Copa America 2024: United States vs. Panama Best Bets (6/27/24)

Aidan Cotter
Aidan CotterAidanCotterFD
Copa America 2024: United States vs. Panama Best Bets (6/27/24)

The United States continue their 2024 Copa America campaign on Thursday against Panama. Action kicks off at 6:00 p.m. ET on FOX.

The U.S. is tied for first in Group C after taking down Bolivia 2-0 in their first match. Panama has zero points following their 3-1 loss to Uruguay.

The United States sits at No. 11 in the latest FIFA Men's World Rankings. Panama is down at 43rd.

Via the Copa America odds on FanDuel Sportsbook, which United States-Panama best bets should you target for Thursday's match?

United States vs. Panama Betting Picks

USA -1.5 Goals (+110)

While the United States can't be upset with a 2-0 win in their first group stage match, they could've had an even more lopsided result. The Americans had possession for 60% of the match and out-shot Bolivia 20 to 6.

As a result, FBRef's expected goals (xG) model gave the U.S. a 2.5-0.2 xG advantage.

Panama had a polar opposite result in their first match, a 3-1 loss. Against Uruguay, Panama had possession for only 39% of the match and managed just 10 shots compared to Uruguay's 20. Only three of Panama's shots were on target.

Still, the result was worse than the xG says it should've been as Uruguay held the xG edge 1.5-0.5.

Even so, it's hard to feel great about that result if you're Panama. They surrendered a goal 16 minutes into the game and didn't score themselves until four minutes into extra time.

Panama did play better in the second half, but they squandered several chances to capitalize on Uruguay's miscues. The absence of captain Anibal Godoy was clearly felt in that first match. His 140 caps are more than 50 more than the next-closest Panamanian.

Houston Dynamo midfielder Adalberto Carrasquilla is still someone the Americans will have to worry about, especially after he netted the game-winner against the U.S. in last summer's Concacaf Gold Cup semifinals.

But the U.S. hardly had their full squad in that match, save for keeper Matt Turner. Turner let up just one regular-time goal in 120 minutes -- a recurring theme for Turner. Aside from a disastrous friendly against Colombia, Turner has allowed multiple goals to non-European teams just once since the 2022 World Cup.

The American defense gives them a good shot to win by multiple goals, and it makes USA -1.5 an intriguing wager at +110 odds.

We saw that play out the last time these sides faced off at full strength back when the U.S. routed Panama 5-1 in a 2022 World Cup qualifier. Considering how each side opened Copa America, another lopsided result may be in the cards on Thursday night.

United States vs. Panama Prop Bet

Christian Pulisic to Score Or Assist (-115)

Star forward Christian Pulisic scored the United States' first goal in their 2-0 win over Bolivia before assisting on the second.

He played all 90 minutes, finishing second among Americans in shots (four) and third in total touches (60). On top of that, he had the second-most shot-creating actions (seven) and most goal-creating actions (two).

With that effort, Pulisic now leads the U.S. with three combined goals plus assists so far in 2024. The AC Milan winger previously scored in a friendly against Brazil earlier this month.

This comes after a 2023 international campaign that saw him lead the U.S. with four goals plus assists across four friendlies.

That strong track record of production puts him in a nice spot to either score or assist against Panama. Panama previously let up three goals in their first group stage match with Uruguay, allowing Uruguay to dominate possession (61% to 39%) and double their shot attempts (20 to 10).

We've seen Pulisic have success against Panama before, most recently in a 2022 World Cup qualifier. He netted three goals -- two off penalties -- in the United States' 5-1 win despite playing just 70 minutes. He has +6000 odds to score a hat trick on Thursday.

At these -115 odds, I'm happy to take Pulisic to score or assist independently, though it would correlate well with the United States Moneyline (-290), too.

As of Wednesday afternoon, a Same Game Parlay with Pulisic to score or assist paired with the United States Moneyline nets +115 odds on FanDuel Sportsbook.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.