USA vs Mexico Updated Odds, Pick, Prediction: Can El Tri Pull Road Upset of USMNT in World Cup Qualifier?

USA vs Mexico Updated Odds, Pick, Prediction: Can El Tri Pull Road Upset of USMNT in World Cup Qualifier? article feature image

John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images. Pictured: United States standout Christian Pulisic.

  • Updated USA vs Mexico odds list the USMNT as the slight favorite over El Tri, though the Americans are still plus-money on the three-way line.
  • The United States has won two straight matches against Mexico, albeit with different-looking rosters.
  • Ian Quillen breaks down Mexico at USA and gives his favorite bet below.

USA vs Mexico Odds

USA Odds+155
Mexico Odds+185
Over/Under2.5 (+135 / -190)
Day | TimeFriday | 9 p.m. ET
LocationCincinnati, Ohio
How To WatchESPN2 | ESPN+
Odds via BetMGM, updated Friday night at 8:30 p.m. ET. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

The United States and Mexico meet for the third time this year Friday in a high-profile CONCACAF World Cup qualifying match in Cincinnati.

Mexico is unbeaten six games into the "Octagonal," holding the top spot in the eight-team race to secure three automatic places in the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.

The United States, which sits in second place and only three points back, can pull even on points with Mexico with a home victory.

After Mexico took both meetings in the 2019, the United States turned the tables with two overtime wins this year. That included a dramatic 3-2 CONCACAF Nations League victory in June, followed by the Americans' 1-0 win on Aug. 1 in the CONCACAF Gold Cup Final.

United States Star Pulisic Not in Starting XI

Manager Gregg Berhalter has rarely had his best team together and fully healthy, and he won't have that luxury here as well.

In the midfield, Christian Pulisic is back from an injury that ruled him out of the previous international window. However, Berhalter announced at Thursday's press conference the American star would not start against El Tri. Giovanni Reyna is still out after playing just one match in the September window.

On the back line, Sergino Dest has picked up a knock and will miss the qualifier. However, that might be a less damning in this game than against Jamaica next Tuesday, since he thrives as an attacking fullback rather than a defending one. Striker Gyasi Zardes is also out, though the starting job might be 18-year-old Ricardo Pepi's to lose now.

Personnel aside, this fixture could represent a battle of head against heart.

If a short-handed American squad can earn even a point here, they're guaranteed to remain in the top three through Friday. A highly winnable match in Jamaica looms next week in Jamaica.

Yet, a win could give this program an enormous jolt of confidence and perhaps erase most of the anxiety that remains from the failure to reach the 2018 tournament.

Recent USA vs. Mexico Results

*Head-to-head record last 10 meetings: 4-4-2 (W-L-D)

Aug. 1, 2021U.S 1, Mexico 0
June 6, 2021U.S. 3, Mexico 2
Sept. 6, 2019Mexico 3, U.S. 0
July 7, 2019Mexico 1, U.S. 0
Sept. 11, 2018U.S 1, Mexico 0
June 11, 2017U.S. 1, Mexico 1
Nov. 12, 2016Mexico 2, U.S. 1
Oct. 10, 2015Mexico 3, U.S. 2 (OT)
April 15, 2015U.S. 2, Mexico 0
April 2, 2014U.S. 2, Mexico 2

Mexico Hoping to Maintain Stellar Form

El Tri might have dropped their previous two meetings with the United States, but the feel around the squad is different now. Even against mostly inferior opposition, Mexico's haul of 14 points from its first six matches is excellent.

Raul Jimenez is finally back with his legs under him after a gradual return to form following a scary facial injury last November with Premier League side Wolverhampton. He scored once for Mexico in the October window, and once more since as he continues to start for Wolves in the English top flight.

If there's a question mark here, it's striking depth behind Jimenez.

Neither Henry Martin nor Rogelio Funes Mori are in great form. Manager Tata Martino still won't call in all-time international scoring leader Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez after his exceptional season with the Los Angeles Galaxy.

There might be more pressure from home for this side to earn three points than there should be after those summer defeats.

A draw keeps Mexico atop the group. And after it continues its travels next Tuesday in Canada, its toughest away days of this cycle are behind them.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

Mexico have the clear talent edge, given the Americans' injuries. The United States has home field, which includes a damp, wet weather forecast.

A draw would be my lean if it weren't for the human element. However, the rivalry makes it more likely both teams will be fully committed to seeking three points. So does the reality each should be able to overcome a defeat with results against remaining lesser CONCACAF foes.

That probably rules out a dour 0-0 draw, but it doesn't mean tons of goals since it's fair to say previous versions of this fixture in qualifying have had a similar posture.

In fact, four of the previous six qualifiers between these teams featured exactly two goals — all 2-0 wins to the Americans. Five of 12 qualifiers in all locations have also featured exactly two goals.

Then there's this cycle, where five of these teams' 12 matches against other foes finished with exactly two goals scored.

So, I'm not playing another 2-0 United States win. However, I'm betting the total landing on exactly two goals at +230 odds and an implied 30.3% probability. It's an aggressive play, but it's the clearest value I see.

Pick: Total 2 Goals (+230)

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