The USMNT takes on Saudi Arabia on Tuesday in the final tune-up before the 2022 FIFA World Cup. The match will kick off at 2 p.m. Eastern in Murcia, Spain. The game will air in English on Fox Sports 1, and it will also be available online on FoxSports.com or the Fox Sports mobile app.
Here are the USMNT vs. Saudi Arabia odds, props, and a pick.
USMNT vs. Saudi Arabia Odds and Analysis
Here are odds from around the sports betting marketplace as the USMNT looks to rebound following a disappointing loss to Japan.
2022 INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLIES · Tue (9/27) @ 2:00 pm ET
|Estadio Nueva Condomina, Murcia, ES|
How Will the USMNT Respond to the Ugly Loss to Japan?
Friendlies rarely generate too much concern or optimism. The US struggled so badly against Japan, though, that it needs a much better effort against Saudi Arabia to restore confidence ahead of the World Cup.
It was not just that the US lost to Japan, it was how thoroughly overwhelmed it looked. The issues started with an inability to handle Japan’s pressure. Center backs Walker Zimmerman and Aaron Long both struggled on the ball, leading to a number of giveaways.
The stats, both the basic and the advanced numbers, gave fans and journalists good reason to express major concerns about the team:
- The US was outshot 16-4
- In terms of Shots On Target, Japan held an 8-0 advantage
- Japan attempted 8 corner kicks (compared to 2 for the US)
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USMNT Expected Starting XI vs. Saudi Arabia
Berhalter has confirmed that Christian Pulisic is available, which will provide a boost up top. In addition to Pulisic missing the Japan match, the side was also missing three first-choice starters in center back Miles Robinson, left back Antonee Robinson, and midfielder Yunus Musah. None of those three made the trip for the Japan and Saudi Arabia matches, and keeper Zack Steffen is also unavailable due to injury.
It’s unclear whether Berhalter will play his best XI on Tuesday or use the match as a final opportunity to make some decisions on reserves for Qatar, but expect to see Tyler Adams and Weston McKennie starting in midfield, with Pulisic joined by Gio Reyna and Brenden Aaronson.
What are the USMNT’s 2022 FIFA World Cup Futures Odds?
Speaking of the World Cup, the US is +11000 to take home the trophy, and +650 to win Group B (via DraftKings). Given all the talent on this year’s roster, failure to advance from Group B to knockout play would constitute a disaster. The US is currently +110 (the same odds as Wales) to qualify from Group B, while group favorite England is -1300 to qualify and -260 to finish first in the group.
How Good is Saudi Arabia?
Having earned a place in Qatar via Asian Football Confederation qualifying, the Saudis are a bit of an unknown. They finished with 23 points from 10 qualifying matches, going 7-2-1, with 12 goals for and 6 allowed. It’s worth noting that Saudi Arabia was one point better than Japan in qualifying in the same AFC group.
Saudi Arabia is a massive underdog in World Cup Group C in Qatar (+3800 to win the group and +750 to qualify). Their odds to win the World Cup are +55000, tied with Iran and Costa Rica for the longest of any team in the field.
For comparison’s sake, Japan is +21,000 to win the World Cup and +1400 to win E (+280 to advance). Fortunately for the US, the matchup with Saudi Arabia looks a lot easier than Friday’s game did on paper.
USMNT vs. Saudi Arabia Pick
The US has recently rebounded from its worst performances with solid efforts. In CONCACAF qualifying, the USMNT opened play with two draws, then fell behind 1-0 at halftime against Honduras on Sept. 8. With their backs against the wall, the Americans scored four second-half goals and won that match 4-1 to get qualifying back on the right track.
The US also responded to a 2-0 loss to Canada on Jan. 30 with a 3-0 win over Honduras on Feb. 2. During qualifying, the USMNT played two games after losses (they also lost to Costa Rica in their final qualifier, but did not have an official match to respond). The US won those matches — their 2-1 win over Costa Rica on Oct. 13 followed by a 1-0 loss to Panama on Oct. 10 — by a combined score of 5-1.
With that in mind, a couple of bets to consider for Tuesday’s game are USA -1.5 (+265) and USA Win to Zero (+170). For USA Win to Zero to cash, the USMNT has to win in regulation while not allowing a goal by Saudi Arabia.