With USA eliminated from the Gold Cup, El Tri – the clear-cut favorites since before the tournament began – are now prohibitively favored to raise the trophy.
To bring home the hardware, Mexico must defeat a Panama side that have not lost in this tournament.
Still, Jaime Lozano’s side, whose odds are as short as -500 on DraftKings, are expected to win comfortably when they take on Los Canaleros on Sunday night at 7:30 p.m. Eastern at SoFi Stadium in LA.
2023 CONCACAF Gold Cup Futures Odds
Each sportsbook sees Mexico as the heavy favorite, while Panama’s odds are +280 (on Caesars) or longer across the board.
Mexico Gold Cup Prediction: Bet on El Tri in Favorable Final Match-Up (Caesars, -400)
Mexico’s impressive bounceback from a disappointing showing in the CONCACAF Nations League has continued in knockout play. After a 2-0 win over Costa Rica on Saturday night in the quarters, El Tri controlled their semifinal clash with Jamaica on Wednesday en route to a 3-0 victory.
Mexico jumped out to an early lead on Jamaica after a goal in the second minute by Henry Martín. Midfielder Luis Chávez then made it 2-0 in the 30th on a beautiful free kick, and El Tri stifled Jamaica the rest of the way to clinch their place in the final.
Prediction: I doubted Mexico against Jamaica, but I won’t make that mistake again, even after watching Panama prove what a tough out they are by beating USA. This won’t be a breeze, but Mexico’s ability to counter will burn Panama for a goal or two and the Gold Cup trophy.
Panama Gold Cup Prediction: Can Underdogs Pull Another Upset? (DraftKings, +350)
Oddsmakers didn’t give Panama a chance against USA, but we weren’t fooled. Our exact recommendation (not to brag), in fact, advised taking Panama at:
- +500 on the moneyline (DraftKings, FanDuel)
- +300 to advance (FanDuel)
- Double Chance — Panama or Draw (based on result after regulation) (+140 on FanDuel)
With that shameless plug behind us, let’s turn our attention to Panama’s chances against Mexico. The experience and cohesiveness of this roster – as well as savvy manager Thomas Christiansen – were too much for a line-up of the USMNT’s reserves, but Mexico pose a tougher challenge.
Lozano’s side is full of first-choice players who played substantial roles in last year’s World Cup, so Panama won’t have an experience – or talent — advantage in the final. That means they’ll need to make the final as physical and scrappy as possible to give themselves a chance.
Prediction: I wouldn’t rule out Panama keeping this one close until the final minutes, but Lozano has Mexico playing too well for me to pick against the heavy favorites.