USA vs. England: Best Bets for the Women’s World Cup Semifinals Showdown
Michael Chow, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Kelley O’Hara
- The USA will play in England in the semifinals of the 2019 Women's World Cup (3 p.m. ET, FOX).
- The USA are -260 favorites to advance and -125 on the 90-minute moneyline.
- Our staff picks their favorite bets ahead of Tuesday's semifinal clash.
USA vs. England Women’s World Cup Betting Odds
- USA To Advance: -310
- England To Advance: +250
- USA Moneyline: -145
- England Moneyline: +410
- Draw: +275
- Over/Under: 2.5 (+100/-120)
- Spread: USA -0.5 (-145)
>> All odds as of 11 a.m. ET. Download The Action Network App for all your betting needs.
The USA is one win away from another Women’s World Cup Final but there is still a significant hurdle in between them and a return trip to Lyon on Sunday for the finale.
England entered the World Cup with the fourth-shortest odds behind USA, France and Germany. The Lionesses have yet to drop a point in the tournament so Phil Neville’s charges come into this one in fine form.
After an emotional win over France on Friday, are the Yanks in a letdown spot against the Lionesses on Tuesday?
Our staff detail their favorite betting strategies for Tuesday’s big match:
The Bet: Under 2.5 Goals (-120)
Both sides have combined to allow just three goals in five matches so far in the tournament and have yet to surrender more than one goal in a match. There’s good reason to expect that trend to continue in the semifinals.
The U.S. has leaned heavily on Megan Rapinoe in attack and she’s delivered in classic ‘Pinoe fashion, scoring every single one of their goals outside of the group stage. Fortunately for the Lionesses, they’re better equipped than any team to match up with her.
Enter Lucy Bronze, the undisputed best right back in the world. There’s been some talk that manager Phil Neville could move her to the midfield as he did against the U.S. earlier this year, but Bronze will see plenty of time on Rapinoe regardless.
Neville and the Lionesses did a masterful job neutralizing Norway’s Caroline Graham Hansen in the quarterfinals and will look to employ a similar strategy against Rapinoe to stifle the U.S. attack.
It’s also worth noting that Rapinoe was seen with her right hamstring taped up recently, according to ESPN’s Julie Foudy.
If the Lionesses are successful in containing Rapinoe, a lot of the scoring load will fall on Alex Morgan, who hasn’t quite looked fully fit. After an extremely physical match against Spain, she got off just one shot on target against France in the semifinals.
On the other end, the U.S. defense looked stout against a dangerous France side that featured world-class talents in Eugenie Le Sommer and Amandine Henry. England packs some punch up front with Ellen White and Fran Kirby, but don’t quite have the dynamism of the French attack.
After a costly gaffe in the Round of 16, Becky Sauerbrunn and Alyssa Naeher have bounced back in a big way since. Broon and Abby Dahlkemper have proven to be a formidable back-line pairing; add American hero Julie Ertz into the mix and it becomes very difficult to consistently break down the U.S. defense even when they’re pressing high.
In addition to taking the under, I’ll be taking some shots on a few exact result bets. U.S. winning 1-0 and a 1-1 draw are the ones that stand out as having the best value.
The Bet: England PK, +0.5 First-Half Spread (-120)
The United States have conceded goals in consecutive games of the World Cup for the first time since losing to Japan in penalty kicks in the 2011 World Cup Final.
Against both Spain and France, the U.S. played well, but they were far from dominant and in control the entire match, despite scoring early. In fact, the United States have scored in the first 12 minutes of their last six World Cup matches dating back to the 2015 final.
England’s goal will be to survive the early onslaught and recently, England has played the U.S. extremely tough, drawing 2-2 in the SheBelieves Cup in March and losing 1-0 back in 2018. Since that 1-0 defeat to the Yanks, the Lionesses have gone 13 matches in a row without a loss.
I think England will survive the first half against the USA.
The Bet: Both Teams to Score (-105)
I’ve played this in both the USWNT’s knockout stage matches so far this tournament, and nothing I’ve seen from the Americans is keeping me from firing again in the semifinals.
First, the market is shading toward an England goal: their Team Total of 0.5 is -180 towards the over, and they’ve scored multiple goals in all but one of their World Cup games this tournament. I have no doubt that the Americans will score — the English will be doing the heavy lifting on this bet.
I’m also bullish on England’s chances for a completely different reason: Jill Ellis. The American head coach benched Lindsey Horan, one of the top two or three midfielders in the women’s game. Ostensibly, Horan didn’t play against Spain or France to keep her from picking her second yellow card of the tournament, and the one-match ban that goes along with it.
With Horan’s record wiped clean going into the final four, Ellis has a choice to make. Does she shoehorn Horan back into the starting eleven? If so, does Julie Ertz step into the back line? There’s a decent mix of uncertainty surrounding the USWNT defense already — adding in lineup changes at this stage of the tournament will only unstabilize them further.
If I haven’t swayed you, consider this: with VAR in the fold at this World Cup, 24 penalties have been awarded through the semifinals, with 17 of those converted. As with the men’s tournament last year, the video review has resulted in an increase in penalties, which points me again towards both teams grabbing a goal at some point Tuesday.
As Evan mentioned above, the English have traditionally played the USWNT quite tightly. I’m willing to bet that trend continues Tuesday, and fancy them to nick a goal in a losing effort.