Gold Cup Soccer: Saturday's Analysis and Predictions

Gold Cup Soccer: Saturday's Analysis and Predictions

Gold Cup Soccer: Saturday's Analysis and Predictions
By Shawn Young

Group B wraps up at the home of the New England Patriots in Foxboro, MA Saturday. The Patriots are known for such legendary quarterbacks as Steve Grogan, Drew Bledsoe, and some guy who married the most famous Brazilian who plays no soccer, Gisele Bundchen.

Saturday night’s weather looks as good as Gisele: low 70s and scattered clouds.

The USA sits atop the group with six points. Haiti and Honduras have three apiece. Grenada has none, but has entertained us by defending like the Keystone Kops.

USA (-400) vs. HAITI

The USA outplayed Honduras but left it late to score goals Wednesday. The USA eventually won 2-0. Haiti also won 2-0 by banging in two bizarre goals against Grenada.

Haiti would like a result here but will be sending out a team mostly concerned with damage limitation. Honduras is going to beat Grenada in the nightcap, so Haiti is more or less marooned in third place. The tiebreaker among third-place teams for wildcard spots is goal difference. Haiti can live with a 1-0 loss. A 3-0 or 4-0 defeat is more worrisome.

The bad news for Haiti is that the USA will have a full week off before its quarterfinal. The USA can use this game as a dress rehearsal for the quarters, rather than think about resting legs.

The handicap (-1.5, -135) is finely balanced. Eat a mouthful of chalk and just bet the USA to win.

Prediction: USA 2, Haiti 0

HONDURAS (-450) vs. GRENADA

Honduras faded as the match went on against the USA Wednesday. Grenada’s 2-0 loss to Haiti was weird. The first Haitian goal bounced in off the goalkeeper’s back and Grenada coughed up a goal when Modeste refused to play the ball and left it for a Haitian striker instead. Grenada is a team of amateurs in the worst sense of the word.

Honduras wins this game to wrap up the second spot in the group. But I guess that’s no secret. The handicap is unfortunately massive. Honduras -2 laying juice cannot be bet on principle. A freak red card, a quirky ref, a linesman who thinks he’s in Semaphore class or a Honduran team content to play “keep away” with a slender lead will see -2 bettors vandalizing their TV sets across the continent. The -450 it is then.

Grenada is so bad they can’t be backed at anything short of +3.5, which isn’t available. If you don’t have enough gypsum in your system from betting the first game, hunker down and eat more chalk here. This column looks for absolutely any excuse to bet the dog in every match. We just can’t find one here.     

Prediction: Honduras 3, Grenada 0

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