The road to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar is hitting the home stretch and the battle for the coveted qualifying spots in the CONCACAF region is closer. In this column, we preview matchday 10 fixtures and serve up choice betting picks.
There are only a handful of qualifying matches left on the CONCACAF schedule to decide the three top teams that will earn automatic berths to the 2022 World Cup. The fourth-placed team faces off against an Oceania team in a playoff that will send the winner to Qatar and the loser home.
Canada vs. United States
Sunday, January 30, 2022- 3:05 PM EST at Tim Hortons Field
Canada maintained their undefeated run through the rounds with a 2-0 win over Honduras on Thursday night. Canada came through as the firm favorite in soccer betting markets in the straightforward victory.
Canada exorcised some of their demons from the past, accomplished the feat without superstar Alphonso Davies and clinched their first road win at the same time, quashing any lingering doubts about their legitimacy as the current leaders in the CONCACAF field.
Canada improved to a 5-4-0 (W-D-L) record and 19 points. The win maintained their edge over the United States, who are second in the table with a 5-3-1 record and 19 points after beating El Salvador 1-0 Thursday.
The Americans narrowly edged past a determined El Salvador side that refused to bow to the CONCACAF powerhouse. Antonee Robinson broke through in the 52nd minute to give the Americans the 1-0 lead, and they defended the goal advantage successfully to stay on track for the 2022 World Cup. Interestingly, the Americans have scored 11 of their 13 goals in the second half through the rounds.
All eyes will be on the clash between Canada and the United States. It’s one thing to beat a lowly Honduras side, another to beat the established heavyweights. If Canada can get past the United States with a win or a draw, it would further underscore their credentials as the leaders.
However, the CONCACAF odds are not with the hosts. Indeed, it’s worth noting that Canada is the slight underdogs to the United States, even though they will have home advantage for this pivotal fixture.
Mexico vs. Costa Rica
Sunday, January 30, 2022- 6:00 PM EST at Azteca Stadium
Mexico overcame a 10-man strong Jamaica side 2-1 to stay abreast of the chasing pack and hold firm to third place in the CONCACAF WC qualifying standings. Mexico is third in the table with a 5-2-2 record and 17 points. They’re a point behind the USA and two points adrift of top-placed Canada.
Next up for Mexico is Costa Rica. Los Ticos are coming off a significant upset over Panama, closing the gap in the table on the top four teams. Costa Rica currently sits fifth overall with a 3-3-3 mark and 12 points. They’re two points adrift of Panama, who currently hold the fourth spot in the race to Qatar.
Costa Rica was facing a must-win game, and to the delight of their fans, they came through with the 1-0 win over Panama in San Jose. They outpaced and outshot Panama and deservedly took all three points. It goes without saying, they’ll be buoyed by that result as it keeps their slim hopes alive.
Los Ticos face a much tougher task against Mexico on matchday 10, according to the soccer odds. Mexico is favored considerably across multiple sports betting platforms with odds going as high as -280 with Bovada (visit our Bovada Review). Conversely, Costa Rica is tipped as the +888 road underdogs.
Mexico will be at home for this fixture where they are undefeated in qualifying (2-1-0). That said, the hosts have yet to be truly tested at home by a team as dangerous as Los Ticos. Or as desperate to win.
Mexico beat Jamaica 2-1 and Honduras 3-0 while settling on a 1-1 draw with Canada in their previous home fixtures. They did beat Costa Rica 1-0 earlier last year on the road. It’s a longshot bet, but Costa Rica is a tempting bet to atone for their previous defeat to El Tri.
Soccer Pick: Costa Rica +888 with Heritage Sports
Panama vs. Jamaica
Sunday, January 30, 2022 - 6:05 PM EST at Estadio Rommel Fernández Gutiérrez
Panama dropped valuable points in their match against Costa Rica, albeit they remain in the coveted fourth spot. Fortunately, Panama faces a relatively straightforward matchup against a Jamaica team that is sixth in the table and considerably off the pace with just seven points from nine fixtures.
The market for this game isn’t surprising with Panama tipped as the firm favorite at home. The expectation is for Panama to take all three points and maintain its edge in the standings. However, Jamaica has shown to be a plucky opponent. They won’t roll over easily. Jamaica held Costa Rica to a 1-1 draw on the road as well as El Salvador. They also beat Honduras on their travels.
Honduras vs. El Salvador
Sunday, January 30, 2022 - 7:05 PM EST at Estadio Olímpico Metropolitano
Honduras can’t seem to buy a win no matter how hard it tries. They’re 0-3-6 in the competition and prop up the table with three points. Their latest setback was a 2-0 loss to Canada, which all but ended their tiny sliver of hope of qualifying for Qatar.
El Salvador held the USA to merely a 1-0 victory on matchday 9, but it was a pointless effort in the end despite their heroics. It marked El Salvador’s fifth loss as they slipped to a 1-3-5 record and six points.
For all intents and purposes, this is a bit of a toss-up for soccer picks. However, with El Salvador at home, they have a reasonable shot of winning here.
Soccer Pick: El Salvador +305 with Heritage Sports
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.