World Cup Best Bets: United States vs. Iran


November 28, 2022

To qualify for the Round of 16, the USMNT must win against Iran. Any other result would kick them out at the World Cup group stages for just the second time since 1998.USA vs. Iran Game Odds on FanDuel

USA Moneyline (-105) | Draw (+240) | Iran Moneyline (+300)

Total Goals: Over 2.5 (+140) | Under 2.5 (-170)

Odds to qualify from Group B:

Iran (-125) | USA (-110) | Wales (+2300)

USA vs. Iran Game Preview

Despite being favorites to win at -105 odds, the USA has never beaten Iran in a soccer match. With just two official games played against each other, Iran holds the slight advantage of winning one and drawing the other. However, the two teams have not played each other since 2000, and the USMNT is a much better squad today, boasting ten starters that play in top European leagues. 

Impressing on defense during this tournament, the USA needs to find the goal-scoring form they had throughout the CONCACAF qualifiers, where they scored 21 goals in 14 games. The team should be confident after their surprise 1-1 draw against England and hoping for a similar fate as they did against Algeria in 2010 when they were in the same situation. Landon Donovan produced the iconic moment, scoring in the 91st minute to send the USA to the knockout stages. Now it’s your turn Christian Pulisic.

The Stars and Stripes have no new injuries heading into this one, but many fans are calling for an increased role for Giovanni Reyna. The 20-year-old has seen 15 minutes of action over two games in Qatar.

On the other hand, Iran is shorthanded. Alireza Jahanbakhsh will be missing due to suspension, and star player Sardar Azmoun is doubtful due to injury. Iran is looking to reach the first Round of 16 in their nation’s history after overcoming their defeat to England by dismantling Wales, 2-0. Team Melli can secure a spot in the knockout stages with just a draw but will not want to play this game on the back foot as it could get out of hand quickly.

This match will be electric, as both teams must go all out to make it into the next round. Don’t be surprised if the game starts slow but grows in energy as it continues. Both teams will want to play safe at first, but the USA will have to make a move at some point to go for a goal, which will open things up.

USA vs. Iran Players to Watch
  • Christian Pulisic (USA)
  • Weston McKennie (USA)
  • Yunus Musah (USA)
  • Timothy Weah (USA)
  • Sergino Dest (USA)
  • Walker Zimmerman (USA)
  • Giovanni Reyna (USA)
  • Sardar Azmoun (IRN)
  • Mehdi Taremi (IRN)
  • Milad Mohammadi (IRN)
  • Majid Hosseini (IRN)
USA vs. Iran Best Bets

Both Teams to Score (+106) 

As mentioned, this game will be electric and should feature many chances from both sides. The USMNT must win, so they will be peppering the net with attempts, especially if it stays tied for most of the game. Although America has struggled offensively, including Giovanni Reyna should inject some much-needed creativity into this side. Meanwhile, Iran has scored four goals in two games and will have to search for the net once the USA strikes.

BTTS has hit in both of the previous matches between these two nations. Considering both teams have shown a knack for scoring throughout their respective qualifying, +106 is fantastic value.

2nd Half to Have Most Goals (+112)

All four of Iran’s goals in this tournament have come in the second half, and with only a tie needed, Iran will not start this match firing on all cylinders. Instead, they will have a methodical approach to the game, attempting to stifle the USA’s attack by sitting with most men behind the ball. 

In turn, this will create a cagey first half, with both teams trying not to lose rather than win. The USMNT will have to turn up in the second half, creating space for both teams. Expect that to be when both teams get their goals.

Over 9.5 Total Corner Kicks (+134)

The United States may hit this over by itself. With both teams needing a result in the game, whoever is down will be pushing hard for a late winner and will get plenty of corners as a result. Even in low-scoring affairs against Wales and England, the USMNT produced at least five corners in each game. Now they must get at least one goal and are guaranteed to get more than five corner kicks against an Iranian team that gave up eight to England.

Iran should also get a few corners of its own. They recorded seven corners against Wales, and if the US gets a lead at some point in this game, Team Melli will have to go on an all-out attack to keep their qualifying hopes alive.

Thumbnail photo via Harrison Barden-USA TODAY Sports

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