If there’s one thing we can be sure of, it’s that the bookies do their research. Whilst we at FantasyBet love to get our hands dirty, these guys make their money on the strength and depth of their knowledge. It feels wasteful not to acknowledge them.
But they haven’t done all the hard work. We’ve taken the bookies’ views on the first round of group fixtures in the Women’s World Cup and used them to hand-pick some under-the-radar fantasy gems. Who knows? They might just win you a share of £1k.
Women’s World Cup Clean Sheet Odds
A crystal find in USA backline
USA are one of the favourites to lift the trophy and without doubt the heavyweights of Group F. Their 23-player squad has racked up over 1800 caps and their tournament experience is unrivalled. Thailand, who debuted at the 2015 World Cup, are huge underdogs in this fixture.
We will discuss the importance of ownership in the American frontline later, but Crystal Dunn (6.5m) offers a solid alternative as an extremely attacking defender with a high probability of a clean sheet.
She won the 2015 National Soccer League golden boot, but now she predominantly plays at left back for her country and is classified as a premium defender.
In defence of Sweden’s value
Ranked 9th in the world and having competed in every World Cup since it was formed 28 years ago, Sweden are renowned for being reliable in defence and have only solidified this reputation under Peter Gerhardsson, conceding just six times in 15 matches.
Amanda Ilestedt (4.5m) started their last two friendlies, both of which ended with clean sheets, and would free up your budget for other areas.
However, if you don’t want to be sweating over the lineups or relying on a replacement from the bench, PSG’s Hanna Glas (5m) is a safer bet and often deployed at wingback.
Defender with 25% chance of a goal
Wendie Renard (6.5m) was my favourite daily fantasy player in 2015 and a standout pick from the hosts France. She literally towers above her opponents at set-pieces and has an abnormal 25% implied chance of finding the net against South Korea.
The 2018 Asian Cup Champions Japan have an equally good chance of a clean sheet and captain Saki Kumagai (5.5m) has helped Lyon to gather 15 major titles since joining in 2014.
Both of these CB’s will be efficient in collecting extra points for defensive actions such as tackles won, interceptions and aerial duels.
Women’s World Cup Over 2.5+ Goals Odds
|Cameroon||N/A||N/A||Chile||N/A||N/A||Jamaica||N/A||N/A||Scotland||N/A||N/A||South Africa||N/A||N/A||South Korea||N/A||N/A||Thailand||N/A||N/A|
*N/A: Bookmakers have not made these odds available as likelihood is so low.
Differentials in USA frontline
Coverage in USA’s mismatch with Thailand is essential. They have a higher implied chance to score 3.5+ (78%) than any of their competitors do of scoring 2.5+ in Round 1.
Alex Morgan is arguably the most well-known name in women’s football, and will ultimately be one of the highest owned players from the off, but don’t overlook Tobin Heath (10m) and Lindsey Horan (7.5m).
Both have performed admirably in recent matches and could prove an excellent USA double-up. Heath scored the opener in each of her country’s last two friendlies, while Horan finished as the top assister in CONCACAF qualification.
— FantasyBet (@fantasy_bet) June 5, 2019
Be wary of wavering Brazil
Marta and Brazil are always on the agenda when talking women’s football, however, the South American side are enduring a difficult period with nine defeats on the bounce. Their once free-flowing style has been curtailed by Oswaldo Alvarez’s old-school 4-4-2 tactics, and Marta’s prolificness has been curtailed with it.
On the other hand, they’ll see their favourable opening fixture vs. Jamaica as the perfect opportunity to stop the rot. With numerous options in the premium forward bracket, Geyse (6.5m) is a high risk, high reward alternative to Marta.
She scored 16 goals in 12 apps for the Under 20’s and a ridiculous 35 goals in 15 league matches for Benfica this season. They do play in Portugal’s second tier, so there are question marks over whether she can make the step up to international level.
Japan too much for Argentina
There’s plenty to get excited about for Japan this tournament. The World Champions in 2011 and runners up in 2015 are excellent technically and have one of the youngest squads (avg. of 24 years old) in the tournament.
Someone who is fully capable of punishing an Argentina defence that conceded 10 times in three Cup of Nations fixtures earlier this year is Kumi Yokoyama (8m). The striker converted four times in the 2018 Asian Cup including a brace in the semi-final and the winner in the final.
Emi Nakajima (6.5m) could also be useful if on a budget. The 2011 World Player of the Year is a set-piece specialist who knows where the net is, averaging more than 1 goal every second game for her country, excluding friendlies.
No nonsense Norway
The Scandinavian country (and the Women’s World Cup in general) will miss the exploits of the first Ballon d’Or Feminin winner Ada Hegerberg, who sits out of the tournament amidst complaints of the Norway Football Federation’s treatment of the women’s game.
As discussed in our Women’s World Cup Overview , they are favourites to finish 2nd in their group behind France, but Nigeria are by no means an easy start to proceedings.
However, with (new) Barcelona striker and designated penalty taker Caroline Hansen (7.5m) linking up with the in-form Isabell Herlovsen (6m), who’s scored five goals in her last four fixtures, they have the firepower to overcome the highest ranked African country.
Women’s World Cup Fantasy Dream Team (Round 1)