The eight-team round robin final round of 2022 World Cup qualifying begins on Thursday in Concacaf. The home and away structure will total 14 matches with the top three teams automatically qualifying for the World Cup, while the fourth-place team will play a inter confederation playoff to see if another team from the region will advance to Qatar 2022.
World Cup qualifying is never easy, as Concacaf presents some harsh destinations like Mexico City, San Jose, and even the cold weather of Colorado. The USMNT, Mexico, and Honduras are early favorites to qualify from Concacaf, but Canada and Jamaica could be surprise dark horses.
The time for the talking is now over and the first round of games is here, we will review each match and assess the best pick possible for the four games of World Cup qualifying from Concacaf.
El Salvador vs USMNT
The USMNT will be traveling to El Salvador (+450) for their first game of World Cup qualifying, El Salvador should not present the rising Yanks a difficult test. The talent difference is huge between the two sides, what plays to El Salvador’s advantage is that this United States roster has yet to play in his kind of environment together, but if the Nations League and Gold Cup prove anything is that the USMNT are up for a challenge. At (-165) don’t bet against the favorite at the most a draw (+290) would be a shocking result.
Canada vs Honduras
One of the most evenly matched games of the first matchday of qualifying. Honduras (+475) has a well worked side coached by Fabián Coito, but Honduras will be without star player Alberth Elis. For Canada (-190) it’s a chance to start off winning in qualifying, the Canadian team has been a sort of darling with how they have improved over the last few years and will have Alphonso Davies leading the way. Canada should take this one, but don’t expect a blowout.
Panama vs Costa Rica
Costa Rica (+135) have been bad and for a pretty long time now, Panama (+200) are underdogs, but they are playing at home, and it could be a good way to get an early three points. Costa Rica mildly improved in the Gold Cup, it’s Panama’s game to lose.
Mexico vs Jamaica
El Tri will have to make all that Azteca altitude count against Jamaica. At (-650) Mexico is a heavy favorite against a Jamaica (+1000) team that has the talent but not the luck of the draw, Mexico should take this game they have everything in their favor.