Moving on From USA's Failed World Cup Qualifier: What are Its Betting Effects?

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The USA failing to make it to the 2018 FIFA World Cup is surely one of the biggest upsets in the sporting world.

This is the first time the team failed to qualify since 1986. Team USA was surprisingly defeated by Trinidad & Tobago with a 2-1 score. And days after the unexpected loss, the sporting world is still left shocked. So where do we go from here?

This is the perfect time for the entire US Soccer Federation to face the devastating, and perhaps humiliating loss they had. Having been beaten by a very weak team is tantamount to the carelessness they had probably been through during their training period.

And because of this, they need to find out where they went wrong. But the effects aren't only confined within the organization but are felt by throughout America and the world. From sponsors, tournament organizers, and even broadcasters, USA’s absence in the World Cup is indeed a big deal.

One of the most affected by this is Fox Sports, who has outbid ESPN by paying $400 million for the 2018 World Cup broadcasting rights. Now, this gargantuan amount of investment is at risk due to the highly likely low ratings it will get due to USA’s absence.

However, Fox Sports sent out a brief statement after the loss, saying that it’s not the end of the line for them. The TV broadcasting company states that superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, and Neymar would still play in Russia. And knowing that these have huge fan bases in and out of America, it’s safe to say that it wouldn’t hurt them that much.

Even the top European clubs like Real Madrid and Manchester Club are known to have multitudes of American fans. A good example of this is how the 2014 World Cup championship between Germany and Argentina turned out.

According to a report, 26.5 million people from the US viewed the spectacle, even though there are no American players playing. Compare that to the USA vs. Portugal match which only garnered 24.7 million viewers. With this, broadcasting companies like Fox Sports are confident that things will still turn out well.

So what does this bring Fox? Well, one of its most immediate effects is with regards to its stocks. The company’s stock fell by 2.5% due to USA’s absence in its World Cup broadcast. However, another study says that the unfortunate situation of Fox is over-hyped. It’s because the previous 2014 World Cup only featured the USA in four games, but they still ranked in high ratings from it.

Meanwhile, in Russia, USA's absence is also felt a lot, as it is one of the top 10 countries when it comes to ticket sales. Not having team USA in Russia would heavily impact ticket sales and profits from the once-every-four-year’s event.

The honorary president of the Russian Football Union, Vyacheslav Koloskov, also pointed out that USA’s absence in the World Cup is a missed opportunity for them to improve Russia’s relationship with the Americans.

However, he also stated that there was nothing special about the American team, which is why it wouldn’t have any big effect to the World Cup. But is this really the case? Having lost one of the best teams upsets the balance of power in the sporting event.

Take for example France's betting odds of 11/1. It climbed up the ladder because it doesn't have to face a strong team like the USA. The French team ranks 5th. Then there's Argentina that gets 9/1 odds. Having Lionel Messi in the team is a big deal especially that he’s considered as the best footballer alive.

Spain and Brazil are currently on a tie. The leading free bets hub Freebets.co.uk gives the two countries both 8/1 odds. Meanwhile, Germany is still reigning supreme. Being the champion of the 2014 World Cup, they sure are worthy to have the favorite 11/2 betting odds.

As of now, there are still four teams who are vying for a spot in the World Cup. New Zealand will play against Peru for the final qualifier round on Nov. 6. New Zealand is the underdog in this matchup as they have 19/4 odds while Peru has 7/9. The matchup between Honduras and Australia will also be played on the same date. Honduras is the favorite with their 19/17 odds while Australia has 41/13 odds.

If it were not for the failure of the American team to make it through, then the odds would surely be different. Because after all, losing a top gun in the league is surely a big relief to the weaker teams like the ones mentioned.

Team USA might always be on top of the game in sporting events, but not in football. As surprising as their defeat may seem, it really isn’t that shocking especially that they won’t make it in the top 5 either way.


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