When Canada faced Team USA in the semifinal match, players on both teams realized it had been 20 years since the Canadians last conquered their rivals from south of the border in a women’s soccer game.
Then, Jessie Fleming scored in the 74th minute on a penalty kick and the metaphorical monkey was lifted off Team Canada’s back. The Canadians held on for a 1-0 win, setting up a date with Sweden in the gold-medal game, where once again the Canadian squad will take the pitch as the betting underdog.
At 5-0 in the tournament and with three clean sheets among those victories, the Swedish team has earned the right to be the betting favorite. Sweden opened at -115 to win in regulation, with Canada paying +390 to do the same. A regulation-time draw pays out at +205.
The total for this game opened at 2. Both Sweden and Canada have shown a great ability to defend in this tournament and that number has now dropped to +1.5.
News and Notes
Team Sweden is a perfect 5-0 in this tournament, with a statement 3-0 win against the Americans in their first game. Sweden easily advanced out of the group stage and then beat Japan 3-1 in their quarterfinal match.
In the semifinals against Australia, the Swedes finally faced some adversity. After scoring the opening goal in the first half, Sweden withstood a strong Aussie attack for the majority of the second half and escaped with a 1-0 win.
For the tournament, Sweden has 13 goals for and only three against in five games.
Canada’s road to the gold-medal match has been slightly bumpier than the Swedes’. The Canadians finished second in their group with one win and two draws.
Canada then went to penalty kicks against Brazil in the quarterfinal match. Keeper Stephanie Labbe stopped two Brazilian kicks in the shootout and the Canadians advanced to the semifinal against Team USA.
Canada enters the final match coming off back-to-back shutouts and has allowed only three goals in five games. However, the Canadians have scored only five goals this tournament and only once has Canada managed to score multiple goals in a game.
Betting Pick: DRAW (+205)
As the No. 8 team in the world, Canada has already faced three higher-ranked teams in this tournament; Sweden will be the fourth. I’m not sure if the Canadians can once again take down a higher-rated opponent, but I am willing to bet they can extend the match beyond regulation time. Take the draw at +205 for this one.
Currently Japan is the slight front-runner in this match, paying out at +160 to win in regulation. Both teams opened up at +165, but some early money has pushed the Japanese to now be considered the slight favorites.
The total for this game is 2.5 (-125 OVER). It’s an interesting number to play. The teams combined for three goals when they played each other in the group stage, but neither team scored a goal in their semifinal loss.
News and Notes
Japan and Mexico both advanced out of the same group in the round-robin portion of the tournament. Japan won Group A with a 3-0 record, including a 2-1 win over the Mexicans.
In their quarterfinal match, the Japanese barely got by New Zealand, winning on penalties. In their semifinal match against the pre-tournament gold-medal favorites, Japan lost to Spain 1-0 in extra time.
Mexico’s only group-stage blemish was its loss to Japan. The Mexicans actually controled possession for 60 percent of that game and had twice as many shots directed on net, but ultimately dropped the 2-1 decision.
In their quarterfinal match, Mexico scored six times en route to a 6-3 win against Korea, before having their hearts broken in penalties against Brazil in the semifinal.
Betting Pick: Mexico +165
The Japanese scored seven times in their three round-robin games but haven’t scored since. The Mexicans might have a chip on their shoulders after dropping the group-stage game to Japan earlier in the tournament. I will take the added motivation for Mexico and bet the slight underdogs to win in regulation. Take Mexico +165.
Nelly Korda was the pre-tournament favorite to win the women’s gold medal in golf, paying out at +650. Through two rounds, Korda has a four-stroke lead and has seen her odds drop to -200.
Emily Kristine Pedersen and Danish teammate Nanna Koerstz Madsen both went off at +8000 pre-tournament and they are both a bit of a surprise to be tied for second at 9 under through two rounds.
With only two rounds left, let’s dive deeper into the odds provided on golfers to just win a medal.
News and Notes
Emily Kristine Pedersen shot a pedestrian 70 in her opening round but fired an impressive 63 in Round 2. Pre-tournament she was +8000 to win, and after two rounds the 72nd-ranked golfer in the world is now at +250 to earn a medal.
Nanna Koerstz Madsen is the 61st-ranked player in the world and was also +8000 pre-tournament. After her impressive second-round 64, she is +275 to medal.
Aditi Ashok wasn’t given much of a chance to win this event and was +40000 before it began. Ashok started 67-66 this tournament and is also tied for second. The 200th-ranked player in the world from India is still a long shot to end up on the podium at +500.
Among the pre-tournament favorites, Jin Young Ko at +850 was ranked second behind only Nelly Korda. Through two rounds, the No. 2 player in the world is tied for sixth. Ko is currently at +175 to find her way onto the podium.
Defending gold medalist Inbee Park was +1000 before the tournament started. Park is currently ranked third in the world and after two rounds she is tied for 24th. She is paying out at +1100 to end up on the podium.
Wouldn’t it be a great story for golf if not one but two Korda sisters ended up on the podium? After rounds of 71 and 67, Jessica Korda trails her younger sister Nelly by nine strokes and probably can’t catch her for the gold. To make the podium, the 14th-ranked player in the world is paying out at +1200.
Betting Pick: Jin Young Ko +175
Jin Young Ko was a legit threat to win this event pre-tournament. At +850 odds, she trailed only Nelly Korda as a betting favorite. The No. 2-ranked player in the world has four finishes inside the top five this year in only 10 starts.
Two starts ago, she won the Volunteers of America Classic. I believe she is poised to make a run in rounds 3 and 4. I’m not sure she can catch Nelly Korda for the gold, but I do think she can easily find her way to the podium for a medal. Take Jin Young Ko +175.
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