In a matchup of the top two favorites to win the Women’s World Cup, the U.S. and France will square off in a much-anticipated quarterfinal showdown at noon Friday in Paris.
The U.S., the adjusted even-money favorite to repeat as World Cup champion, is plus 130 on the three-way money line at the Westgate sportsbook in its match against France, which is plus 230. A draw is plus 215.
William Hill sportsbook director Nick Bogdanovich said he expects to take a ton of action on the game Friday morning, with virtually all of it on the American side.
“The handle has been fantastic. It’s getting bet with both hands,” he said. “It’s all USA. (The books will need France), 100 percent, no question about it.”
A Westgate bettor placed a $10,000 wager to win $25,000 on the U.S. to win it all before the tournament started at 5-2 odds. France opened the World Cup as the 7-2 second choice and is the adjusted 5-1 second choice entering Friday’s match.
“The U.S. is our only liability. We win on every other team,” Westgate sportsbook manager Jeff Sherman said. “We have decent liability on the U.S. We’ve taken a lot on them throughout.”
The U.S. opened the World Cup with a 13-0 thrashing of Thailand before beating Chile 3-0 and Sweden 2-0 in the group stage.
The Americans needed Megan Rapinoe to convert two penalty kicks to eliminate Spain 2-1 on Monday in the Round of 16.
U.S. Integrity president and VSiN host Matt Holt said the shaky American performance — which included a blunder by goalie Alyssa Naeher that led to Spain’s goal — makes the U.S. price against France a bargain.
“There’s actually value on Team USA coming off the poor performance versus Spain. Now suddenly everybody is down on the USA,” said Holt, a former Las Vegas sportsbook vice president. “At the end of the day, the USA puts so much more pressure on every opponent, and I don’t think anyone will argue that the U.S. has the most athletic team in the tournament.
“They had a ton of opportunities against Spain, but they just didn’t turn them into goals. They easily could’ve scored four or five goals and all of a sudden they would be minus money versus France.
“There’s no reason you can’t get the USA at at least plus 130. That’s pretty good value considering the U.S. is just better and more athletic. As long as the goalie doesn’t make another bad blunder, the U.S. will probably win this match.”
Besides the three-way money line, spread and total — which are based on the 90 minutes of regulation and stoppage time — the Westgate is offering an advance price and props on Friday’s match.
The U.S. is a minus 180 favorite to advance to the semifinals.
“The advance price is if it goes beyond 90 minutes,” Sherman said. “Some people choose to do that and just root for their team to make it to the next round.”
Sherman said player props such as Rapinoe to score a goal (+270) and Alex Morgan to score a goal (+200) have been popular in previous U.S. games.
If Sherman had to bet on Friday’s match, he said he would take France at plus ½ goal (-150).
“To me, this is not as strong a U.S. side as we’ve had in past World Cups. And France being the host country, it’s a tough spot,” he said. “It’s going to be a tough game. The U.S. didn’t have many chances against Spain, and France is a better side than Spain is.
“I heard the ticket prices are out of control. It’s definitely going to be a sellout with a lot of energy in that stadium.”
Odds posted at Westgate sportsbook
Advance to semifinals
Three-way money line
USA -½ +130
France +½ -150
Over 2½ +110
Under 2½ -130
First team to score
Will both teams score?
Will there be a goal in the first 10 minutes?
Will USA have a clean sheet?
Will France have a clean sheet?
Total goals by USA
Over 1½ +140
Under 1½ -160
Total goals by France
Over 1 -105
Under 1 -115
Will the match be decided in extra time?
Will the match be decided by a penalty shootout?
Will Alex Morgan score a goal?
Will Carli Lloyd score a goal?
Will Megan Rapinoe score a goal?