Future Picks To Win FIFA Women's World Cup
When the France men's team won its first-ever World Cup in 1998, the championship jolted the entire nation. One of the win's immediate aftereffects was an uptick in French women playing the sport. That momentum propelled the women's team to its first Women's World Cup qualification in 2003.
Of course, building a strong national team takes years to pay off. For France, that return on investment might come in 2019 when it hosts 23 other teams for the Women's World Cup Tournament. It's truly a full-circle moment considering most of its current team watched that championship run as children.
The Frenchmen captured its second World Cup trophy this past summer, now can the women follow suit? They're certainly one of the favorites, along with the usuals like United States, Japan, and Germany. For the future bettors looking for a big win down the road, here's which countries should command your attention and money.
- 01Favorite — United States (+250)
- 02Home Country — France (+350)
- 03Contender — Germany (+350)
- 04Can't Be Counted Out — Brazil (+1600)
Favorite — United States (+250)
To preface, the United States hasn't officially qualified for next summer's tournament as CONCACAF qualifying is still underway. You never want to assume anything in betting, but it'd be a near miracle if US doesn't lock up one of the nine remaining World Cup spots. Then again, after the US men's team blunder from a year ago, anything is plausible.
Still, the US remains the gold standard in women's soccer. They're ranked No. 1 in the world and are three-time tournament winners. Moreover, the US hasn't lost since the 2016 Summer Olympics — a "fluke" loss to Sweden in penalty kicks despite outshooting the Swedish 27-6.
If the Tournament of Nations is any indication, the US remain the team to beat. They strung three victories against Japan, Brazil, and Australia, outscoring the trio 9-4. The tournament showcased both its strengths and potential vulnerability.
Its offense remains high-octane. Not only will the team return veteran scorers like Alex Morgan, Megan Rapinoe, Tobin Heath, and Christen Press, they'll also have to newcomers. One in the form of 20-year-old sensation Mallory Pugh and the other in a motivated Crystal Dunn, who missed the roster cut in 2015. The blend of youth and experience up front will pose a serious threat for opponents.
If there's a question mark on the roster — and admittedly, it's a small one — it's at goalkeeper. Hope Solo is long gone and her shadow looms. 30-year-old Alyssa Naeher has done a more than admirable job thus far, but perhaps Solo's experience and calming presence at the grandest stage will be missed.
The United States road to a repeat championship will be its hardest yet, but it's almost mandatory to throw some future money in their direction. There's simply too much history and experience behind them to ignore.
Home Country — France (+350)
This past World Cup once again showed us the power of home-field advantage. Host nation Russia stormed into the tourney quarterfinals for the first time since 1970. However, that same power hasn't translated into the women's event, not yet at least.
Aside from the two times the United States has held the World Cup, no host nation has advanced to the semifinals in the five other events. While France following in the men's team footsteps and winning the gold at home is a made-for-the-movies plot, history shows us it won't be easy.
Is it safe to say no team will be under more pressure than France? The country's football federation has put all their eggs in this basket as it's slowly grown the women's game over the last 20 years. Pressure either makes diamonds or bust pipes, but we're betting France can be the former.
What Les Blues has going for it is desperation and experience. Its two best players — Eugenie Le Sommer and Amandine Henry — are approaching their 30's, and this could be their last shot at immortality. However, with a combined 226 caps between the two, the duo should help this young team stay focused amid all the distractions of playing at home.
Contender — Germany (+350)
Even though Germany won seven of eight qualifying matches and currently sit ranked No. 2 on the globe, you just never quite know what side will show up to France.
Will it be the ones that won the 2016 Olympic gold? How about the team that's quest for a seventh straight Euro Cup championship shockingly ended in the quarterfinals? Or the more recent German side that failed to score in two losses to the United State and France during March's SheBelieves Cup?
This team is the ultimate boom-or-bust betting pick, but with so much talent on the roster, you'd be crazy not to think twice about laying a big one on them.
Can't Be Counted Out — Brazil (+1600)
Brazil completely cruised through CONMEBOL qualifying stage, winning its seven games by a whopping 31-2 difference. In the Tournament of Nations, the side had a so-so showing. While it's 2-1 victory over Japan was positive, Brazil looked lost in a 4-1 whooping from the US.
However, as long as Marta is on the pitch, Brazil has a fighting chance. She's the greatest women's soccer player ever, evident by her five Player of the Year honors. Even at 32, she's still the game-changing player that can decide a game. We're not saying Brazil deserves a big money bet, but a few dollars here and there could pay dividends with very likable +1600 odds.