Copa América
USA-Bolivia betting recap: 'USA -2.5 not hitting was great for us'
Copa América

USA-Bolivia betting recap: 'USA -2.5 not hitting was great for us'

Updated Jun. 24, 2024 2:44 p.m. ET

In any sport, the most popular betting option is on which team wins — or covers the spread, as the case may be — and soccer is no exception. Betting on the total is intriguing, but usually not as much as betting on who wins the match.

However, in the Copa América odds market, the total — and alternate total — were indeed popular for Sunday night’s USA-Bolivia Group C opening match. 

And at least one bookmaker pocketed quite a bit of that action.

"The 2-0 final score was huge," BetMGM trading manager Seamus Magee said of Team USA’s shutout victory. "Over 2.5 goals and Over 3.5 goals were in a bunch of bets and parlays."


Magee provided some post-match insights and delved into how the victory impacted the U.S. men’s national team going forward in Copa América betting.

When Breaking Even Is Good

The USMNT drew plenty of moneyline dollars to beat Bolivia, even at a hefty -450 price before Sunday’s kickoff on FOX. That meant it took a $450 bet on the U.S. to win $100.

Still, those wagers paid off for bettors. However, the public betting masses, mirroring their efforts on the total, also liked USA -1.5 goals and even more so -2.5 goals. A 3-0 or 4-1 rout was expected.

"USA -2.5 not hitting was great for us. So we pretty much ended up breaking even on the result," Magee said.

Bettors did cash in on a couple of player prop bets: Christian Pulisic to score the first goal of the match, Pulisic to score at any point in the match and Folarin Balogun to score at any point during the match. Pulisic struck early, putting the USMNT up 1-0 in the third minute, while Balogun found the net in the 44th minute.

"Pulisic and Balogun scoring was not good, due to straight bets and single-game parlays. But honestly, this is a pretty solid result for us, all things considered," Magee said.

Christian Pulisic leads USMNT past Bolivia in Copa América & Uruguay defeats Panama

And it certainly helped that Team USA pitched a shutout. The Yes/No prop bet on both teams to score saw lopsided action on Yes.

"Whenever both teams to score doesn’t hit, it’s also a great result for the book, regardless of the game," Magee said.

Looking Ahead

Team USA next faces Panama, in a 6 p.m. ET Thursday match on FOX. Panama lost its Sunday night opener to Uruguay 3-1. BetMGM opened the three-way market at USA -225/Panama +600/Draw +333.

That means it would take a $225 bet on the U.S. to win $100, for a $325 total payout. On the flip side, a $100 bet on Panama would profit $600 ($700 total payout) if the underdog pulls the upset. And a $100 bet on Draw would profit $333 ($433 total payout) if the match is tied after 90 minutes plus injury time.

The USMNT’s relatively easy win over Bolivia was expected, so there was no change in the team’s odds to win the Copa América championship. Team USA entered the tournament as the +1200 fifth choice to lift the trophy. The Americans are still at +1200 after Sunday’s win, though now as the co-fifth choice, with Mexico sharing those odds.

"This [win] doesn’t do a lot to USA’s futures price, since the odds essentially dictated that it was a foregone conclusion on who would win the USA-Bolivia match. There were no big injuries in this match, either," Magee said.

How far can Christian Pulisic, USMNT go in 2024 Copa América?

Argentina remains the +175 favorite in the Copa América championship odds market, followed by Brazil (+225), Uruguay (+500) and Colombia (+900). Argentina opened the tourney on Thursday with a 2-0 win over Canada, and as noted above, Uruguay topped Panama 3-1 on Sunday night.

Colombia and Brazil play their openers Monday, against Paraguay and Costa Rica, respectively.

Patrick Everson is a sports betting analyst for FOX Sports and senior reporter for He is a distinguished journalist in the national sports betting space. He’s based in Las Vegas, where he enjoys golfing in 110-degree heat. Follow him on Twitter: @PatrickE_Vegas.


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