Gold Cup soccer: Saturday's quarterfinal analysis and predictions

Gold Cup soccer: Saturday's quarterfinal analysis and predictions

Saturday's quarterfinal analysis and predictions
By Shawn Young

The Gold Cup begins its quarterfinal round with a doubleheader at The Linc in Philadelphia Saturday. Canada will play Honduras and the USA will face Panama. The winners have a semifinal showdown in Chicago Thursday.

If a game is tied at the end of regulation, the match will proceed to extra time and, if necessary, a penalty shootout. Most books grade soccer bets on regulation time only, unless the line offered specifically says “Includes Extra Time/Penalties” or “To Advance”. Make sure you know what you’ve got.

Philly weather Saturday offers mid 70s temperatures with a chance of thundershowers.

HONDURAS (pick -120) vs. CANADA (2.5 goals under -150)

Recent results: Honduras won 2-1 away on September 6. Honduras won 3-1 at home on October 11.

Honduras played a bad second half against the USA but otherwise they looked pretty good in the group stage. Canada has played three tight games and has not looked out of place. This quarterfinal will be the toughest to call.

Honduras is the play here and we’re a little bit lucky to be able to lay only -120 given that Honduras have beaten Canada twice in the last year. Canada never gets results in Central America but the home choke in September is a significant tell. That Canadian team had Radzinski and de Rosario - this one doesn’t.

To “to advance” play on Honduras at the same price would be even stronger if you can find it because Canada’s goalkeeping is shaky. If all you see is Honduras on three-way-odds, you need +175 to have an edge. There’s no value in the total.

Prediction: Honduras 2, Canada 0

USA (-1.5, flat) vs. PANAMA (2.5 goals over -125)

The USA struggled to convert chances in a 2-2 draw against Haiti last Saturday but was still the class of their preliminary group. Panama, the Central American champions, improved steadily game to game.

The recent game that could point us in the right direction here is Panama’s ill-tempered 1-1 draw with Mexico. Panama did not panic when they went 1-0 down and did not panic when they had to play the last 15 minutes with 10 men. Panama needed a draw against more skilled opposition and they fought to make sure they got it.

Asking the Panamanians for a draw here on American soil is perhaps too much, but we’re going to bet them anyway and ask them to keep it close. The +1.5 is a little too much and 1-0 or 2-1 to the USA are both very likely results. If your book is dealing Panama +1, you need +175 to bet and +200 to get excited. Panama +0.5 gets interesting around +300. Once again, we don’t see an edge in the total.

Prediction: USA 2, Panama 1.

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