USA vs Jamaica Odds, Pick, Prediction | Gold Cup Preview

USA vs Jamaica Odds, Pick, Prediction | Gold Cup Preview article feature image

John Dorton/Getty. Pictured: Aaron Long.

USA vs Jamaica Odds

USA Odds-143
Jamaica Odds+400
Over/Under2.5 (-106 / -118)
Day | TimeSaturday | 9:30 p.m. ET
How To WatchFS1
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Fresh off their triumph in the CONCACAF Nations League, the United States men's national team continues its busy summer when it launches its CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign against Jamaica on Saturday night in Chicago.

It will be the same team in name only, though. After interim manager B.J. Callaghan fielded a full-strength roster for the Nations League finals matches against Mexico and Canada, the only players who featured in there to be included on the Gold Cup roster are goalkeeper Matt Turner and center back Miles Robinson.

Meanwhile, Jamaica will bring a group whose talent will surprise those who don't follow the region closely. It includes several English-born stars with Jamaican lineage who have opted to suit up for the Reggae Boyz at the international level.

These sides last met in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying. The U.S. earned a 2-0 win at home in Austin and escaped with a nervy 1-1 draw in Kingston.

USA Looking to Lay Down World Cup Base

Using the Gold Cup as a proving ground for depth pieces on a future World Cup squad is becoming the norm for the Americans in recent seasons.

It was the approach former manager Bruce Arena took in 2017 while trying to keep some of his regulars' powder dry for upcoming crucial qualifiers that fall. And returning manager Gregg Berhalter did the same in 2021, using the first edition of the Nations League finals as a shorter event to showcase his European-based stars earlier that June.

However, it's the first time the Americans have done so while also under the guidance of an interim manager, and it's fair to ask how such a cohort will respond to those unique circumstances.

Callaghan's Nations League side strung together two of the most dominant regional performances against high-level foes in recent history. But from the outside, it appeared Callaghan may have kept it fairly simple in doing so — sending out the 11 best players that had familiarity together from the 2022 World Cup and more or less letting them play.

The job description here is a lot different, and there's definitely reason to think it may take more time for this version of the U.S. squad to gel. That's what appeared to happen at the 2021 tournament, when the Americans were pushed by the likes of Haiti, Canada, Jamaica and Qatar in narrow wins before beating Mexico in the final in extra time.

Jamaica Enter With Experience and Talent

Of all the other CONCACAF nations that will benefit from the USA, Canada and Mexico hosting the 2026 World Cup, Jamaica may be at the very top of the list.

The Reggae Boyz have been a sleeping regional power ever since their one and only trip to the World Cup in 1998. In recent years they've managed to combine domestically born talent — players who often emigrates to the U.S. for college and then eventually to play in MLS or the USL Championship — with English-born players of Jamaican lineage.

During the last World Cup cycle, Jamaica's star debutant was West Ham attacker Michail Antonio. This time it will be Everton man Demarai Gray, who is making a one-time switch with hopes of playing in a World Cup when he is 29.

Those names are two of just six field players for the Reggae Boyz who could be Premier League regulars again this season, if you include newly promoted Luton Town's Amari'i Bell. There's also Aston Villa's Leon Bailey, Fulham's Bobby Decordova-Reid and Brentford's Ethan Pinnock.

It's also a far more experienced squad than the U.S., with nine players age 30 or older — including four of Jamaica's Premier League sextet.

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USA vs Jamaica Pick

It's very tempting to pick Jamaica to earn at least a draw at plus money, given a roster that on paper feels like it should be comparable in strength to the United States' mostly domestically-based squad.

However, history shows us these circumstances lead to tight games but rarely Jamaican victories, even when the U.S. is fielding less than its 100% best roster. Jamaica manager Heimir Hallgrímsson's side did not impress in a pair of tune-up friendlies. They lost 2-1 to Jordan and Qatar in games played in Europe.

That's not to say the Reggae Boyz can't earn a result. There's just enough track record against it to look for a different angle.

Where we find it is on a low total. There's more to lose than to gain for both these sides, who will each be favored to progress from the group. Add a U.S. roster that is somewhat unfamiliar with playing together, and you have a lot of the ingredients to see two or fewer goals scored.

If you believe both teams will advance, history says the best wager is on a goal-bands play on 1 or 2 goals at +110 odds and an implied 47.6% probability. Both nations have advanced from their groups in every Gold Cup since 2015. And in their 10 group games in that span against other teams that advanced, the total has landed on 1 or 2 goals on eight occassions.

Pick: Goal bands, 1 or 2 goals (+110 via Caesars)

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