Rio 2016 Women’s Soccer Expert Betting Pick
The United States women’s soccer team is the defending gold medalist in the Olympics and the Americans are heavy olympic soccer betting favorites for the third match of the 2016 Rio Games on Tuesday against Colombia. Team USA is priced at -900 on soccer odds with Colombia at +1000 and the over/under 2.5 goals.
Analyzing the Rio 2016 Women’s Soccer Betting Predictions
No team has ever followed a Women’s World Cup title with an Olympic gold in the following year. The U.S. women are looking to accomplish that. Four Olympic players (Crystal Dunn, Lindsey Horan, Allie Long and Mallory Pugh) are the only players who were not on the 2015 Women’s World Cup-winning side. Pugh is the youngest player on the team at 18 years, 3 months and 5 days old, while Hope Solo is the oldest at 35 years and 4 days old.
Standing in the Americans’ way will be several teams that could pull off an upset. Brazil, an Olympic silver medalist in ’04 and ’08, will lean on the home crowds and the offensive creativity of Marta and Christiane. Brazil did beat the U.S. in Brasilia in a December 2014 friendly and earned a 1-1 draw last year in Seattle.
The Americans played Colombia in the Women’s World Cup Round of 16 and won 2-0. The teams also met back in April and the USA won 3-0 in a friendly. Christen Press began the scoring after she lifted a bouncing ball over Colombia goalkeeper Catalina Perez in the 26th minute off a cross from Lindsey Horan. It was the 33rd international goal for Press in 66 games. Julie Johnston notched her sixth career goal when she lunged to volley Tobin Heath’s free kick over the goalkeeper keeper and into the right corner just before halftime. Heath found Johnston again on a set piece in the 79th minute, hitting a low cross from the right and Johnston dove to flick a header just inside the left post. Goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher recorded her fourth career win and shutout in her second appearance of the year. The match was the second between the teams in four days with the USA winning 7-0 in East Hartford, Conn., on April 6.
The Americans opened the Olympics with a 2-0 Group G win over New Zealand on goals from captain Carli Lloyd and forward Alex Morgan. Lloyd staked the USA to an early lead in the ninth minute before Morgan struck just 34 seconds into the second half. On the defensive side, Kelley O’Hara, Johnston, Becky Sauerbrunn and Meghan Klingenberg put in a commanding performance to help earn the USA’s 14th shutout of 2016.
The USA then beat France 1-0 on Saturday. Lloyd scored in the 63rd minute. Lloyd’s goal was the 90th of her career and eighth Olympic goal for the USA, pushing her to second all-time behind Abby Wambach’s 10 Olympic tallies. Whitney Engen made her Olympic debut in place of the injured Johnston, who was held out to protect a sore groin. U.S. keeper Solo earned her 200th career cap in the game. She is the only goalkeeper to ever reach that appearance mark in international play.
The USA is 16-0- 1 in 2016. The team has scored 55 goals and tallied 15 shutouts while allowing just four goals. The USA has now kept a clean sheet in its first two Olympic matches for the third time in team history. It also did so at the 2000 and 2012 Olympic Games.
Tuesday’s match vs. Colombia begins at 6 p.m. ET from Manaus. The game really doesn’t mean anything for Team USA as it already has clinched Group G and a spot in the knockout round. American coach Jill Ellis will have the luxury of resting some players with her team facing its third game in nine days. The Americans also beat Colombia 3-0 in the 2012 Olympics.
The Olympic Women’s Football Tournament features 12 teams, with the top two finishers in each group advancing to the quarterfinals along with the two best third-place teams.
My Expert Pick
Colombia actually is good betting value here as I do expect Team USA to rest some key players. But the USA will repeat as Olympic champion.