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FIFA World Cup Qualifier Betting Odds, Pick, Prediction, Preview for Canada vs. USA: Can Christian Pulisic, Americans Triumph?

FIFA World Cup Qualifier Betting Odds, Pick, Prediction, Preview for Canada vs. USA: Can Christian Pulisic, Americans Triumph? article feature image

John Todd/ISI Photos/Getty Images. Pictured: United States star Christian Pulisic.

  • The United States faces rival Canada in Sunday's FIFA World Cup qualifying match.
  • Standout Christian Pulisic and the Americans are slight +175 ML favorites against the red-hot Canadians.
  • Ian Quillen breaks down the contest below and drops two picks at ripe odds.

Canada vs. USA Odds

Canada Odds +180
USA Odds +175
Draw +180
Over/Under 2.5 (+135 / -190)
Day | Time Sunday | 3:05 p.m. ET
Location Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
How To Watch Paramount+ | fuboTV
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Canada and the United States can each put one virtual foot in Qatar with a victory in Sunday’s pivotal CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match at Tim Horton’s Field in Hamilton, Ontario.

The Canadians are in sensational form, winning their fourth in a row on Thursday in a 2-0 triumph at Honduras to remain atop the final-round standings. On the other side, the Americans also got the result they needed Thursday, but were less impressive in a 1-0 home over El Salvador. They remain second, sitting a point behind Canada and point in front of Mexico.

A win combined with a loss by Panama at home to Jamaica could put Canada eight points clear of safety in the race for three automatic berths to the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The U.S. would be seven points clear with an away win and a Panama loss out of 14 total.

These teams settled for a 1-1 draw at their September meeting in Nashville.

Canada Flourishes Without Star Davies

If Canada is a definitively weaker team without Bayern Munich star Alphonso Davies, it certainly didn’t show it in Thursday’s victory.

Davies has been ruled out with myocarditis, but manager John Herdman’s squad didn’t miss a beat with its clinical performance at a struggling Honduran side. Tajon Buchanan’s excellent work down the right flank created an opening own goal on 10 minutes. Then, Liam Fraser found Jonathan David for a sensational finish on the break in the 73rd minute to seal a 2-0 win.

Herdman was also able to preserve Mark-Anthony Kaye by leaving him off the trip. The influential defensive midfielder was a major foil for the U.S. during these teams’ previous 1-1 draw, but has been sitting on a yellow card since.

Beyond the frigid conditions expected in Hamilton, the Canadians might have another subtle home field advantage: Field turf. This will be their third home qualifier played on a synthetic surface after earning victories over Costa Rica and Mexico in Edmonton in November.

FIFA 2022 World Cup CONCACAF Standings

Canada 5-0-4 19
USA 5-1-3 18
Mexico 5-2-2 17
Panama 4-3-2 14
Costa Rica 3-3-3 12
Jamaica 1-4-4 7
El Salvador 1-5-3 6
Honduras 0-6-3 3

Triumph Doesn’t Hide USA Issues at Striker

Manager Gregg Berhalter’s squad never looked in real danger of conceding a goal in Thursday’s narrow win. However, the Americans’ offensive struggles — in a game where they held a 2.9-1.8 edge in expected goals (depending on model) — emphasized this team’s weakness at striker.

Jesus Ferreira got a surprising start Thursday, perhaps with Berhalter saving Gyasi Zardes or Ricardo Pepi for the Canada clash. Ferreira wasn’t terrible, but wasn’t clinical either, and the Americans required a goal from left back Antonee Robinson to avoid a draw.

When the Americans last played Canada, they had to deal with the unexpected absence of Weston McKennie for violating COVID-19 protocols. This time, it’s winger Tim Weah, who is ruled out for pandemic-related reasons.

#USMNT head coach Gregg Berhalter said Tim Weah did not travel because his vaccination – which meets all criteria in France, where he plays professionally – doesn’t meet Canada’s entry requirements.

Weah travels today to Minnesota for #USAvHON.

— U.S. Soccer MNT (@USMNT) January 29, 2022

Weah has received his first vaccine shot, but then contracted the virus, preventing him from receiving his second dose. By Canada’s standards, he’s considered not fully vaccinated and not permitted to cross the border into the country.

Brenden Aaronson is the most obvious replacement. He scored the Americans’ goal in their previous draw with Canada.

Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie played the full 90 minutes on Thursday, but Christian Pulisic was pulled after 65 in one of his less effective outings.

With home matches against Honduras and Panama remaining, some have argued this game is less important for the U.S. side. Whether Adams and McKennie start will let us know what Berhalter thinks.

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Betting Analysis & Picks

If you evaluated this match only by roster pedigree, the three-way line makes sense. The Americans have an advantage, yet it’s small enough to be balanced by Canada’s home-field edge.

That’s a short-sighted way to handicap international competition. Group chemistry and identity matter more when there’s much less training time to iron out any kinks.

When you factor those things in, the U.S. is overvalued. Canada has won four in a row and, maybe most importantly, its performances have been more consistent.

We’ve seen a flash or two of brilliance from the U.S. — the second half against Mexico at home and Honduras on the road, mainly. However, we’ve also seen incoherence and frustration. On the road, where the Americans have won only once in four trips, those have been the norm.

That said, the value on the draw and a Canada win might be close to equal. So, you have to be a little creative.

Canada’s liability is in the back four. The country has conceded in all four of its matches against teams in the top half of the CONCACAF table. The Americans have kept one away clean sheet, and that came against a Salvadoran squad that’s the weakest in attack of the bunch.

In other words, 0-0 or 1-0 feels unlikely.

That has me playing two props via this wager: Canada to win outright and the total going over 1.5 goals at +290 or the game to draw with the total clearing 1.5 goals at +320 odds. I’m putting about 52% of my money on the former and 48% on the latter. If either hits, I’ll get a return slightly better than even money.

Picks: Canada to Win & Total Over 1.5 Goals (+290) | Draw & Total Over 1.5 Goals (+320)

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