USA vs. Jamaica Soccer Odds, Pick, Prediction: Take Underdog in World Cup Qualifier (Thursday, Oct. 7)
John Dorton/ISI Photos/Getty Images. Pictured: Gregg Berhalter.
- The United States is a huge favorite over Jamaica in Thursday's World Cup qualifier.
- The USMNT has struggled on offense in CONCACAF qualifying so far, and will look to right the ship against a team it beat in the Gold Cup this summer.
- Ian Quillen gives his USA vs. Jamaica bet below.
USMNT vs. Jamaica Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-125 / +100)|
|Day | Time||Thursday | 7:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN2 | Univision | fuboTV|
|Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
After avoiding disaster in September, it doesn’t get easier for the United States when they open the October window against Jamaica in Austin.
The USA’s haul of five points from last month hides how difficult it was at times for Gregg Berhalter’s men, who will be without Christian Pulisic and Giovanni Reyna this time.
Jamaica now has most of its England-based talent available after the United Kingdom scaled back travel restrictions for fully vaccinated players.
The Americans won these sides’ last meeting 1-0 in an entertaining CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal in July.
United States Finding Better Rhythm On Attack
It took 225 minutes of qualifying play for the U.S. to discover the attacking form many expected from the start for Berhalter’s talented squad.
After a wasteful 0-0 draw in El Salvador and a 1-1 draw with Canada mired by Weston McKennie’s off-the-field antics, the U.S. rallied from a goal down at halftime in their 4-1 win in San Pedro Sula.
Reyna missed that one also. But Pulisic at times seemed determined to carry the Americans single-handedly. He was eventually joined in the attack by scorers Antonee Robinson, Brenden Aaronson, Ricardo Pepi and Sebastian Lletget.
Pepi’s crucial goal and assist in his first international appearance has given the teenager a Beamon-esque boost up the rungs of the U.S. striker depth chart.
Gyasi Zardes is also a candidate at the No. 9 role after missing September’s games with a hamstring issue.
And McKennie is in camp again after he was dismissed for the last two September matches for violating COVID-19 protocols. He was arguably the Americans’ best player in El Salvador in his deep midfield role.
Full Potential Not Yet Realized for Jamaica?
Jamaica could claim that they, and not Canada, are the third-most talented team in the region, thanks to Whitmore’s aggressive recruitment. However, it was their first match with all of Whitmore’s England-based players available where things unraveled in a 3-0 home loss to Panama.
That might be understandable given the awkwardness of September.
At the time, the Premier League and other English leagues mostly refused to allow players to visit the UK’s “red list” COVID-19 countries. That meant Premier League stars Michail Antonio and Leon Bailey could not appear in a 2-1 loss in Mexico or 1-1 draw in Costa Rica.
So, when they took the pitch behind closed doors in Kingston, they did so as an XI with precious few practice reps.
The UK has since lifted restrictions for fully vaccinated players competing in World Cup qualifiers. But Bailey is out after the Aston Villa winger picked up an injury in a win against Everton.
And it could still take time for this group to realize its potential, time it doesn’t necessarily have.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Whether or not Jamaica is more talented than Canada overall, it easily deeper defensively on the pitch. This will be the best back line the Americans have seen in qualifying cycle, led by center backs Ethan Pinnock and Liam Moore.
Throw in Pulisic’s absence and the likelihood Jamaica will be happy to sit deep, and the Americans are overvalued.
That doesn’t mean you should bet the Reggae Boyz to earn a result, though. The Americans have won nine of the last 12 overall, plus six of the last eight in sanctioned competition. All fixtures have been tightly contested, though, with six of those eight in sanctioned competitions decided by a single goal. That includes four of six fixtures contested on U.S. soil.
So, there’s plenty of value playing an Asian Handicap on Jamaica at +1.5 goals with -125 odds and a 55.6% implied probability.
If you want to be more adventurous, you could play the tie at +260 odds on a handicap with tie at Jamaica +1.0 goals.
Pick: Jamaica +1.5 (-125)
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