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2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup Group Odds & Preview: Mexico Even-Money to Win Tournament

Christian Pulisic
Christian Pulisic and the USMNT will be looking to defend their Gold Cup title when the tournament kicks off on Saturday. Photo by @SrFutbolE (Twitter)
  • The CONCACAF Gold Cup kicks off on Saturday, June 15, 2019 and runs until Sunday, July 7, 2019
  • The tournament will be hosted by the United States, Jamaica and Costa Rica
  • Mexico and the United States are clear 1-2 favorites to win the Gold Cup

In a first for the CONCACAF Gold Cup, 16 teams will be participating in the tournament with USA looking to defend their title won in 2017.

Last month, Mexico were seen as +150 favorites, with USA just behind at +200. Those margins have adjusted slightly, with Mexico now seen at even-money and USA +170.

2019 Gold Cup Odds

Country 2019 Gold Cup Odds at BookMaker
Mexico +100
USA +170
Costa Rica +845
Jamaica +1750
Panama +1900
Honduras +2850
Canada +3200
Trinidad & Tobago +4500
El Salvador +5500
Haiti +5000
Curacao +10000
Nicaragua +12500
Cuba +15000
Martinique +17500
Bermuda +17500
Guyana +17500

*Odds taken June 14, 2019

Among the second-tier of contenders, Jamaica have stretched from +850 to +1400, while Costa Rica have shortened from +1075 to +750. Panama have shortened from +2500 to +1500 on the outrights, while each of Honduras, El Salvador and Haiti have become even larger outsiders.

Odds to Win Group A

Country FIFA Ranking Odds To Win Group A
Mexico 18 -1500
Canada 78 +750
Cuba 174 +2600
Martinique unranked +3250

From early May, serious money has come in on the Mexicans, as an earlier price tag of -500 to win Group A, has now shortened all the way to -1500.

Only three teams have won a Gold Cup in the 14 previous editions. Two of those are in Group A. Mexico and USA have won a combined 13 times, but Canada snuck in a single title of their own in 2000.

The Mexicans again flamed out of last summer’s World Cup, losing 2-0 to Brazil in the round of 16. Their remaining friendlies in 2018 saw them stumble along to just one win in six games. 2019 has seen them begin to pick up some steam with victories in friendlies over Chile (3-1), Paraguay (4-2) and Venezuela (3-1). Their final warm-up match on Sunday saw them defeat Ecuador 3-2.

So while things are looking up, new head coach Tata Martino has been forced to name a highly-rotated roster.

For a host of reasons ranging from injury, to family, to club commitments, players like Carlos Vela, Hirving Lozano, Miguel Layun, Javier Hernandez, Hector Herrera, Jesus Corona and Javier Aquino will all be absent. Carlos Salcedo is also batting an injury. El Tri will be looking to lean heavily on Raúl Jiménez, who’s the leading favorite to be the tournament’s top goalscorer.

From early May, serious money has come in on the Mexicans as an earlier price tag of -500 to win Group A, has now shortened all the way to -1500

With a new coach and many moving parts, plus the massive price tag of -1500, the value bet would have to be Canada. The Canadians will arrive confident as they’ve won five straight matches and six of seven.

Their past four matches in the CONCACAF Nations League qualification saw them outscore opponents 18-1. However, wins over the likes of French Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica and the US Virgin Islands are not exactly high-profile wins. Their last win and match in fact, was way back in March. It was their only match this year.

If you go a little further back, Canada has suffered defeats to the likes of El Salvador and Jamaica and draws to Honduras and Costa Rica.

This does seem to be a side on the rise though, with the likes of Toronto FC’s Jonathan Osorio, LAFC’s Mark-Anthony Kaye and Bayern Munich’s Alphonso Davies among their ranks. Davies dominated the 2017 competition, being named an all-star, tying for most goals and winning the Best Young Player Award.

It’s hard to expect too much from Cuba and the non-FIFA nation Martinique. Cuba have some wins over weaker opponents recently, though lost in their last match back in March to Haiti.

Martinique are in a similar boat, with wins over lowly-ranked sides. In 2017’s Gold Cup, they pulled out a win over Nicaragua but lost to USA and Panama.

Group A Best Bet: Mexico to win. Canada to advance in second

Odds to Win Group B

Country FIFA Ranking Odds to Win Group B
Costa Rica 38 -625
Haiti 100 +750
Nicaragua 129 +950
Bermuda 175 +2000

If you were planning to bet the Ticos to emerge atop Group B, the value may be long gone. Once -170, they are now a whopping -625.

Once just a +190 second place choice, Haiti have ballooned out to +750. While Nicaragua (+1750 to +950) and Bermuda (+3500 to +2000) have shortened.

Costa Rica are clearly the favorites of Group B and played in the World Cup only last summer. However, that experience was short-lived, going 0-1-2 by only drawing with Switzerland. They’ve won just three of their past ten matches, losing seven.

That streak has seen them only win one of their four friendlies in 2019, and score just once in a 1-0 win over Jamaica, while allowing four.

