USA Sweden Odds, Time, Pick | 2023 Women’s World Cup Round of 16

USA Sweden Odds, Time, Pick | 2023 Women’s World Cup Round of 16 article feature image

NurPhoto/Getty. Pictured: Lindsey Horan.

USA Sweden Odds

Sunday, August 6
5 a.m. ET
USA Odds+120
Sweden Odds+260
Over/Under2.5 (+144 / -188)
Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)(+100 / -138)
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute World Cup odds here.

It's knockout time at the 2023 Women's World Cup. Sunday's clash between Sweden and the United Sates in Melbourne might be the biggest of the eight round of 16 matches.

Sweden's campaign in Australia and New Zealand couldn't have gone any better so far. In the group stage, Peter Gerhardsson's team got a perfect three wins from three, scoring nine goals and conceding just one. The Swedes are just one of three teams to take maximum points from the group stage, along with England and Japan.

Results haven't been quite as peachy for the two-time reigning World Cup champions. One win and two draws meant that Vlatko Andonovski's team was unable to top Group E and therefore advanced as a second seed. 2023 marked the first-time ever that the USA had failed to win two or more of their World Cup group stage matches.

This will be the sixth successive World Cup where the USA have faced Sweden. Historically, the Americans have had the upper hand, winning  three of those five meetings, drawing one and losing the other. Since 2011, however, it's been much more even. At the past three World Cups, this series has been split 1-1-1.

History is definitely making the oddsmakers think twice about having Sweden as the favorite. At +120 to win the match, the USA are still edging just ahead of Sweden (+260).

USA Facing Offense Versus Defense Dilemma

History is on the Americans side. They have made at least semifinals in all eight of the past women's World Cups, and they have never finished lower than third. Yet, this edition does feel different. For the first time since 2011, it's starting to feel like another nation will win be triumphant down under.

America's struggles can be boiled down to uninspiring tactics and poor finishing in front of goal. It hasn't been pretty and it hasn't been refined. Captain Alex Morgan told the media that the USA players were "out of sync" with each other. That's an honest and telling opinion based of what we've seen in the attack.

Right now, the team have the worst goals-xG differential (-3.8) of any nation at the World Cup. It's a fair assessment to say that no team is failing to convert scoring opportunities quite like the United States right now. With one goal scored for every 15.5 shots taken, the forwards will need to be much sharper and more efficient if they want to beat Sweden.

The debacle of the 0-0 draw with Portugal could force Andonovski into making some major tweaks to his starting XI against Sweden. Those changes would come after the USA coach started the same 11 players for the first two matches, and then made just two changes to the lineup for the Portugal match.

First and foremost, attacking midfielder Rose Lavelle won't be available due to suspension, after she picked up her second yellow card. Savannah DeMelo or Ashley Sanchez will likely be put in as a replacement to ignite the midfield.

If Andonovski feels desperate enough to rip up his playbook even more, we might also see Julie Ertz move back into the midfield as the USA look to get more cohesion in the middle of the pitch. That would also mean Alana Cook slotting into the backline in place of Ertz.

But tinkering with the defense could have negative repercussions. The USA have quietly been quite effective at limiting the threat of opponents. No team has allowed fewer shots (11) or fewer shots on target (1) than the USA.

Sweden Welcoming Early Test

After a third-place finish at the 2019 World Cup and a silver medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics, Sweden are adamant that they are ready to go even further in Australia and New Zealand.

Those recent impressive tournament showings combined with a perfect group stage performance has understandably made the Swedes very confident heading into Sunday's knockout match.

Gerhardsson acknowledged that if Sweden want to be the best, then they will have to beat the best. The coach welcomed playing the USA earlier than expected at this World Cup.

"The US are ranked number one. It might be better to play them on Sunday than in the semis or final," he told the media on Wednesday. "From a psychological perspective we know we can beat them. I think the players are convinced they can definitely win on Sunday and I believe that too."

Unlike the USA, who haven't experimented very much, Sweden have given 22 of their 23 players minutes on the pitch. Only two players – center back duo Amanda Ilestedt and Magdalena Eriksson – have started all three matches so far.

What Sweden have done better than any other team at the World Cup is score from set pieces. With six goals from corners, the Scandinavians post a serious aerial threat. Defender Ilestedt even leads the team in goals with three.

Open play creativity has been harder to find for Sweden. The No. 4 ranked team likes to slow down the play in its 4-2-3-1 formation. Even so, Gerhardsson's team has limited turnovers by completing 75.7% on its passes, while still managing to get the ball forward as much as possible. Sweden ranks third for progressive passes with 57.7 per match.

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USA vs Sweden Pick

The way the USA are playing combined with the way Sweden set up leads me to believe that this will be a low-scoring affair. However, I'm not ready to back the under at a -188 price.

After dominating their opponents in the group stage on crosses, the Americans will present a much bigger aerial threat for the Scandinavians. The battle between these two sides on corners will be fascinating to watch.

Ilestedt, as a defender, is priced very low to score first or anytime (+2800 / +1200). With those odds, it's almost worth a punt just in case she keeps her streak going.

Even with the pressure mounting, there's a sense this USA team will never say die. I fully expect this game to go the distance and probably be settled in extra-time or penalties.

The Pick: Sweden or USA to win on penalties (+850 via bet365). 

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