The best countries in North America and the Caribbean are gearing for the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup. With Canada fielding an excellent roster, soccer fans from Halifax to Victoria are excited to watch this talented young team. Get ready for the tournament with our 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup picks.
2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup Predictions
The betting odds on the winner of the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup will open closer to the start of the tournament. It is possible they open once they complete the preliminary bracket. The preliminaries run from July 2 to July 6. The CONCACAF Gold Cup starts on July 10. Now, let’s jump into our CONCACAF Gold Cup picks and preview.
|CONCACAF Gold Cup Winner|
Canada’s Best Chances to Win the Tournament since 2000
As Canadian soccer fans, we know this is the best Canadian National Team in at least 20 years, maybe their best roster ever. The stars – Alphonso Davies and Cyle Larin – give Canada a potent one-two goalscoring punch (assuming both play). The rest of the roster is a potent mix of young up-and-comers and savvy veterans.
Canada wiped the floor with the competition during their 2022 World Cup first-round qualifiers. They went 4-0 with a +26-goal differential. The following best country of the 30 in the first round was Panama at +18. Canada’s grouping in the first round is also pretty good, even though they will face the United States.
In fact, it is beneficial for Canada to be in a group with the United States. The States are coming into the tournament hot after beating Mexico in the CONCACAF Nations League finals. That performance with the rise of Christian Pulisic likely has the US as the favourites over Mexico once odds open.
Since they are grouped, they will play in the Group Stage but cannot play in the knockout stage until the finals. That means Canada can avoid the United States for two rounds.
They also will avoid Mexico in the quarterfinals if they finish second. If they win their group, they will be on the opposite side of the bracket as the USA (assuming they are the Group B runner-up) and Mexico (assuming they win Group A).
The path is there for Canada to win the tournament – as long as they have most of their World Cup qualifying roster.
Mexico vs. the United States: Which Previous Winner is the Better Pick?
Since Canada pulled off their improbable victory in 2000, the CONCACAF Gold Cup has only been won by two countries – Mexico and the United States. Mexico is the reigning champ and has won five tournaments since 2002. The United States has also won five times since 2002 – most recently in 2017.
At the 2019 tournament, Mexico bet the US 1-0 in the Finals. Mexican players won the best play award (Raul Jimenez) and best goalkeeper (Guillermo Ochoa) awards, while American player Christian Pulisic won the best young player award.
Two years later, the US enters the tournament coming off a massive victory against Mexico, thanks to Christian Pulisic heroics in extra-time. He is arguably the most talented American player ever and probably the best player in the tournament.
However, this American roster is much deeper than one guy. In the 2019-20 CONCACAF Nations League (which ended in June 2021), the US had the top two goal scorers – Weston McKennie and Jordan Morris – with each guy netting four goals.
If the United States can get that kind of support for Pulisic, they are the best team in the tournament and better pick than Mexico to win the 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Best Underdog to Pick to Win the 2021 Gold Cup
Outside of Mexico and the United States, typically, every other country involved in the tournament is an underdog. Excluding Canada – who, despite an influx of young talent, still ranks 70th in the world – the best underdog to bet is Jamaica.
Jamaica is the third-highest ranked country in the CONCACAF at 45 in the world. They are also the next most successful country in the tournament after Mexico and the United States.
Jamaica made the finals in 2015 and 2017, losing 3-1 to Mexico in 2015 and 2-1 to the United States in 2017. They finished in third place in 2019.
Jamaica’s group is not as strong as others in the tournament. Costa Rica has tumbled down the FIFA World Rankings – from 17 in 2016 to 50 in 2021. They also have Suriname, who ranks 136 in the World and just got blown out by Canada 4-0 in World Cup qualifiers. The final country will be the winner of preliminary game 8. The possible countries are Guatemala, Guyana, Guadeloupe, and the Bahamas – none of whom rank higher than 130 in the world.
Jamaica’s path to the Finals – assuming they win their group – will be challenging. They will have to play the runner-up of Group B (most likely US or Canada) then the winner of Group A (we are betting Mexico).
Jamaica has beat Canada in three of their last four matches and holds a two-game winning streak against Mexico. Overall, Jamaica may not be the biggest underdog in the tournament (that will go to one of the final qualification teams), but outside of the US, Mexico, and Canada, they are the best country to bet.
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