The Ticos have an aging group, which includes the un-retired 37-year-old Alvaro Saborio. It also doesn’t include star goalkeeper Keylor Navas. Costa Rica were semifinalists last tournament, losing to USA.

Haiti could stand a chance to upset the Group B standings. They’ve played four times in 2019 and have split two wins and two losses. Most recently they defeated Guyana 3-1 on Tuesday, while also beating Cuba 2-1 in March. Losses came to El Salvador (1-0) and Chile (2-1).

It was back in 2016, but they did keep things tight with Costa Rica, falling 1-0 in a World Cup qualifier.

Nicaragua has gone 1-1-1 in 2019. Most recently they were thrashed 5-1 by Argentina, which would’ve been expected. They also won over Barbados (1-0) and drew to Bolivia (2-2).

Bermuda has a 1-0 win over tournament co-longshots Guyana in 2019, as well as a 3-1 win over Dominican Republic. They suffered a 5-0 loss to Cuba back in February.

Group B Best Bet: Haiti to win. Costa Rica to advance in second

Odds to Win Group C

Country FIFA Ranking Odds to Win Group C
Jamaica 56 +105
Honduras 61 +160
El Salvador 71 +490
Curacao 82 +1200

Odds have remained a little closer in Group C. Once +150 favorites, Jamaica has seen some support in adjusting to +105. Curacao has seen the most movement lengthening from +700 to +1200.

The Reggae Boyz began 2019 with a 2-0 loss in Nations League qualifying to El Salvador in March. They followed that up with 1-0 loss to Costa Rica in friendly competition. Last Wednesday, they finished their warm-up to the Gold Cup with an impressive 1-0 win over USA.

You may not often think of the Jamaicans as a team capable of running deep into tournaments. However, they show up to the Gold Cup, having lost in the finals in each of the past two tournaments.

Challengers Honduras just missed out on the World Cup in 2018 by losing an inter-continental playoff to Australia. Since that time, they’ve won just once in eight matches and none of their three friendlies in 2019. Most recently they lost 7-0 to Brazil on June 9.

El Salvador won five of their past six matches and nine of 12.

In what looks to be an extremely tight group, El Salvador could be a side capable of pulling some upsets. They’ve won five of their past six matches and nine of 12. Though they are coming off a 2-0 loss to Japan, previous recent wins came over the likes of Peru and fellow Gold Cup participants Haiti (twice) and Jamaica.

Curacao has been strong of late with wins in eight of nine, albeit against lower competition. In the 2017 Gold Cup they lost 2-0 to each of Jamaica, El Salvador and Mexico.

Group C Best Bet: Jamaica to win. El Salvador to advance in second

Odds to Win Group D

Country FIFA Ranking Odds to Win Group D
USA 24 -550
Panama 74 +625
Trinidad & Tobago 93 +850
Guyana 175 +3500

The Americans are also seeing support in the group betting markets having adjusted from just -185 favorites to now heavy -550 chalk. Once +325, Panama are now +625 as second-favorites.

The American roster is filled with well-known names from across Major League Soccer and beyond.

USA will be looking to win their third title in four tournaments, but won’t be entering in strong form. The USMNT haven’t haven’t won in three matches in the lead up to the Gold Cup. Recent losses included defeats to Venezuela (3-0) and Jamaica (1-0). Though earlier this year they were winners over Panama, Costa Rica and Ecuador.

Those wins over fellow Gold Cup sides still show USA are capable. With Panama the next most likely challenger in Group D, USA will also be confident, knowing they also defeated them 4-0 back in World Cup qualifying.

But the US didn’t qualify for the World Cup, and with no wins in three, nothing can be taken for granted.

The group and fact they’re hosting, all line up for USA, but improvements will need to be made from Gregg Berhalter’s side.

Though if you’re looking for Panama to unseat the Americans, you may be wasting your money. Los Canaleros are spiralling and spiralling hard.

Panama haven’t won a match since a 1-0 win over Trinidad back on April 18, 2018.

Panama haven’t won a match since a 1-0 win over Trinidad back on April 18, 2018. Since, they’ve failed to win in 14 matches, drawing three and losing 11. They also only scored six times. Ouch.

So who can challenge the US in Group D. Possibly nobody. Trinidad & Tobago have played just twice in 2019, winning neither. They haven’t won since September and have just three victories in 20 matches.

The true minnows of the group are Guyana. They defeated Belize 2-1 in March, but recently lost to fellow Gold Cup sides Bermuda and Haiti.

Group D Best Bet: USA to win. Trinidad & Tobago to advance in second

2019 Gold Cup Best Bet

I’m not sure I can point to any one team who looks to enter the Gold Cup in perfect form and/or with their ideal roster. There are questions all around. For either of USA or Mexico, failing to win will be seen as a huge disappointment.

I’ll give the slight edge still to Mexico, with Jamaica as a strong value play. At over 30-1 odds, Canada could be seen as longshot bet, though they’ll have to face Mexico in group play, and then likely again the knockout round.

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