USWNT’s last big World Cup threat may be in front of them
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USWNT’s last big World Cup threat may be in front of them

October 8, 2019

 Can the United States women’s soccer team avoid a letdown against the Lionesses of England in Tuesday’s World Cup semifinal (Fox, 3 p m.)?  That’s the big question facing sports bettors. The U.S. has established itself as the best team in the tournament It defeated virtual co-favorite France 2-1 in last week’s quarterfinals. That was by far the team’s best overall performance, with the offense creating quality opportunities as the defense protected a lead  The U.S. won shots on goal 8-5 despite leading for more than 85 of the game’s 90-plus minutes It’s not uncommon for the trailing team to win that stat as the leader sits on its advantage Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath and other attackers wouldn’t allow that.  With their most dangerous foe out of the way, next-in-line Germany was stunned Saturday by Sweden in the other half of the bracket That’s created a futures board where the two remaining favorites square off in one semifinal Tuesday, with the two biggest long shots playing Wednesday (Netherlands vs Sweden, Fox, 3 p.m.).  William Hill championship odds: USA 8/11 (-138), England 7/2 (+350), Netherlands 9/2 (+450), Sweden 7/1 (+700)  If you’re new to sports betting, gamblers seeking to back the Stars and Stripes to lift the Cup would have to risk $138 to win $100, or anything in that ratio A long-shot investment on Sweden would risk $100 to win $700 (etc.).  Win percentage equivalents at those prices are USA 58 percent, England 22 percent, Netherlands 18 percent, and Sweden 13 percent Sportsbooks build a universe larger than 100 percent to create a house edge. That’s why those add up to 111 percent  VSiN’s latest estimated “market” Power Ratings on a goal supremacy scale show Tuesday’s winner will be favored over Wednesday’s winner in the final Using current goal lines as guidance, we show: USA 5.3, England 4.8, Netherlands 4 5, Sweden 4.3.  The U.S. is “supposed” to keep winning. But a flat, overconfident lineup would have its hands full with an England side that squashed Norway 3-0 in the quarters, winning shots on goal 7-3 despite a long, comfortable lead It could turn out that England rather than Germany was the dangerous floater everyone should have been worrying about  A quick look at semifinal prices: On the three-way, the U.S. is -120 to lead at the end of regulation, +250 to be tied at the end of regulation, with England +330 to stun in regulation On the goal line, the U.S. is expected to close laying -0.5 goals, probably laying additional vigorish at stateside sportsbooks Netherlands is -125 to lead at the end of regulation, +220 to tie in regulation, with Sweden +230 to score another upset

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