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USA vs Wales Preview, Best Bets: Prop Market Odds are Valuable in World Cup Fixture

USA vs Wales Preview, Best Bets: Prop Market Odds are Valuable in World Cup Fixture article feature image
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Mike Egerton/Getty. Pictured: Gareth Bale.

  • Looking for predictions on the United States' World Cup match with Wales?
  • Ian Quillen has you covered with three plus-money plays to make.
  • Read on for his prop bets on the fixture.

The United States Men’s National Team will play their first game at the World Cup in more than eight years when it opens Group B play against Wales on Monday afternoon.

Both teams are likely to approach the match targeting all three points as it is critical to their advancement hopes, since neither squad is likely to win against group top seed England.

The US are slight favorites, but Wales have proven themselves plenty in recent years, reaching the semifinals of Euro 2016 and advancing out of a tough group in Euro 2020.

And while star man Gareth Bale is on the down-slope of his decorated career, American fans got an up-close look at the heroics he can still provide. Earlier this month, Bale scored a dramatic equalizer late in extra time to help LAFC win their first MLS Cup.

With a young American squad that has as much talent as any in recent memory, there’s lots of ways this could go. We look at a few in our three favorite prop bets for the occasion.

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USA vs. Wales Prop Market Predictions

Wales to Score Exactly 1 Goal (+140 via Bet365)

Oddsmakers are eyeing a very low scoring affair, in part because of the deep-block tactics Wales have used to reach the World Cup.

But the Dragons have actually been pretty consistent in their ability to find at least one goal, and often no more. They scored exactly once in half of their 10 qualifiers to reach the World Cup and also half of their six UEFA Nations League matches.

Meanwhile, the US conceded once in six of their 14 games in CONCACAF qualifying. History says they’re likely to allow at least a goal here: The ‘Yanks have conceded at least once in all of their World Cup openers but one — way back in 1930 — and have kept only two clean sheets during their run of seven successive tournament appearances between 1990 and 2014.

A bet on Wales to score exactly once at +140 odds and an implied 41.7% probability beats the relevant recent patterns on both sides.

It also makes intuitive sense given the quality in certain positions Wales have and some questions about an injury depleted American back line.

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2 or 3 Goals in the Match (+100 via Bet365)

As much as I don’t trust the American defense, I also don’t trust Wales’ defensive approach to work entirely either.

Two of Wales’ four qualifying clean sheets came against Estonia, and the other two came at home. When you throw in UEFA Nations League play, they’ve conceded in all eight of their competitive fixtures against fellow 2022 qualifiers since March of 2021.

Five of those games also finished on either two or three goals scored. A similar pattern emerges when looking at the Americans’ games against fellow qualifiers, with five of those six games finishing within those bounds.

That’s a hit rate of 10 out of 14 between these teams, well above the 50% implied probability of a bet at even money.

Gareth Bale Over 0.5 Assists (+500 via Bet365)

Bale is known for his scoring prowess, but in recent years for Wales he’s transitioned into more of a hybrid role between provider and finisher.

Although he scored more goals (five) than assists (three) during the recently concluded qualifying cycle, his assists came in three different matches. Since the start of 2020, Bale has contributed an assist in 6-of-18 games that he has started, or one-third of the time.

Backing him to set up a teammate at +500 odds and an implied 16.7% probability is common sense if you expect him to start. And it’s especially good value if you’ve come to the conclusion that Wales are likely to score at least once.

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