USA vs. Wales Betting Tips: Two data driven picks for The Dragons World Cup opener
The USA take on Wales in the final game on Day 2 at the World Cup and our man Scott Thornton has picked out two plays that he likes the look of from Qatar.
Wales play their first World Cup game in 64 years on Monday night. They will likely need to get something from the game in order to reach the knockout stages, with England awaiting them in the final group game. This therefore means there is no time for Rob Page’s side to play their way into the tournament.
The Welsh earned their place at the tournament by beating Ukraine in a playoff. They have shown they are capable of competing with most international sides in recent years; having successfully made it out of the group stages in the last two European championships.
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Like Wales, USA failed to qualify for Russia 2018 but they do have more World Cup pedigree than the Welsh in recent years. USA qualified for every tournament between 1990 and 2014. It remains to be seen whether that familiarity will give them an advantage early on.
Joe Allen is the only fitness doubt for Wales, with Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey expected to start. It could well be the last time we see the pair play for their national team so they will be keen to go out on a high.
USA vs Wales Tips
All of Wales’s group games at last year’s European Championships saw below average throw in numbers. There were 28, 33 and 33 throws in those matches. The tournament average was 36.37 throws per match. Wales’s last 10 matches are averaging 34 throws per game.
USA are averaging 37 per game, but don’t expect Wales to press high after the opening phases here. This should mean less throws in the match. Page is expected to use 5 at the back in their opener. The pace of Dan James and Brennan Johnson will be used to threaten on the counter. The Welsh will be reluctant to open up early doors and allow their World Cup dreams to slip away.
Under 4 goals in the match also looks a good bet here. This bet had landed in 9 of USA’s last 10 matches; the exception being the 5-1 win over Panama. Wales should prove far harder to break down than the Central American minnows. There has also been less than 4 goals in 9 of Wales’s last 10 matches. Their clash with the Netherlands ended 3-2 after a couple of late goals but Welsh matches seldom see a flurry of goals.
USA’s last 10 matches are averaging 1.9 goals per game, while Wales’s are averaging 2.5. For our main bet we will combine under 38.5 throws in the match with under 4 goals to get odds of 1.83 with Bet 365.
This game should be a tight affair so I’m happy to bank on even fewer goals for our longer odds bet. In their last 5 matches where they have been priced similarly to win, USA games average 1.4 goals per game. Wales’s last 5 matches at similar odds are seeing an average of 1.6 goals per game. I can see this game being decided by a solitary goal.
We will also shorten the throw in line from the main bet. Using the Bet 365 bet builder, we can get odds of 7.00 for under 2 goals and under 33.5 throws. This throws angle landed in each of Wales’s group match at the last major tournament.
Did you know that bet365 pay your team out as a winner if they go 2 goals ahead at any time in the match (available on over 80 leagues and competitions, T&C's apply). Find out more on our bet365 offers page.