Group B of the 2022 Qatar World Cup kicks off on Monday, and here we look ahead to one of the opening matches with our USA vs Wales World Cup betting picks.
This is the second match to take place in the group, with England taking on Iran earlier in the day. But it is the first fixture of the world cup for both the USA and Wales respectively.
As the opening match for these two teams, it could well be a nervy affair. And with England in the group, the tension will be even more intense as only the top two teams from the group qualify for the Round of 16. So already, it’s all but a must win match.
The venue for this match is the impressive Al Rayyan Stadium, which has a capacity of 40,000 and will host all three of Wales Group B fixtures.
The kick-off in the eastern time zone is 2 pm, so it could involve a Monday afternoon off work, or maybe a good reason to try to convince the boss to let you work from home.
As we’re already mentioned, England are also in Group B, and along with the USA and Wales, Iran make up the four nations.
England are the favorites to win the group with the best world cup betting sites. Gareth Southgate’s side are the -300 favorites to win the group, and they are also -1400 to qualify. This gives you an indication of the challenge facing both the USA and Wales.
The USMNT are narrowly ahead of the Welsh in the group betting. The USA are +550 to win the group, and +100 to qualify. Wales are +600 to win Group B, and they are +110 to qualify. Short of being the same price, the market couldn’t be closer between the two teams.
For the record, Iran is +1600 to win Group B, and they are +350 to qualify.
Like with the betting to win, or qualify, from the group, the best soccer betting sites have it tight. On the moneyline, the best price for the USA is +160 with BetOnline. They also have Wales at +208, and the draw at +204.
On the handicap line, no team is getting a start. From scratch (pk), the USA is -123, while Wales are +107. In total goals, over 2 is -108, while under 2 is -112. These prices are all from BetOnline. You can read more about them and their latest betting offers at our BetOnline sportsbook review.
I was very surprised to see that these two nations have only ever played two matches against each other. Both were friendlies, with the USA winning one, and one ending in a draw. The USA victory was back in 2003, when Landon Donovan and Eddie Lewis both scored.
The second match was a 0-0 in November 2020, where both teams played under strength sides. Basically, there is little to go on from the two previous meetings.
It’s fair to say that Gregg Berhaltar’s USMNT had an uncomfortable time qualifying for Qatar. They only just managed to secure the third and final spot in the CONCACAF qualifying group by goal difference ahead of Costa Rica.
They also rarely looked like they were ever going to challenge Canada and Mexico for the top two positions in the group, this despite only finishing 3 points behind the pair.
As for Wales, they had to go through an emotional process to get to their first world cup finals since 1958. After finishing second to Belgium in Group B of the UEFA qualifying process, the Welsh had to win two play-off matches to make it to Qatar.
First they defeated Austria 2-1 at the Cardiff City Stadium in March, thanks to two goals from Gareth Bale. Then they had to wait until June to play Ukraine, and they won that match 1-0, again, thanks to a goal from Gareth Bale.
Despite their nervy qualifying campaign, the USA squad is still packed with talent, and there is surely better to come from this group of players. As for Wales, you can see from the above that the form and fitness of Gareth Bale has a large impact on how they perform. If he’s fit and firing, it’s not an under exaggeration to suggest Wales can beat anybody. Although, they would also need a lot to go right for them at the same time.
Picking a winner is very difficult from this match for those reasons. It really is a game that could go either way, and no result from the three would surprise me. I’m going to go for the draw for my main pick. It is +204, but I can see it maybe finishing 1-1, so maybe the +550 on the 1-1 draw might be a better choice for a pick. Either will do.
I’m also choosing Gareth Bale to score anytime in the prop bets for my second pick. The chances are if Wales score, it will be Bale. So at +225 with BetUS, Gareth Bale to score anytime is my second pick.