USA vs Portugal Odds, Pick | Women’s World Cup Preview
NurPhoto/Getty. Pictured: Megan Rapinoe.
USA vs Portugal Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-118 / -106)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(+150 / -200)|
|Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute World Cup odds here.|
It's do or die for the USA at the Women's World Cup, as they face the prospect of elimination in the group stage for the first time in 16 years.
Portugal could present a challenge, as they play a more conservative game that has frustrated some of the world's best teams.
Read on for my analysis and pick for Portugal vs USA.
Portugal Present Serious Danger
A 1-0 loss to Netherlands followed up by their first-ever World Cup win against Vietnam has Portugal in a very dangerous position against the USWNT. They’re a trickier side than one would expect, especially with Benfica attacker Kika Nazareth having scored her first World Cup goal against Vietnam.
Against some of the top teams in the tournament this year, Portugal have played close games, including a 2-1 loss to Japan in an April friendly and an unofficial 2-1 loss to Norway right before the World Cup. They also drew England 0-0 in July, which means that while the USWNT may hold the upper hand, nothing is guaranteed.
They present a more conservative side than the USWNT saw against the Netherlands, who were much more aggressive in their attack, and the USWNT are preparing for that.
"If we analyze Portugal in the last few games that they played, they are a lot more conservative than aggressive," Andonovski said. Against top teams, Portugal were "looking to get their results on a couple of chances they create. We expect nothing less. [Tuesday], we think that they're going to be organized defensively, and they're going to look to get results off counterattacks."
And if you ask the Portuguese side, game management will be critical. They’ll want to avoid allowing the USWNT to dominate possession, but also capitalize on their opportunities.
"[Tuesday] we're going to go, more or less, for the balance. Being organized in defending, but also valuing ball possession when we have it," Neto said during his prematch news conference. "There will be moments when we have the ball, and these moments are going to be crucial for us to create some dangers against the U.S. team."
USA Need Depth to Come Through
The USWNT are at this point thanks to a Lindsey Horan header, which may have very well saved the USWNT from being knocked out. But it’ll be up to the rest of the 23-player roster to back her up against Portugal.
A 1-1 tie with the Netherlands revealed the vulnerabilities that this squad has, and it also showcased their strengths. At times this year, the USWNT has been mostly a second-half team, and that was no different against the Netherlands. But they’ll need to inject some new lifeblood if they want to advance past Portugal – and far in the tournament. Still, Andonovski is focused on the task at hand while attempting to manage the pressure.
"We don't want to look two, three, four steps forward. It's the first step," Andonovski said. "Let's make sure that we get in the next stage, because if we start thinking too far ahead, our chance may never come."
Lynn Williams should play this match. So too should a number of key substitutes, and Rose Lavelle could feature as a starter after being cleared to up her minutes from 45 following the Netherlands game. Her substitution helped the USWNT gain back momentum, and starting her would be a great option for the USWNT to be able to start the game on their front foot.
Portugal vs USA Pick
It’s hard to bet against the USWNT getting a result, and this time is no different. While Portugal will present a challenge, the U.S. will prevail to advance to the knockout stages. If Andonovski is smart, he’ll utilize the depth of his bench and play Williams.
The USWNT will want to score early, getting out on the right foot is key in this one – as evidenced by Australia’s 4-0 win over Canada. If the USWNT can manage that and get out ahead, they shouldn’t have any issues winning this one. Still, Portugal will present a challenge that they haven’t seen yet. Expect Portugal to keep it close, with the USWNT prevailing by a narrow margin.
This will not be easy, but the US should book their spot in the knockout stage.
The Pick: USWNT 2 – Portugal 1 (Portugal +1.5, -105 via DraftKings)