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Morning Coffee: Semifinals set to kick off at Women’s World Cup

England soccer Alessia Russo, England celebrate - The Canadian Press

The United States was the only team with shorter odds to win the Women’s World Cup at FanDuel than England and Spain when the tournament kicked off.

While the Americans bowed out in a surprising Round of 16 upset by Sweden, England and Spain remain on a collision course as the favourites to advance in their respective semi-finals.

England, which emerged as the favourite to win it all at FanDuel prior to the conclusion of the group stage, remains the top choice to win the Women’s World Cup at +155 odds this morning.

Spain is the second choice to win it all at +175 odds.

Sweden and the co-hosts Australia are both +430 to win the Women’s World Cup at FanDuel this morning.

Will the top two choices continue their march to the final as the favourites to advance in their respective matches?

Or will we see another upset that shakes up expectations for the Women’s World Cup final?

This is the Morning Coffee for Monday August 14th, 2023.

The final four is set for the Women’s World Cup

England could be found as high as +600 to win the Women’s World Cup at FanDuel on July 24th.

The Lionesses were coming off a disappointing 1-0 win over Haiti as a massive favourite to win their group stage opener.

England’s odds to win it all had jumped from +430 to +550 right before the tournament kicked off.

At the time, it seemed like the tempered expectations for the English side were justified.

However, the Lionesses followed up identical 1-0 wins over Haiti and Denmark with an emphatic 6-1 win over China to reward anyone who bet on them to win Group D at FanDuel.

The combination of England’s strong play and an early exit by the United States opened the door for the Lionesses to emerge as the favourite to win the Women’s World Cup at FanDuel.

That’s where they stand heading into their semi-final versus the co-hosts Australia.

Is England a good bet to win it all at +155 odds?

Well, the Lionesses needed penalty kicks to get past Nigeria in the Round of 16.

Then they became the first team ever to win a knockout stage game at the Women’s World Cup after conceding first in a 2-1 win over Colombia in the quarter-finals.

If you bet on England to win it all at +500 or better, there’s no reason to hedge your bet at this point.

However, the Lionesses will be without their star forward Lauren James again thanks to a two-match ban due to stomping a Nigerian player in their Round of 16 match.

Considering their narrow margin of victory against both Nigeria and Colombia, both of which were long shots just to reach the knockout stage at FanDuel before the tournament started, I can’t justify a bet on England to win it all at such short odds.

Australia should provide the Lionesses their toughest test of the tournament to date.

Whether or not they can upset England is another story entirely, but I’m not rushing to bet on either side.

Meanwhile, Spain will look to avoid becoming the latest team to exit the Women’s World Cup via an upset versus Sweden.

Sweden advanced as the underdog against the United States in the Round of 16 and then again versus Japan in the quarter-finals.

Based on FanDuel’s pre-tournament outright winner odds, the Americans represented the toughest test Sweden has faced at the Women’s World Cup.

However, considering what we have seen on the pitch, Spain will undoubtedly be Sweden’s toughest test yet.

The stage is set for what should be an epic finish to this year’s Women’s World Cup.

I’ll have a best bet for each semi-final match featured in my Women’s World Cup column that you can read right here at later tonight, titled A Numbers Game.

Ravens Still Perfect In The Pre-Season Since 2015

If you read Friday’s Morning Coffee column, then you know that the Baltimore Ravens have played a major role in the success that I have had betting on the NFL pre-season at FanDuel.

Last year, I went 6-0 with the NFL pre-season plays that I posted here and on my social media accounts.

That run included going 3-0 with bets that involved the Ravens.

We can update those records to 4-0 on bets that involve Baltimore and 7-0 with the NFL pre-season plays overall the last two years after cashing again in the Ravens’ latest pre-season win.

Baltimore could be found as high as -6.5 at FanDuel.

While there was no chance that I was betting the Ravens at that number, I did believe that they would ultimately win the game, and they went on to do so by the slimmest of margins.

Will Baltimore extend its pre-season win streak once again versus the Washington Commanders exactly one week from today?

I’m not rushing to bet them to win by a touchdown, but I’ll be taking a look at their money line odds.

Stay tuned!

A FanDuel Best Bet For Monday’s MLB Slate

Ozzie Albies fell one base shy of propelling us to a 3-0 sweep with our MLB FanDuel Best Bets in Friday’s column.

We have a light slate to work with for Monday.

However, I do like one playoff contender to stay hot with another win and I’m willing to lock them in as my FanDuel Best Bet for today’s slate.

The Texas Rangers have won 10 of their last 12 to improve to 70-48 this season – 2.5 games up on the Houston Astros for the best record in the AL West.

Next up, Texas gets an opportunity to pad its lead atop its division against the Los Angeles Angels, which have dropped seven of 10 to fall 6.5 games back of a playoff spot.

I jumped on the Rangers early, and while the number has been bet up to -180 at FanDuel, I’m locking in Texas ML as my FanDuel Best Bet.

Texas has won each of Max Scherzer’s first two starts.

Meanwhile, the Angels haven’t been able to give Patrick Sandoval much help in either of his previous two starts, in which they were outscored a combined 13-4 in back-to-back losses.

While anybody who doesn’t want to lay the juice might consider a bet on the Rangers run line, I’ll take Texas money line as my FanDuel Best Bet for Monday’s MLB slate.