With a four-goal outburst in the first 16 minutes of the 2015 World Cup final against Japan, the United States took a comfortable lead and never looked back en route to a 5-2 victory. The win gave the United States its first World Cup since 1999. Now, the United States women’s national team heads to France as the favorite to win it all again in 2019.

Can the United States repeat as champion?

There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic about the United States’ chances at a repeat. The USA women are a +300 favorite at [custom:bovada-link] to win the 2019 World Cup, which would be the team’s fourth. The USWNT has only lost four times in Women’s World Cup history and has the best record of all time in the tournament at 33-6-4. The national team has finished in third place three times and second place once, falling short on penalties against Japan in 2011.

This year’s squad is absolutely loaded with talent. Tobin Heath and Alex Morgan lead a stacked offensive attack that will also feature Carli Lloyd, Mallory Pugh, Megan Rapinoe and Christen Press. This should be the most offensively talented team in the tournament and few opponent leads figure to be safe.

As the most talented and decorated team in the tournament, the United States women deserve to be the betting favorite. But there are concerns heading into this year’s World Cup, and the most notable one is some of the decision-making of head coach Jill Ellis.

Ellis has continued to tinker with starting lineups and formations in the months leading up to the World Cup, not allowing her team to jell or build chemistry. The talent advantage that the USA has over the rest of the world masks many of the tactical errors or questionable decisions that the coach makes, but in the late stages of the knockout round there may be issues against a more cohesive opponent.

Another point worth mentioning is that Hope Solo will no longer be between the posts for the United States. Alyssa Naeher is a capable goaltender who isn’t likely to blow any matches, but she also isn’t the elite keeper that Solo was for the team. Solo’s ability to make huge timely saves has bailed the United States out on a number of occasions, and those game-savers may not be as plentiful with Solo enjoying her retirement.

France leads group of contenders to upset USA

The French women aren’t far behind the United States on the betting board at +350 to win the 2019 Women’s World Cup. They will be looking to follow in the footsteps of the men’s national team that won the World Cup last year and also in 1998 when the country last hosted the Men’s World Cup.

The passionate home crowds in France will absolutely play a role in this year’s World Cup, but it is also baked heavily into the price. France’s national team currently ranks fourth in the world, and the path to the World Cup is daunting with a potential showdown against the United States lurking in the quarterfinals.

There also isn’t much of a precedent for the host nation enjoying success in the Women’s World Cup. Only the 1999 United States team cashed in on its home soil; the host nation has failed to make the final in the other six Women’s World Cups and has finished outside the top four in five of those tournaments.

Germany (+500 to win the World Cup) is the second most successful team in the tournament’s history. The German women’s national team has won the World Cup twice, finished runner-up once and in fourth place twice. The team owns a 26-5-8 all-time record in World Cup play.

The Germans will have plenty of pressure to produce in this tournament after the men’s side performed so poorly in the 2018 World Cup, finishing in last place in its group. The women’s side won’t have to worry about escaping its soft group and actually has a very favorable draw in the knockout round with no group winners in its path until the semifinals.

At +600 to win the World Cup, England might be the best value pick on the board. Lucy Bronze and Jodie Taylor lead a talented group that won the SheBelieves Cup in February, earning wins over Brazil and Japan and a draw against the United States in that invitational event. England’s women enjoyed their best international tournament result in their history when they finished in third place in the 2015 Women’s World Cup, and if things shake out the right way, they may be able to build on that result in 2019.

Looking for dark horses outside of the top four

As is the case on the men’s side of the World Cup, there isn’t much room for dark horses as the top four teams in the world have a clear talent advantage over the rest. But with that in mind, some underdogs are more live to an improbable run than others.

Japan cannot be ignored at +1200. The Japan women’s national team advanced to the World Cup final in both 2011 and 2015 and became one of just four nations to ever win the event in 2011.

The Netherlands women’s team is also going off at +1200 coming off a win in the European Championship in 2017. The Dutch could build on that momentum with a strong showing in a soft group to enter the knockout stage with some confidence.

If Australia (+1400) and Canada (+2000) both win their groups as expected, they would be in line to meet each other in the quarterfinals if they both survive the Round of 16. This means that the winner of that likely matchup will make its way into the semifinals, which isn’t a bad spot to be at a price like this.

Other potential dark horses include Brazil (+1600), Spain (+2000), Norway (+2500) and Sweden (+2500). Norway won the World Cup back in 1995, but its best finish since then was a fourth-place showing in 2007.

Odds to Win FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019
  • USA +300
  • France +350
  • Germany +500
  • England +600
  • Japan +1200
  • Netherlands +1200
  • Australia +1400
  • Brazil +1600
  • Canada +2000
  • Spain +2000
  • Norway +2500
  • Sweden +2500
  • China +5000
  • Italy +5000
  • New Zealand +5000
  • South Korea +5000
  • Chile +10000
  • Scotland +10000
  • Nigeria +25000
  • South Africa +50000
  • Cameroon +75000
  • Jamaica +100000
  • Thailand +100000
Odds as of May 14 at Bodog
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