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Mexico vs. USA Betting Odds, Pick, Prediction, Preview: Can Christian Pulisic, Americans Down Rivals in 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier? (March 24)

Mexico vs. USA Betting Odds, Pick, Prediction, Preview: Can Christian Pulisic, Americans Down Rivals in 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifier? (March 24) article feature image
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John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images. Pictured: United States standout Christian Pulisic.

  • Mexico hosts the United States in Thursday's crucial World Cup qualifying match at Azteca Stadium in Mexico City.
  • El Tri has seen their betting odds jump from plus money to -115 on the moneyline, as they face their longtime rivals missing three key players.
  • Ian Quillen breaks down the contest below and give his top selection tied to this heavyweight CONCACAF showdown.

Mexico vs. USA Odds

Mexico Odds -115
USA Odds +333
Draw +220
Over/Under 2.5 (+125 / -175)
Day | Time Thursday | 10 p.m. ET
Location Estadio Azteca, Mexico City
How To Watch CBS Sports Network | Paramount+ | fuboTV
Odds updated as of Thursday afternoon via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Mexico and the United States can move closer toward booking a place at the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar when they meet Thursday at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City.

The Americans enter the final qualifying window in second place, just ahead of El Tri on goal difference, but with the tougher schedule left on their plates. After visiting Mexico City, the U.S. side hosts Panama on Sunday and visits Costa Rica next Wednesday. Both opponents remain in qualifying contention.

Mexico has the easier road even if it doesn’t get a desired result in Sunday’s match. El Tri faces two eliminated sides in their final games, with outings at Honduras and a home clash with El Salvador.

The USMNT won the previous meeting, 2-0, in Cincinnati, and has triumphed in three consecutive meetings with their bitter rivals. The other victories during that stretch — at last year’s CONCACAF Nations League final and CONCACAAF Gold Cup titl match — required extra time.

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Mexico Seeking Revenge Against Rival

Mexico can qualify even with a loss at Azteca. However, manager Tata Martino might not survive.

The Argentine boss is under enormous pressure after losing two cup finals and a qualifier to the Americans last year, not to mention an additional qualifying defeat in Canada.

And even the home performances haven’t featured the kind of dominance El Tri supporters expect.

Mexico has already been held to home draws by Canada and Costa Rica, plus it only defeated Jamaica and Panama by a single goal. The latter win came on Raul Jimenez’s 80th-minute penalty after a harsh decision on the visitors.

Jimenez has two goals from the spot, but the Wolverhampton striker has yet to find the net from open play.

Chivas standout Alexis Martin and Club America player Henry Martin are the only other Mexican attackers with two goals.

Martino continues to resist pressure to call in Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Mexico’s all-time leading scorer, despite the 33-year-old’s productive form with the Los Angeles Galaxy in Major League Soccer.


FIFA 2022 World Cup CONCACAF Standings

TEAM RECORD (W-L-D) POINTS
Canada 7-0-4 25
USA 6-2-3 21
Mexico 6-2-3 21
Panama 5-4-2 17
Costa Rica 4-3-4 16
El Salvador 2-6-3 9
Jamaica 1-6-4 7
Honduras 0-8-3 3

No Dest, McKennie, Aaronson Troubling for USA

It’s not the scrutiny of an entire nation, but U.S. manager Gregg Berhalter faces his own pressure on this 12th match in World Cup qualifying.

Already plagued by inconsistency up top, Berhalter must now tackle these last three games without injured midfielders Weston McKennie and Brendan Aaronson, and defender Sergino Dest.

Those players have scored five of the Americans’ 16 qualifying goals. And McKennie has been the team’s most consistent player in his last six appearances.

In better news, Borussia Dortmund standout Gio Reyna is set to play his first qualifying minutes since the opening match window back in September.

The 19-year-old had a prolonged recovery from a hamstring injury sustained at home against Canada in the team’s second fixture. However, he has appeared in Dortmund’s last three Bundesliga matches, including a full 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw at Köln this past Sunday.

Manchester City’s Zack Steffen should also be back in goal for the U.S. after missing the January and February matches with back issues.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

In some ways these teams have become mirror images of each other, underperforming their talent level but likely not severely enough to miss out on qualification.

They have also been particularly slow starters against anything resembling formidable opposition.

In 12 games against foes who remain in contention for qualification, Mexico and the United States have combined for a meager three goals before halftime. This counts their first meeting in Cincinnati twice, a game that was scoreless at the half before McKennie and Christian Pulisic scored.

And the fact this match is being played to open the window, without much time to rediscover rhythm and chemistry, makes another quiet first 45 minutes likely here.

If you made me pick a three-way moneyline, I’d probably go toward the 90-minute draw.

Both teams’ struggles are sort of a wash, and the Americans have a decent record at Azteca via three draws in their last six qualifying visits. The Thursday kickoff also blunts Mexico’s home-field advantage, with their European-based players just as disadvantaged at altitude as the Americans.

However, the real value for me sits in the first half. Betting a halftime draw at -105 odds and an implied 51.2% probability is good value. Betting a scoreless halftime draw at +145 odds and an implied 40.8% probability is even better.

Pick: First Half — Total Under 0.5 Goals (+145)

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