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Women’s World Cup Picks, Predictions & Best Bets for Thursday, July 20

Gary Gowers

by Gary Gowers in Soccer News

Updated Jul 19, 2023 · 11:42 PM PDT

Australia vs Republic of Ireland. FIFA Women's World Cup
Jun 27, 2015; Edmonton, Alberta, CAN; Japan defender Saori Ariyoshi (19) and Australia forward Caitlin Foord (9) compete for the ball during the second half in the quarterfinals of the FIFA 2015 Women's World Cup at Commonwealth Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
  • The FIFA Women’s World Cup begins in Auckland, New Zealand on Thursday, July 20
  • The tournament joint-hosts, New Zealand and Australia, both kick off on Day 1
  • We list the odds for the opening three games, preview them and offer our best picks

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, hosted by New Zealand and Australia, kicks off in Auckland on Thursday when the joint hosts entertain Norway. This is followed three hours later, with Australia opening their campaign against the Republic of Ireland in Sydney.

We list below the odds for these games plus Nigeria vs Canada, preview them, and look for some potential value in our Women’s World Cup picks.

Women’s World Cup Picks – July 20

Matchup Home Draw Away
New Zealand vs Norway +650 +370 -245
Australia vs Republic of Ireland -380 +475 +1000
Nigeria vs Canada +1000 +380 -300

The Australians are day 1’s hottest favorites at -380 to beat Republic of Ireland – a $10 wager paying out just $12.60 (including the original stake) – but on the flip side, Nigeria (more on them later) and the Republic of Ireland are both a massive +1000 to win their games, with the same $10 stake making you $110.


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Odds as of  July 19 at DraftKings Sportsbook. For some bonus offers for your World Cup bets, take a look at our DraftKings promo code page. 

New Zealand vs Norway Prediction

Despite being joint hosts, New Zealand are big outsiders for this tournament opener and in order to progress to the knockout phase, the Football Ferns have to do something they’ve never done before at a World Cup – win a game! A recent indifferent run of form doesn’t help their cause but they will have the advantage of a noisy, passionate crowd behind them.

The Norwegians have a good World Cup record – four-time semifinalists – but have dipped in recent years. In 2019, they exited the tournament at the quarterfinal stage after losing to England and failing to make it beyond the group stage in the recent 2022 Euros.

But this still looks like a big ask for New Zealand, even with home advantage, and an early goal for the visitors could make for a difficult 90 minutes for the Football Ferns. The value, for me, is in predicting how many goals are in the game.

Women’s World Cup Pick: Over 3.5 goals (+145).

Australia vs Republic of Ireland Prediction

The Matildas have built a reputation as a team that can make it beyond the World Cup group phase – they’ve done so in the last four – but which struggles to go deep in the knockout stages. But with home advantage and with a run of nine wins in their last ten, Tony Gustavsson’s team will see this as potentially a breakthrough tournament.

This is the first World Cup for the Girls in Green and they start here as big underdogs. Their goalscoring form isn’t great – they have failed to hit the net in four of their last five matches – but will take heart from their most recent clash with Australia, in Dublin in September 2021, which they won 3-2.

The Matildas start as massive favorites in this Women’s World Cup but the Girls in Green will be well-organized and resolute in defense. This could be a cautious opener, so it’s worth considering the low-scoring draw.

Women’s World Cup Pick: The draw (+475).

Nigeria vs Canada Prediction

The Super Falcons are experienced campaigners at this level and have qualified for all nine of the FIFA World Cup finals but are also FIFA’s lowest-ranked team in the group. They do, however, come into this in good form with Randy Waldrum’s team winning their last three games, against Costa Rica, Haiti, and New Zealand.

The Canadians are also World Cup veterans and have played in every tournament aside from the first one in 1991, and start this one as the current Olympic champions following their gold medal showing in Tokyo. They are among the contenders this year with Women’s World Cup odds of +3500. They haven’t, however, been able to replicate that form at World Cups – their best outcome being a fourth-place finish in 2003.

The last time these two met – in Canada in 2022 – it ended 2-2 so a draw can’t be ignored here, and the teams appear a far better match than the odds suggest. That’s why, for me, this offers a chance to go brave and have a bet on the Nigerian win.

Women’s World Cup Pick: Nigeria to win (+1000).

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