports App).
RELATED: Women’s World Cup betting primer
The odds are so incredibly tilted that, for us recreational bettors, wagering on the U.S. to win is not even worth the time. But there are other markets that present better betting opportunities in this match.
Seamus Magee, sports trader for BetMGM, and Kevin Lawler, head of trading for PointsBet USA, dive into how Team USA is being bet in its opener on the Women’s World Cup odds board.
Not favored enough?
Over the past week, BetMGM has listed the USWNT as a -100000 moneyline favorite multiple times against Vietnam. What that means: If you bet $100 on Team USA to win the match, and the Americans deliver a victory, you’d profit a grand total of … one, thin dime.
Yep, 10 cents. That’s it. A $100 bet will earn less than what you might typically find in your dryer after running laundry. It’d take a $1,000 bet to win $1. And to hear Magee tell it, the U.S. should be favored by more in this lopsided match.
“I’m not sure if the number is enough, if I’m being honest,” Magee said, while noting the current odds on Team USA to beat Vietnam are -50000.
Still, that means it would take a $500 bet just to win $1. On the flip side, Vietnam is currently +5500 (55-1) to pull off a monster upset. A $100 bet would profit $5,500. But there is almost absolutely no way that bet cashes.
“It would be the biggest upset in the history of competitive sports,” Magee said.
Interestingly, though, in the three-way betting at BetMGM — on either Team USA to win in 90 minutes plus injury time, Vietnam to win, or the game to end in a draw — all three choices are getting action. Yes, even Team USA, despite its microscopic return on investment.
As of Wednesday afternoon at BetMGM, 15% of tickets and 33% of dollars wagered were on the American side. Not surprisingly, casual bettors much prefer the long-shot odds of Vietnam, which is getting 62% of tickets and 50% of money. Draw is getting 23% of tickets and 17% of cash.
At PointsBet USA, the moneyline odds difference is a little less, but the USWNT is still -40000 to Vietnam’s +15000, with the draw at +8000. The competitive imbalance between these two teams is further demonstrated by the championship futures odds in the Women’s World Cup.
Team USA is the +225 favorite to win the tournament, while Vietnam is the +50000 (500-1), co-24th choice in the 32-team field.
“The Team USA players are all top-level professionals, playing in leagues throughout the world. There are other teams in this Women’s World Cup where the players are pros at major clubs, such as England, Spain and Germany,” Lawler said. “The players from Vietnam are playing on much lower-level club teams, and do not face competition the likes of which the USA or England do.
“Vietnam was beaten 9-0 last week by Spain, which is not as strong a team as the USWNT on paper.”
Spain is third in odds to win the World Cup at +500, behind the U.S. and England (+400).
The implication: Team USA just might rack up double-digit goals against highly overmatched Vietnam.
What must the USWNT do to win the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup?
Alexi Lalas, David Mosse and Heather O’Reilly preview the USWNT’s competition ahead of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup.
Where is the value?
Lawler said that, beyond the soccer pitch, tennis on occasion sees huge favorites on the odds board. For example, players such as Novak Djokovic and Carlos Alcaraz — who just met in the Wimbledon men’s final, with Alcaraz winning — will regularly go off as -10000 favorites in early-round matches on the ATP Tour.
“We see plenty of odds of this nature. Generally, clients will just look elsewhere within the event for a bet,” Lawler said. “In this case, it will be the USA -6.5 goals, or Over 6.5 goals in the total goals market.”
USA -6.5 goals is ostensibly a bet on the spread, similar to playing an NFL favorite to win by a certain number of points. Betting on that or Over 6.5 total goals in the game provides miles more value than betting on the hugely lopsided moneyline.
On the 6.5 total, for example, PointsBet has the Over as a modest -125 favorite and the Under a +100 underdog. If you foresee a USA wipeout win and the total goals exceeding 6.5 — whether Vietnam scores or not — that’s certainly a better way to spend your wagering dollar. At -125, a $125 bet would profit $100.
So by wagering on the total — and alternate totals, be they higher or lower — along with other markets, we’re no longer talking about winning literally nickels and dimes. And most sportsbooks — PointsBet and BetMGM included — have a host of prop bets available, all offering far better value and return on investment than betting on the match moneyline.
With game time still almost two days away, and the match such a lopsided affair, there’s not a lot of action on any USA-Vietnam markets yet. But Magee speculated on what’s to come between now and 9 p.m. ET Friday.
“We’ll see more action closer to game time for sure,” Magee said. “But if I had to make a guess, it’s gonna be bets on a lot of alternate spreads and totals on this game. We’ll also be offering goalscorer props. So there will be a decent chunk of bets there, too.”
Lawler concurred on prop bets being among the more popular ways to bet on Team USA in its opening match.
“Markets like next and anytime goalscorer will also see plenty of action,” Lawler said. “We’d also expect to see plenty of these bets combined into single-game parlays to come up with bigger prices.”
Indeed, casual/recreational bettors like to put together single-game parlay plays in an effort to turn a little into a lot. Just keep in mind that the more legs you add, the less likely that parlay ticket is to cash. Keep your expectations reasonable and enjoy betting Team USA’s kickoff in the Women’s World Cup.
Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and senior reporter for VegasInsider.com. He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He’s based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys golfing in 110-degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas
Play FOX Super 6 every week for your chance to win thousands of dollars every week. Just download the Super 6 app and make your picks today!
FIFA WORLD CUP WOMEN trending
Get more from FIFA Women’s World Cup Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more