Host nations are often viewed as favourites in international competitions by football betting fans, regardless of who their opponents are.
But when the host nation has a clutch of seasoned professionals, tried and tested at the highest levels of the game, and the opponents are Panama, the home side is almost guaranteed a win.
That seems to be the case as the USA prepare for their second group match in this year’s Gold Cup. Bob Bradley’s men go into Sunday’s clash with Panama as heavy 1/5 favourites, while the Canal Men are seen at 10/1 outsiders.
Football betting enthusiasts expecting Julio Dely Valdes’ men to frustrate their opponents and hold out for a draw can also find odds of 93/20.
The Americans’ talented squad got off to a good start against neighbours Canada, with Fulham’s Clint Dempsey and Villarreal forward Jozy Altidore helping them secure a 2-0 win.
However, the hosts will be wary that after successive 5-0 wins, current champions Mexico are grabbing all the headlines.
As such, Bradley is likely to expect an improvement from some of his high-profile players in order to fire up the home crowd.
The USA coach, who was linked with the Aston Villa hot seat last season, has a wealth of experience at his disposal. As well as Dempsey and Altidore, the USA boss is able to call on Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard, West Ham defender Jonathan Spector, Aston Villa’s Eric Lichaj and Benfica’s Freddy Adu.
However, one player yet to score in the tournament but expected to carry the USA front line is LA Galaxy’s Landon Donavon.
The 29-year-old, who recently enjoyed a successful loan spell at Everton, is already his country’s leading all-time goalscorer with 45 from 131 appearances. But the forward knows that winning this tournament would go some way to helping him catch Cobi Jones as the USA’s most-capped player.
With such a talented squad likely to feature, punters could be tempted to give Panama a helping hand with bwin’s handicap betting.
The Central Americans laboured to a 3-2 victory over Guadeloupe in the first round of matches but will find the going tougher against the USA..
As such, giving them a 1-0 lead going into the game could make for some interesting bets.