United States Favored Over Underrated Netherlands in Women’s World Cup Final

Posted on: July 7, 2019, 01:00h. 

Last updated on: July 4, 2019, 10:48h.

The United States will enter the Women’s World Cup final as the clear pick to lift the trophy for the fourth time, but Netherlands is unlikely to be an easy out for the Americans.

USA Netherlands Women’s World Cup
The United States is heavily favored over a strong Netherlands team in the Women’s World Cup final on Sunday. (Image: Francisco Seco/AP)

Team USA is a strong -500 favorite to win the Women’s World Cup according to DraftKings Sportsbook, with the Netherlands listed at +360 to claim victory in the tournament for the first time.

USA Seeking Back-to-Back World Cup Titles

There’s no doubt that the Americans come in with the stronger resume. The No. 1 team in the world has a perfect record throughout the tournament, and is coming off 2-1 victories over France in the quarterfinals and England in the semifinals, two of the biggest rivals to the United States in international play.

That has made some feel like Sunday’s final will be more of a coronation for the United States rather than a true test. But US midfielder Sam Mewis says that the Dutch side will present a serious challenge for the Americans.

Netherlands is gonna be a great team,” Mewis told CBS News. “We have seen them play really well throughout this whole tournament and their team has just been growing and growing over the past couple of years…I think it’s gonna be a really exciting game.”

Like the United States, the Netherlands has also won every match it has played at this year’s World Cup. However, it did need extra time to get past Sweden in the semifinals, a game in which many observers remarked that neither team looked like it would be a match for either the USA or England.

Netherlands Ready to Prove Critics Wrong

But it would be a mistake to discount the Dutch so easily. Not only have that looked solid throughout the tournament, but they are the defending European champions, and also won the Algarve Cup in 2018.

In short, it’s hard to say that any team has accomplished more over the past two years. Despite their trophies and impressive record, however, the Dutch still feel as though they’re being overlooked by many – including their opponents.

“We are the European champions, not just anyone,” Netherlands midfielder Danielle van de Donk told The Guardian. “I don’t think they think we’re that good…I think that is going to be an advantage for us.”

As with pretty much any team they play, the Americans have a deeper and more talented side than the Netherlands. They should also be largely healthy heading into the final, with Megan Rapinoe saying that she expects to be healthy after a minor hamstring injury kept her out of the semifinal against England.

That’s enough to make the United States a significant favorite. In three-way betting, the USA is listed at -230 to win in regulation, with the Netherlands a +650 long shot to claim victory before extra time. DraftKings thinks a more likely path to victory for the Dutch is a draw in the first 90 minutes (+340), followed by a victory in extra time or a shootout.

But no matter what the odds say, van de Donk says the Netherlands will be a force in the final.

“We all know they are very confident, but we are also very confident,” she said. “We haven’t been playing our best football but have still reached the final, so that’s something incredible for our nation.”