Two major factors propel nationwide bettors to the Women’s World Cup starting Thursday.
Driver number one is the link between now and Aug. 20, when competition ends. The finale will place bettors squarely in the middle of NFL and college football preseason and futures wagers.
That’s a month-long potential wagering windfall to the books from an event that happens only once every four years. It will also link gamblers from a slow wagering period into a heavier one.
“From a bookmaking perspective, this tournament is beautifully positioned,” Johnny Avello, the director of race and sportsbook operations for DraftKings, told Gaming Today. “It starts when there is not a lot going on, but that is going to change soon.
“We have the NFL Hall of Fame Game coming up (Aug. 3), we have terrific horse racing coming from Del Mar and Saratoga (DraftKings has become the sponsor for the $500,000 Jim Dandy Stakes July 29 at Saratoga, its first sponsorship of a big race), and it is going to end just in time for football season. That alone isolates the World Cup tournament perfectly and there is going to be a lot of betting on it.”
Driver number two is the quality of the US Women’s team, the +250 chalk to capture an unprecedented third straight championship. They prevailed in 2015 and 2019.
The American team plays Vietnam as an overwhelming favorite on Friday night. Its next Group Stage games are against the Netherlands on July 26 and Portugal on Aug. 1. The United States is a -350 chalk to win its Group Stage at DraftKings and its presence as one of two teams in the bracket to reach the Round of 16 is a foregone conclusion.
The US women are expected to play between four and seven games in the tournament.
“The women’s team has been winners, the men have not been,” Avello noted. “Let’s face it, the best athletes in the world draw interest.
“The country has also rallied around this team. It has helped betting interest significantly that the women made a stand about equal pay, etc. in the last few months. That kept this tournament in the sights of gamblers over the past few months.”
USWNT the Betting Glue of World Cup
While the American women’s team has been a betting magnet, the Women’s World Cup per se has not been yet. Gambling volume depends heavily, at this point, on the American team advancing deep into the tournament.
Each game will likely have a unique theme.
“I think the bettors will look at each game in a different way,” Avello said. “Vietnam, the team the United States faces in the first round is probably one of the worst teams in the entire tournament.
“Once they get past this first game, Portugal and the Netherlands are much tougher games.
“For the first game, people are not going to lay $200 to win $1 on the moneyline, but they will look at total goals, player props, even whether they want to lay 1.5 goals and parlay it with another game (even in another sport).
“They can bet the anytime goal scorers, that’s usually a way they like to go.”
Other Betting Options for USA vs. Vietnam in World Cup
Alex Morgan to score first may be a deal at +210. But the anytime of -800 is not.
Sophia Smith (+250 first, -500 anytime) and Megan Rapinoe (+300 first, -400 anytime) also will gain consideration.
There are a whopping 12 American players in minus numbers to score anytime.
Team Goal Totals for United States vs. Vietnam
3.5 (Over -1400, Under +500)
4.5 (Over -525, Under +285)
5.5 (Over -205, Under +135)
6.5 (Over -105, Under -145)
7.5 (Over +180, Under -525)
Vietnam to score: Yes +285, No -525. Even the World Cup has garbage time when anything can happen.
Other Women’s World Cup Tournament Bets
Gamblers can have action on every game, even as they sleep.
The Over-Under of goals for the entire tournament is 218.5 (both sides -110).
This requires some astute handicapping, as one must consider how many goals weak teams like Vietnam will yield versus how tight the defenses begin to get during the knockout stage.
For some bettors, this might be worth a slam if they believe they have handicapped the entire tournament correctly.
Morgan is +400 to be the top scorer for the entire tournament.
Others in this category:
Sophia Smith, USA: +650
Sam Kerr, Australia: +750
Esther Gonzalez, Spain: +900
Alexandra Popp, Germany: +900
England, Spain Loom as Live Dogs on Futures Board
Avello considers England and Spain the logical upsetters.
“The American team is good, but they are not a lock to win this thing,” Avello said. “England is very tough and Spain always gives them problems. I think bettors are going to pay attention to some of these other teams, at least between games, and they make take a shot at some of them before the tournament.”
Latest Futures Odds
United States: +250