2019 Women's World Cup Betting Guide
The Women's World Cup gets underway this week, and the final adjustments to the odds are hitting FanDuel Sportsbook. Several new betting options have been added in recent days, so be sure to keep checking for updates during the tournament.
The United States Women's National Team (USWNT) moved to outright favorite over host France on Tuesday while two U.S. players are among the favorites to earn Player of the Tournament honors. Is it worth betting anything USWNT?
The U.S. team is -430 to win Group F, which translates to an 81.1% implied probability. It is clear that if you want to put a bet on Group F, put it on the USWNT or do not bet at all. They have great records against all three of their group opponents, and the USWNT versus Sweden has occurred more than any other matchup in the Women's World Cup, so there is a great level of familiarity there. The U.S. have also won their previous four matches leading into this event by a combined score of 17-0.
The U.S. moved just ahead of France with a 22% implied probability of winning the World Cup. That is less than one percentage point ahead of France, which was co-favorites for much of the run up to the tournament, which starts on Friday. The USWNT is the returning champion and was always expected to be a favorite. They have plenty of veterans on the roster, with 20-year-old Tierna Davidson even having 20 caps under her belt. The current World Cup holders have around 1,700 international caps between them.
Few can match the star power of the USWNT. Carli Lloyd is the most experienced World Cup player on the team, and she scored a hat trick in the 2015 World Cup final. She is listed at +650 for Player of the Tournament, which is third behind France's Amandine Henry and US teammate Alex Morgan. Morgan, the co-favorite for Player of the Tournament, has scored the sixth-most goals for the USWNT, with only two players ahead of her scoring at a per-game pace. Both Morgan and Lloyd have scored more than 100 goals, but Lloyd is not a guaranteed starter for this tourney. The winning team also has a good chance to have the Player of the Tournament, so smart money is on Morgan.
Overall, there is not a huge risk to betting the USWNT. The entire team plays in the same league, and the lack of new faces means even greater familiarity. This could also be the last World Cup for the most familiar names on the team, including Lloyd, Megan Rapinoe, and Becky Sauerbrunn, so they should be extra motivated. However, only Germany have won back-to-back World Cups (2003 and 2007), and other countries have put more resources into their women's programs. It is not a lock that the USWNT will win, but they have the pedigree to make a deep run.
The host nation is managed by Corinne Diacre, a decorated French international who was part of France's first World Cup in 2003. Diacre has been working for nearly two years with what many consider France's golden generation.
A prolific goal scorer and team captain, the aforementioned Henry will lead the way for a team that will surely feel pressure in their own country. Henry and Eugenie Le Sommer were both nursing injuries during the final warm-up match. Henry has moved to a clear second-favorite as top scorer behind Morgan.
The injuries have not impacted the odds much, especially with a sturdy defense led by Wendie Renard. France currently have 82.5% implied probability of winning their group, another safe bet. There is a chance that France and the USWNT could meet in the quarterfinals, with the winner of that potential clash being the heavy favorite to go on and hoist the trophy. The U.S. will likely be the biggest threat on their side of the draw to a French home soil triumph.
Germany are heavy favorites in their group and should easily advance to the knockout round. The roster announcement brought no surprises, and the team cruised in their final World Cup warm-up match.
They have one of the most creative players in the world, Dzsenifer Marozsan, who leads a very talented midfield. However, the question may be whether or not Alexandra Popp can finish off the chances provided. The German reserves are a mix of experience and youth with the likes of 18-year-old Freiburg attacker Klara Buhl on board. If Popp struggles, the team may turn to 21-year-old Lea Schuller, who has eight goals in 12 games for the senior team.
Manager Martina Voss-Tecklenburg, who will preside over her first major tournament as the German coach, said Germany must play their best football to win every game and that they want to "re-establish ourselves" at the top of the game.
The Three Lionesses have only a 13.3% implied probability of winning the tourney and may still be one cycle away from obtaining glory. However, their road to the semifinals could be smooth as they will not have to face another group winner until then.
England reached the semifinals in 2015, and star Lucy Bronze has her eye on the final. Veteran Jill Scott, who is at her fourth World Cup, is a leader on and off the field and will be a key figure. Recent results along with club experience and the draw all work in England's favor, putting them as one of the top four to win the tournament, per oddsmakers.
Spain are expected to advance out of their group, but will that be the end of the line for them? They were the first European team to qualify after going undefeated and only allowing two goals in qualifying.
They are a team on the rise with youngsters like Patri Guijarro, who starred at the under-20 World Cup last year. Jennifer Hermoso has proven to be a goal-scorer and provider as she had seven goals and nine assists in qualifying. Hermoso scored the first goal three times during qualifying, with one coming from the penalty spot. She is +260 to score the first goal against South Africa, which is a safe bet with a decent return.
Australian captain Sam Kerr thinks that the way the Spanish team plays can be very successful in France. A group-stage upset of Germany is worth a look.
The top goal-scorer often comes from a team that gets to at least the semifinals, but the Netherlands may not need to reach the final four for Miedema to take home the Golden Boot. She ranks behind Morgan, Le Sommer, and Kerr for the top scorer of the tournament. Miedema won the PFA Player of the Year after being the leading WSL goal scorer by a seven-goal margin. The top goal-scorer is often in contention for the Player of the Tournament, and she is currently +1800 for that honor. She has scored more than 50 goals for Netherlands, another team that is dark horse contender after winning the 2017 Euros.
The success of Oranje is just another sign of the growth of the women's game as they build a domestic league. The Netherlands are favorites to win their group and set up a deep run that would allow Miedema to stack up goals.
The 2019 Women's World Cup starts on June 7th with host France in action.