USMNT vs Jamaica Odds: CONCACAF Gold Cup 2023 Begins

Written by: Greg Lea
Published June 22, 2023
5 min read
  • The USMNT are the sportsbooks’ favorites to win the CONCACAF Gold Cup 2023
  • Jamaica are two-time runners-up and they should not be written off this summer
  • The USMNT should not expect an easy assignment when they open their campaign

USMNT vs Jamaica Odds

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USMNT vs Jamaica Pick

The USMNT are favorites but this could be a close match.

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USMNT vs Jamaica Prediction

USA’s Experimental Squad Will Not Prevent Them Challenging

In terms of global impact, the CONCACAF Gold Cup gets less traction than several other continental competitions. The European Championship and the Copa America contain numerous world-class players, while the Africa Cup of Nations and perhaps even the Asian Cup are more widely discussed outside their own regions than CONCACAF’s main event. 

There are a few possible reasons for that. One is to do with timing. Whereas Asia and Africa’s tournaments are often held in the middle of the European soccer season, the Gold Cup takes place in June and July when focus from the sport is diverted elsewhere. 

Another is the fact that even CONCACAF’s leading powers do not do everything they can to win the trophy. The USA, Canada and Mexico - the three favorites with the best online sportsbooks - have all named weakened rosters for the 17th edition of the competition.

That is understandable: Europe-based players in particular have just finished a grueling campaign and deserve some time off. But it would be better for the Gold Cup if all the biggest stars in North America, Central America and the Caribbean were present.

The USA have left out the likes of Yunus Musah, Christian Pulisic, Weston McKennie, Folarin Balogun, Gio Reyna and Tyler Adams. DeAndre Yedlin with 78 and Jordan Morris with 52 are the only members of the group to have more than 40 caps.

But no one should write the USA off. They still have talent at their disposal and the imminent return of Gregg Berhalter offers an additional source of motivation. Berhalter is not in charge of the team for the Gold Cup but he will be watching proceedings very closely.

The fact the tournament is being played primarily on their soil (Canada are officially co-hosts but the vast majority of games will be in the USA) is another reason why the Americans will be there or thereabouts. 

Jamaica Will Need the Big Three to Slip Up to Stand a Chance

When it comes to the CONCACAF Gold Cup, Jamaica are always the bridesmaids and never the bride. Runners-up at back-to-back tournaments in 2015 and 2017, they are yet to get their hands on the trophy.

The Reggae Boyz will be aiming to do just that this summer, but it will not be easy. They will need favors from elsewhere and must hope that each of the USA, Mexico and Canada is below par. Even if they are, Jamaica would have to get past the likes of Panama and Costa Rica.

Jamaica have been trying to make use of their significant diaspora in recent years, recruiting the likes of Ethan Pinnock, Michail Antonio and Demairi Gray. Those three players have been named in the roster, as has Kingston-born Leon Bailey.

That means Jamaica will arrive at the Gold Cup in a confident mood, and it is certainly not beyond the realms of possibility that they go all the way. 

The Caribbean nation struggled in World Cup 2022 qualification, finishing sixth in the eight-team final stage, but their roster for this tournament is among the strongest at the competition.

The man in charge of this group is Heimir Hallgrimsson, who was joint-coach for Iceland at Euro 2016. Hired last September, he can strengthen his position by leading Jamaica to the semi-finals, which is the minimum expectation back home.

Things have not gone too well so far this year, though. Jamaica are yet to win a match in 2023. Their two meetings with Trinidad & Tobago yielded a draw and a win, while they also drew with Mexico in March. 

The Reggae Boyz warmed up for the Gold Cup with back-to-back friendly losses to Qatar and Jordan, albeit with a weakened side.

USA Will Not Have Everything Their Own Way in Opening Match

The USMNT may have won the CONCACAF Nations League earlier this month, but most members of that squad have now been sent away on vacation. 

Meanwhile, BJ Callaghan remains in interim charge as Berhalter watches on from elsewhere. It does not exactly suggest a national team going all-out for victory.

Having said that, it would be foolish to write the USA off. Getting out of a group which also contains Trinidad & Tobago and Saint Kitts & Nevis should be straightforward enough, but this opening encounter will definitely not be easy. 

The presence of Gray, Antonio, Bailey and Shamar Nicholson means Jamaica will pack a genuine punch in attack at Soldier Field. It may take time for this set of American players to find its rhythm, especially in defense.

With all that in mind, both teams to score looks like the best pick for this one. Failing to keep a clean sheet does not necessarily mean the USMNT will drop points on matchday one, but this will probably be their toughest game of the group stage.

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How to Watch USMNT vs Jamaica

  • Teams: USMNT vs Jamaica
  • Location: Soldier Field, Chicago, United States
  • Date and Time: Jun. 24, 2023, 9.30 p.m. ET 
  • How to Watch: Fox Sports 1, fuboTV
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Greg Lea

Soccer Betting Analyst

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Greg Lea is a freelance soccer journalist from London. He is the former editor of The Set Pieces, and has contributed to the Guardian, FourFourTwo, and ESPN. A Crystal Palace fan, he is a long-time subscriber to the belief that it's the taking part that counts.
Nationality: American
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Politics
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