Colombia Jamaica Odds, Pick | Women’s World Cup Preview
Sopa Images/Getty. Pictured: Rebecca Spencer.
Colombia Jamaica Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+160 / -211)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(+120 / -160)|
|Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute World Cup odds here.|
Many people filling out their brackets prior to the start of the 2023 World Cup would've penciled in this round of 16 matchup to be Germany vs Brazil or France.
Yet, here we are. Two of those powerhouses have packed their bags and headed home. Instead, Group H winner Colombia will take on Group F runner up Jamaica in Melbourne.
It is the biggest match in the history of the Jamaica Women's National team, their first-ever knockout match at a World Cup. For Colombia, it is their second journey to round of 16. Las Chicas Ponderosas were bounced out 2-0 by eventual champions the USA in 2015.
Colombia edge ahead as as the favorite at +110. However, Jamaica aren't too far behind at +280. This match feels like it is in the balance and really could go either way.
Colombia Must Beat a Version of Themselves to Advance
One game ago, it felt like Colombia were the darlings of the 2023 World Cup. A team with a high ceiling, arguably the best individual player at the tournament – Linda Caicedo – and a dialed up verve on the pitch. After the frenetic 2-1 win over Germany, this tournament was their oyster.
But, things change quickly in tournament soccer. A rather flat 1-0 defeat to outsiders Morocco was sobering. That result showed that from game to game very few teams are the full package.
Two aspects of Colombia's style of play that have stood out at this tournament is how they use their forwards to press and unsettle opponents passing build up, and how they've been keen to attack in the wide channels with incision.
It may surprise some that the South Americans rank seventh for high turnovers at the World Cup right now with 15.6 per match. In terms of using dribblers to get the ball forward, Mayra Ramirez ranks ninth for progressive carries and eighth for carries into the opposing penalty area.
Then there's Caicedo. Even though we have only seen small doses, her shooting and close control has been phenomenal. The Colombian has hovered and around the edge of the box. Sharp when she gets an eye for goal, Caicedo has scored two of her three shots at the World Cup. That's been good enough for the third-best goals minus expected goals tally of +1.9.
After scoring in each of Colombia's first two matches, Caicedo is +550 to score first and +220 to score anytime on Tuesday. You can back a wincast of Caicedo to score first and Colombia to win at +800.
The quality is there, it's now just about consistency and volume. Against Germany, we saw a really reactive Colombia capitalize in brief moments with only 33% possession. But against Morocco – with 60% of the ball – the Chicas Ponderosas stalled and drew their first blank.
The caution here is that Jamaica will likely set up like Morocco. A variation of 4-4-2, a low block, with banks of four along the midfield and defense. Can Colombia get used to be showing their dominance and make chances in a match they will need to control?
Jamaica Embodying Bend Don't Break Method
What most people know about Jamaica is that they needed a GoFundMe to help resource their World Cup campaign due to the federation's decision not to support their players as requested. It's also common knowledge that forward Khadija Shaw is one of the most best goalscorers in the world, and therefore at this tournament.
And as true as those things may be, the story of the Reggae Girlz has been defense. Heading into the Caribbean nation's historic first-ever round of 16 match, they are the last remaining team at the 2023 World Cup yet to concede a goal. That's a tremendous record considering Jamaica have conceded the seventh most shots on target per match (5.67) and the most of any team left in the competition.
Head coach Lorne Donaldson deserves a lot of credit for drawing up smart defensive tactics. Furthermore, he should be applauded for how he's managed to bring out such determination and concentration from his players. It's one thing to make a plan, but it's another thing for players to follow it.
The premise of Jamaica's tactics has been bending but not breaking. The Reggae Girlz drop deep and invite pressure on, but once teams get into the final third they find it very difficult to pass through the lines. This tactic tends to lead to plenty of crosses coming into the box, with teams then also trying to shoot from the edge of the box when space is crowded.
It can be risky, and it asks a lot of goalkeeper Becky Spencer, but overall it has worked. Jamaica have been rock solid and defiant.
Center back duo and sisters Allyson and Chantelle Swaby have been resilient so far. Both have played every minute for Jamaica too. Allyson also scored the Reggae Girlz's only goal of the tournament, a header from a corner in the 1-0 win over Panama.
Shaw is yet to score at this World Cup or any for that matter. A first-ever World Cup goal would be an emotional moment for the Manchester City forward and her country. And if anyone on this Jamaica team is going to score, it is most likely to be her.
Colombia vs Jamaica Pick
The consensus pick is that Colombia should win this one. But this World Cup has been throwing up a lot of upsets. There's also the lingering feeling that Jamaica could play in a similar defensive style to Morocco, and that might hurt Colombia's penchant for playing a more end-to-end attacking soccer.
If you're feeling bold but not too bold, Jamaica draw no bet could be an option +162. If you think Jamaica could pick up their third 0-0 of the tournament, then at +550 that's not a bad bet either.
Overall, this feels like a tight match that will probably be settled by one goal. If Jamaica score first, they will be well-placed to lock it down. But if Colombia open the scoring, we'll have to see the Caribbeans come out of their shell. Expect the South Americans to get some shots off.
The Picks: Colombia over 4.5 shots on target (+120 via bet365), Jamaica to keep a clean sheet (+225 via bet365)