New Zealand vs. USWNT Odds, Picks, Prediction: Olympics Women’s Soccer Betting Preview (July 24)

New Zealand vs. USWNT Odds, Picks, Prediction: Olympics Women’s Soccer Betting Preview (July 24) article feature image
Credit:

Dan Mullan/Getty Images. Pictured: United States standout Julie Ertz.

  • The United States squares off against New Zealand in a crucial Olympic women's soccer match Saturday in Tokyo.
  • The Americans, who are coming off a shocking 3-0 defeat against Sweden, are 25-1 favorites on the moneyline against the Football Ferns.
  • Jeremy Pond breaks down the contest below and details why he expects the USWNT to deliver a convincing victory.

New Zealand vs. United States Odds

New Zealand Odds +3000
United States Odds -2500
Draw +1700
Over/Under 3.5 (-140 / +110)
Day | Time Saturday | 7:30 a.m. ET
How To Watch NBCSN | fuboTV
Odds updated Friday evening via DraftKings.

United States veteran Megan Rapinoe summed up the Americans’ godawful performance after their shocking 3-0 defeat against Sweden on Wednesday at the Tokyo Olympics.

“We got our asses kicked, didn’t we?” Rapinoe said after being part of the first USWNT loss in 45 matches across all competitions.

Well, Rapinoe wasn’t wrong in her brutal assessment of the USWNT’s play. The world’s No. 1-ranked team was thoroughly outplayed from start to finish by the feisty Swedes, who closed as +700 moneyline underdogs or longer prior to their masterclass performance at Tokyo Stadium.

Now, the Americans must get things sorted out real quick heading into Saturday’s 7:30 a.m ET match against New Zealand. The Football Ferns suffered a 2-1 loss against rival Australia in their Group G opener.

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New Zealand in Bad Spot Coming Off Loss

If suffering a tough setback against the Matildas wasn’t bad enough, now the Ferns have the unenviable task of facing an American outfit that’s desperate to get a blowout result.

New Zealand, ranked 22nd in the latest world ranking, got off to a sluggish start that eventually led to its demise. Tameka Yallop and Sam Kerr scored first-half goals just 13 minutes apart, allowing ninth-ranked Australia to go on cruise control the rest of the way.

The Ferns, who received a consolation stoppage-time goal from Gabi Rennie, now have to have some kind of positive showing against a USWNT side that has racked up a 15-1-1 record against them. Obviously, that’s not what manager Tom Sermanni hoped for entering this contest.

And Sermanni’s name should sound familiar to women’s soccer fans. A former player, Sermanni led the USWNT from 2013-14, as well as the Australian women’s team for seven years (2005-2012) prior to him taking over for Pia Sundhage in the United States. Sermanni said in June he would be stepping down from his current position at the conclusion of the Summer Games.

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No Time for United States to Ponder Defeat

I’m not sure where to begin when it comes to doing a post-match autopsy on the Americans’ performance against the Swedes. From poor finishing to brutal defensive lapses, particularly on the third goal that sealed Sweden’s win, it was arguably the worst effort from this team since the 4-0 trashing it was delivered at the hands of Brazil in the 2007 World Cup semifinal round.

The USWNT wound up losing all major statistical categories as well. Sweden held a 17-13 edge on total shots, including a 9-5 advantage in attempts on goal. The Swedes also had a 9-3 advantage on corner kicks.

Manager Vlatko Andonovski, who is now 22-1-1 at the helm of the program, has little time to right the ship ahead this now extremely important fixture. The Americans should cruise to all three points, but this match is going to be about getting the right Starting XI on the pitch for the three-goal favorites.

As for that third Sweden goal from Lina Hurtig? You can judge for yourselves, but the replay doesn’t lie. I have no idea why Abby Dahlkemper abandoned her mark, which left Kelley O’Hara with two Swedish attackers to deal with in the penalty area. And then there was Rapinoe in no hurry to get back to defend.

Bottom line, this was just a hot mess from the Americans from start to finish and perfectly summed up their Tokyo debut.

Sweden AGAIN. 🚨#TokyoOlympics pic.twitter.com/IgGW7sD3yp

— #TokyoOlympics (@NBCOlympics) July 21, 2021

Ideally, Andonovski sends the same group out that started the opener. You have to show confidence in the players you started against Sweden, so I don’t expect wholesale changes from a personnel or tactical approach. Christen Press, who hit the post with her 71st-minute effort, and Rose Lavelle were the best of the bunch.

The positive is the fact there isn’t a player remotely the caliber of Stina Blackstenius on this New Zealand roster. Blackstenius, who scored a goal in each half against the Americans, was a marking nightmare for the USWNT, so I anticipate goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher and the back four to have a much easier day on the pitch.

And here’s a positive tidbit of information for the super-small minority of the USWNT faithful already hitting the panic button: The only other time the Americans tasted defeat in an Olympic opener — way back in 2008 against Norway — they followed that result with five consecutive wins en route to gold in Beijing.

Betting Analysis & Pick

Let me make this very clear. This has all the makings of being a dominant performance from the USWNT. The top-ranked team in the world usually doesn’t need much motivation to get a result, but now it has some after being comprehensively beaten. Bottom line, New Zealand is in trouble and should be on the wrong end of a lopsided defeat.

For those reasons, I’m taking a swing on three different wagers and all have the USWNT rolling to a blowout victory. First and most importantly, I’m backing the Americans giving three goals at -120 odds via DraftKings as my top pick. This isn’t going to end well for New Zealand, and my feeling is this wager winds up a push in a worst-case scenario.

As for my other plays, I’m targeting two first-half angles, starting with at least two goals being scored in the first 45 minutes of action. I fully expect the Americans to come out looking to put this match away early, then focus on padding their goals to take care of any potential goal-differential tiebreakers.

Finally, let’s dive a little deeper in DraftKings’ offerings and go with a 1H parlay pairing the USWNT ML with total over 1.5 goals at -160 odds. That’s slightly more juice than I’d normally play, but we could easily see the opening stanza finishing 2-0 or 3-0 in the Americans’ favor.

And if you haven’t put in a futures wager on the UWSNT yet, you’re not going to get a better number than the +120 currently available. If the tournament favorite performs like I think it will in this affair, this number will flip and you won’t see the current odds the rest of the tournament.

Picks: USWNT -3 (-120) | First Half Total Over 1.5 Goals (-135) | Parlay: USWNT 1H ML & Total Over 1.5 Goals (-160)

Futures Pick: USWNT To Win Gold (+120 or better)

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