The United States men's national team has a huge season on tap, and it will try to continue its dominant run when it faces Northern Ireland for the first time in more than 70 years on Sunday in an international friendly. The Americans have outscored opponents 23-3 in their last four matches, including a 4-1 rout of Jamaica in Austria on Thursday. Coach Gregg Berhalter will tweak his lineup and get more of his young roster involved as the team gears up for the CONCACAF Nations League, the Gold Cup and qualifying for the 2022 World Cup.
Kickoff from Windsor Park is set for 12:05 p.m. ET. The latest USA vs. Northern Ireland odds from William Hill Sportsbook list the United States as the 0.5-goal and +100 money-line favorite, while the over-under for total goals scored is 2.5. Before locking in your Northern Ireland vs. USMNT picks, be sure to see the soccer predictions and betting advice from stats analyst Mike Goodman.
A soccer editor for CBS Sports, Goodman is at the forefront of the advanced statistics and analytics movement in soccer, with eight years of experience working with cutting-edge predictive statistical analysis. Among his credits are work for FiveThirtyEight and StatsBomb, and he has immense experience diving deep into the analytics involved in dissecting the sport.
All of Goodman's bets hit in Thursday's victory against Jamaica, and he nailed the final score, which paid off at +2500. "Look for a couple of early goals, a couple of late goals for the U.S., and a sloppy consolation goal late for Jamaica to spoil the perfect night," Goodman told SportsLine. That's exactly how it played out, and bettors who followed Goodman's advice saw a massive return.
Now Goodman has taken a close look into USMNT vs. Northern Ireland. You can visit SportsLine now to see his picks. Here are several odds and trends for Northern Ireland vs. USMNT:
- Northern Ireland vs. USA spread: United States -0.5
- Northern Ireland vs. USA over-under: 2.5 goals
- Northern Ireland vs. USA money line: Northern Ireland +290, United States +100, Draw +240
- USA: The American have posted a clean sheet in five of the last seven matches.
- NI: The team has not allowed more than two goals in its last six games.
Why you should back the USA
Berhalter isn't viewing the games as mere friendlies, with World Cup qualifying looming in September, and the offense has been tough to stop. Though the opportunities have been limited by the pandemic, the U.S. hasn't lost since a 2-0 setback against Canada in October 2019. The Americans have scored at least four goals in six of their last eight games, and Sebastian Lletget was the latest to score twice in one game when he put away Thursday's match with two in the late stages.
The U.S. squad is loaded with up-and-coming players, with Chelsea's Christian Pulisic one of the veterans of the 26-man squad with 35 caps at age 22. Sixteen of the players are 22 or younger. Kellyn Acosta and Lletget both facilitate the action from midfield, and Daryl Dike and Yunus Musah are likely to see time up front. The coveted Musah, 18, made his debut Thursday after a courtship by several national teams, and the 20-year-old Dike has five goals in his last eight games with Barnsley. The game comes sandwiched between World Cup qualifying matches for Northern Ireland, so the home squad is likely to field a lot of reserves on Sunday.
Why you should back Northern Ireland
The Green and White Army is 1-0 against the Americans, though the only meeting was way back in 1948, a 5-0 Northern Ireland victory. It plays a disciplined defensive game and is likely to field a squad of hungry young players. Daniel Ballard, a 21-year-old defender, could assume a leadership role Sunday, and likely partner Ciaron Brown of Cardiff City is an aggressive player who can win balls in the air. Reserve goalkeeper Conor Hazard is expected to get the start, and at 6-foot-6, the Celtic backup can control the action in the box.
With the veteran defenders likely to take the day off, manager Ian Baraclough could opt to rely on the team's depth at forward. Dion Charles, a 25-year-old striker, has 17 goals in 32 League One appearances with Accrington Stanley and could get his chance to shine in the friendly confines. Shayne Lavery, 22, could also make an impact after being a late call-up, and 6-foot-4 Kyle Lafferty is a dangerous target and has 20 goals in 80 caps. Defender Shane Ferguson, a midfielder with his club team, can strike from distance and is a potent option on set pieces.
How to make Northern Ireland vs. USMNT picks
Goodman is leaning under the total, and he also has revealed his best bets and analysis, including another prop bet that would bring a big plus-money payout. You can only get that pick at SportsLine.
So who wins Northern Ireland vs. USMNT? And where does all the betting value lie? Visit SportsLine now to find out which side of the USMNT vs. Northern Ireland money line has all the value, and which prop bet could lead to a huge payout, all from the stats expert who is at the forefront of soccer analytics.