Gold Cup soccer: Day 5 analysis and predictions

Gold Cup soccer: Day 5 analysis and predictions

Gold Cup Soccer: Day 5 Analysis and Predictions
By Shawn Young

Group B is back in action at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Wednesday night. The forecast calls for clear skies and temperatures in the mid 70s. Saturday’s results saw Honduras nip Haiti 1-0 and the USA stroll past Grenada 4-0. In the second set of games, Haiti and Grenada will first do battle and the USA will take on Honduras in the nightcap.

HAITI (-1, -125) vs. GRENADA

Haiti fought much harder against Honduras than we expected and arguably deserved a draw. Grenada showed absolutely nothing against the USA and was fortunate to lose by only four.

Haiti is the play here. Most of that goes back to Saturday’s form, but gamblers also have the tournament schedule and format in their corner. The top two teams from each group, as well as the two better third-placed teams make the quarterfinals. Haiti has already lost to Honduras and isn’t expecting to get much out of the final group game against the USA Saturday. Haiti isn’t going to roll over against the USA, but this game against Grenada is the one they desperately need to win. The first tie-breaker for the third place teams is points, the second is goal difference. Haiti, then, will need to press for as many goals as they can get in this one.

The soccer bettor’s nightmare when betting on the heavy favorite is that when his team gets up 1-0 or 2-0 they’ll try and sit on the lead rather than continue to play aggressively. No fear of that here.

Prediction: Haiti 2, Grenada 0

USA (-1, even) vs. HONDURAS

The USA beat Honduras 2-1 in Chicago June 6 but that result is of no relevance. Nobody from that American team played Saturday against Grenada, and at most one player (Davies) looks like seeing any action against Honduras this time. The Americans have sent a second-string team to this tournament and American soccer isn’t that deep.

This is one of those games where the bet is underdog-or-nothing. The USA did outshoot Grenada 18-2 and Honduras did struggle to break Haiti down. The Americans do have home-field advantage. When it comes down to talent, however, these squads are now evenly matched. That means that a line of -1 is too much.

Honduras is the play here. They are perfectly capable of trading attacks and getting a draw, or nicking a victory with a little bit of luck. Worst case scenario for Honduras is they lose by the odd goal, giving us a refund on the bet.

Prediction: USA 1, Honduras 1

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