Levi’s Stadium plays host to a midweek final, as the Americans search for Gold Cup glory against Jamaica. USMNT is the slight favorite, but the Reggae Boyz have already proven themselves upset-capable in the tournament.
Here are the latest odds from Bovada:
USA vs. Jamaica Odds
Spread: USA -1 (-110), Jamaica +1 (-110)
Moneyline: USA -200, Jamaica +650, Draw +300
Total: Over 2 (-125), Under 2 (+105)
USA had a less-than auspicious start to this year’s Gold Cup, but their latest performances have them trending towards their first Gold Cup since 2013. After a sloppy draw to Panama in the opener, a pair of 2-0 victories have the Americans looking sharp heading to Santa Clara.
One of the biggest reasons for the late surge has been manager Bruce Arena’s additions to his roster. After a shaky first few matches, Arena called five veterans to the squad for the knockout stage. The impact was immediate and effective, and the staples of USMNT are ready to win on home soil. The keys are at both ends of the pitch, as Clint Dempsey and Tim Howard have both been (predictably) instrumental in their team’s successes.
And then there are the Reggae Boyz. Jamaica’s rise to the final is centered on keeper Andre Blake, who has been sensational at this tournament. Jamaica allowed nearly 70 percent possession to Mexico in the semifinals, but Andre Blake made multiple diving saves to the score level. As Mexico became frustrated and poured men forward, Jamaica’s speedy wingers were given more space to operate. When Jamaica’s counter was rewarded with a free kick in the 88th minute, Kemar Lawrence was there to curl the game-winning shot into the net.
Jamaica may not present the same defensive tactics on Wednesday, but the athleticism will remain the same. Any sloppy turnover or lazy defending will allow Jamaica to carve up the USA defense. There have been some hiccups in the back during this tournament, so I expect Jamaica to score at least once. USA will need to be at their offensive best to get past Blake, and that means not getting discouraged if he makes big saves early.
If this match goes to penalty shots, I can’t go against Blake. USA takes it in regulation, with Dempsey being the difference-maker.
Prediction: 2-1 USA
Best Bet: First half draw (+105)
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