USA Bettors Take Rough Beat In World Cup Opener Draw Vs. Wales

A reckless challenge cost the USA three points

by

November 21

The opening match of the 2022 FIFA World Cup was not an ideal result for the United States men’s national team and bettors.

The U.S. appeared to be in good position in Monday’s opener to take three points in their opening matchup against Wales after forward Timothy Weah scored the game’s opening goal in the 36th minute off a Christian Pulisic assist.

But the United States kept Wales in the game, and an aggressive challenge from center-back Walker Zimmerman on Welsh star Gareth Bale in the 86th minute proved to be costly as Bale nailed the ensuing penalty kick past goalkeeper Matt Turner.

Questionable substitutions from manager Gregg Berhalter prevented a go-ahead opportunity from the United States, and the match ended in a draw.

The result was not a total failure, but it makes Friday’s game against England, who beat Iran, 6-2, on Monday, even more important for the United States’ chances to make it out of Group B — Wales plays Iran on Friday.

The draw was a massive disappointment for USA bettors at BetMGM and PointsBet Sportsbooks. At BetMGM, 81% of the tickets and 87% of the handle were on the U.S moneyline at +145 odds. On PointsBet, 84% of bets and 80% of the handle were on the U.S. men’s national team to come out with the full three points at the same odds. This meant a $100 bet would have paid out $245.

Berhalter will have to think through his lineup decisions until Friday, especially with forward Jesús Ferreira and midfielder Giovanni Reyna not playing against Wales on Monday.

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Thumbnail photo via Danielle Parhizkaran/USA TODAY Sports Images

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