Canada vs Australia Odds, Pick | Women’s World Cup Preview
Justin Setterfield/Getty. Pictured: Steph Catley.
Canada vs Australia Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+115 / -150)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-110 / -115)|
|Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute World Cup odds here.|
Australia and Canada entered this World Cup group as the two overwhelming favorites to advance from Group B and they are now essentially playing a knockout match between one another on Monday in Australia. Nigeria sit atop Group B with four points, tied with Canada but ahead on the goals scored tiebreaker. Australia have three points but only a win or a draw and Nigeria loss to Ireland would see them advance. With New Zealand already out of the tournament, both host nations could be out before the tournament is through the group stage.
The most important news heading into this match is the status of Sam Kerr, Australia's best player. She is expected to make her return to the lineup after a calf strain kept her out of the first two matches. The Aussies scored three goals in total without her, but one came from a questionable penalty and the other deep in stoppage time of a match they trailed 3-1.
Australia don't have a ton of depth behind her, but it's also quite uncertain that she'll actually start or be fit enough for 90 minutes.
Canada Have Slight Edge in Numbers & Variety
Canada's second half substations really brought the team to life in their eventual 2-1 win against Ireland. They were fortunate to get back on level terms in first half stoppage time with an own goal gift from Ireland. After that, Christine Sinclair, Cloé Lacasse and Sophie Schmidt's second half sub impacts were immediate to the quality of the attack.
Sinclair and Lacasse both had excellent scoring opportunities themselves in front of goal with four shots and five shot-creating actions in total. Lacasse had two successful take-ons and Sinclair's progressive passing penned Ireland into their own half at times.
Schmidt had the assist for the game winning goal and also added four shot creating actions of her own. The depth of the Canadian team could be a key difference in this match. While Australia are dealing with a potentially not 100% superstar, Canada can mix and match their lineups to get fresh legs on when needed to produce.
The Aussies and Canadians don't have much to separate them on the underlying scoreboard, but it's important to note that Australia played a large portion of their minutes down multiple goals to Nigeria. If you adjust for game state, Canada did a better job with ball progression and box entries at both ends of the pitch.
Australia in Danger of Elimination
Kerr's status isn't the only key for Australia headed into the group finale. She was cagey in the pre-match press about her ability to play.
“I’m definitely going to be available,” Kerr said, “but how we decide to use that is not to be given to the opposition.”
The Australians hid Kerr's injury from the press and didn't announce it until just before lineups of the opening match against Ireland. I don't expect them to release any info about Kerr potentially starting until they absolutely have to. The fact she's able to play at all and that this is the World Cup would lead me to think she's fit to play at least a half on Monday.
Australia are also expecting a return to action for Mary Fowler, a striker from Manchester City who can play alongside Kerr or help replace her in the event of her absence. She missed the last match against Nigeria with a concussion and Australia had a real issue creating high quality chances, instead often settling for lots of low-quality shot volume.
Fowler is only 19, but her move to Manchester City (and goal and assist in her first 1.8 90s) show how much talent she has. Kerr has 70 goal involvements in 51 90s at Chelsea in the last three years as she led them a Women's Super League title in each season.
There's also the chance Kerr plays but she may not be her normal self given the injury limiting potential burst or explosiveness.
Canada vs Australia Pick
Even if Australia have Kerr back in the lineup for 45 minutes and Fowler able to fill in the gaps, there's nothing from the first two matches to suggest that Australia have any real advantage over Canada in this match beyond home field. There's immense pressure on Australia to advance out of the group, as no host nation had ever failed to advance to the knockouts in Women's World Cup history until New Zealand on Sunday.
I think this much pressure can actually work against the host and there's not much of a gap in any of the underlying numbers or the true talent of either squad. Canada conceded a fluke goal to Ireland straight in from a corner, but the defensive numbers have otherwise held up solidly for them. The same can't be said for Australia, whose defense played in a much worse game state and still conceded more xGA in two matches than Canada did against the same opponents.
Canada won 2-1 and 1-0 in two friendly matches in Australia just last year. They're not going to be overwhelmed by the moment and should get the needed draw at worst to advance to the next round. I'd bet Canada double chance or +0.5 at -150 or better.
The Pick: Canada +0.5 (-150 or better)