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England vs USA Odds, Pick, Prediction: How to Bet Crucial World Cup Match

England vs USA Odds, Pick, Prediction: How to Bet Crucial World Cup Match article feature image
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Getty Images. Pictured: Tim Weah (left) and Bukayo Saka.

England vs. USA Odds

Friday, Nov. 25
2 p.m. ET
FOX
England Odds -200
USA Odds +600
Draw +333
Over/Under 2.5 (-138 / +110)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No) (-110 / -110)
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute World Cup odds here.

The United States and England will meet in a Group B fixture on Black Friday. With the timing and the stakes, it could become the most-watched soccer match in American TV history.

England are clear favorites just over a year removed from their runner-up finish at the Euros. They should be full of confidence after a 6-2 opening win against Iran.

The United States may be second-guessing themselves following a 1-1 draw against Wales in which they gifted their opponents a late penalty. But the Americans were favored — and they’ve always been more comfortable at the World Cup as an underdog.

Believe it or not, the brief World Cup history favors the States. They have a 1-0-1 record (W-L-D) all-time against England in the competition, including a 1-1 draw in 2010 in South Africa.

Most of us weren’t alive for the other meeting, the USA’s historic 1-0 win in Brazil in 1950.

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England Solid in Opener, But Questions Remain

In terms of result, manager Gareth Southgate got the perfect outcome in the opener. He got an early romp that makes their place in the round of 16 all but a lock with a second victory.

It was unexpected as well, given England’s six-match UEFA Nations League winless run entering the match.

But don’t overlook just how poor Iran were, even if the circumstances in their home country made that performance understandable. England finished with 2.1 expected goals (xG) in the match but 3.1 post-shot xG, suggesting a lack of anything resembling pressure on the ball.

England did endure two injury scares, with center back Harry McGuire and forward Harry Kane both forced off early. Both are expected to be available on Friday.

Even in their dominance, the Three Lions failed to keep a clean sheet. Since 2021 began, they’ve only preserved two in 10 games against teams that qualified for this World Cup. Both of those came at Wembley Stadium during their run to the Euro final.

USA Need Major Improvement to Secure Result

The Americans’ much-talked about youth stood out for better and worse in an inconsistent performance against Wales.

The first half was one of the best in memory under manager Gregg Berhalter, with Christian Pulisic feeding Tim Weah on a well-constructed opener in the 36th minute.

However, the second was an intense reversion to the mean, complete with a frustrating inability to make the right pass in promising positions. A needless penalty conceded by Walker Zimmerman to gift Gareth Bale his Wales equalizer from the spot put a bow on it.

Match reports insisting the Americans dominated the game apparently just ignored the final 45 minutes. Wales nearly doubled the Americans in xG created at the final whistle, 1.5 to 0.8. The US may have had a lot more of the ball in what should have been good positions, but Wales were far more efficient in terms of chance creation.

The Americans face injury questions, as well. Midfielder Gio Reyna apparently had late muscle tightness, which left him on the bench for the latter stages of the Wales match. Weston McKennie came off midway through the second half after looking less than 90-minutes fit following a hamstring injury sustained earlier this month.

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England vs. USA Pick

England are priced too significantly given the fact that they have zero history of sustained excellence in group play.

The Three Lions have failed to win all three games in the group stage of their last 17 tournaments between the World Cup and the European Championships. They last opened with three wins at Spain ’82, when Southgate was a few months shy of his 12th birthday.

Unless you really think this is a special generation of English talent (recent results suggest otherwise), you have to consider the Americans the most likely to inflict damage in the group.  The USMNT have a history of being better than expected against group favorites, having posted a 2-3-2 record against them since 1990.

However, let’s not get carried away. One of the two teams that won against group favorites played Colombia before a feverish home crowd at the Rose Bowl in 1994. The other was the best collection of American talent ever assembled in 2002.

This young European-based group could eventually supplant that 2002 team, but in this tournament they’re probably too green. Experience has an outsized influence on short tournaments, whereas you can hide a lack of it more easily in league play.

I’m left looking at odds on a draw at +320 as the logical play for two teams that are both probably less than what fans’ expectations say. That’s a wager backing an implied 23.8% probability of a result that would suit each manager just fine in terms of trying to advance.

If you don’t want to watch the game rooting for a draw, you could also consider a yes wager on both teams to score, given neither team impresses defensively.

The Pick: ML Draw (+320)

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