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United States, Mexico betting favorites in World Cup qualifiers

 

The United States will be looking to pull even with Costa Rica on the CONCACAF World Cup qualification table when they take on the Ticos on Friday as -145 home betting favorites.

With four matches left on the qualification schedule the Americans remain three points back of the Ticos in the battle for second place, but they ride an impressive five-match win streak into Friday’s game at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey.

The Americans are coming off an impressive run at this year’s CONCACAF Gold Cup, going undefeated in six matches, capped by a 2-1 victory over Jamaica in the final as -215 chalk to clinch their sixth title since 1991. That marks a reversal of fortune for the United States, which opened the current round of qualifying with losses to Mexico and Costa Rica before embarking on their current run of 14 matches without a loss across all competitions.

The United States avenged last November’s 4-0 loss to Costa Rica by blanking the Ticos 2-0 as a -105 favorite in the Gold Cup semi-finals. That ended a seven-match unbeaten streak for Costa Rica, which enters Friday’s contest as a long +425 underdog.

The reigning Copa America champions recorded a trio of clean sheet wins during their recent tear, but have struggled in recent World Cup qualifiers, picking up just one win in their past four outings. They have produced mixed results in recent dates with the Americans, going 4-1-4 over their past nine meetings.

Mexico aims to extend its lead atop the CONCACAF World Cup qualification table as it plays host to Panama as heavy -335 chalk. Mexico is coming off a stunning 1-0 loss to Jamaica in the Gold Cup semi-finals, contributing to a middling 4-1-3 run across all competitions.

Pegged as heavy +1100 underdogs on Friday, Panama is also coming off a Gold Cup defeat, a 1-0 quarter-final loss to Costa Rica that halted a six-win unbeaten streak. However, Los Canaleros have had trouble closing out opponents in recent qualifiers, settling for draws in four of their past five contests.

Also on Friday, Trinidad and Tobago faces a must-win situation as they battle Honduras as a +210 home underdog. The Soca Warriors are winless in six across all competitions, including three straight qualifier losses, and currently sit last on the table with a 1-0-5 record.

The Soca Warriors are also winless in five home dates with Honduras, going 0-4-1 during that stretch. Los Catrachos have also struggled, tallying just one win in their past nine overall, but remain healthy +140 road favorites.

 

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