United States vs. Germany betting preview: Ghana odds change with suspensions

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

USA is a big underdog against Germany but can advance even with a loss. In the other match, Ghana's odds shrank with news that two star players are suspended.

Most eyes will be on Recife, Brazil on Thursday when the United States takes on Germany in their final group stage match of the 2014 World Cup.

But some will be on the Ghana vs. Portugal match which could send one team past the Americans into the Round of 16. Although the chances of Ghana being that team were dampened this morning when two key players were kicked off the team.

The Americans are 7/1 underdogs in a game that will determine the winner of Group G. One book was still taking nearly 70 percent of the betting action on the Americans, including some on USA vs. Germany props.

Both the United States and Germany have four points to share the lead in the group. However, the Germans, who are heavy 5/9 moneyline favorites on Thursday, hold a decisive edge in goal differential with a +4, while the United States sits at +1.

Thursday's Group G action is wrought with uncertainty. The winner in Thursday's Germany/U.S.A. match would clinch first place, but a loss could mean elimination from the World Cup.

The Germans' strong goal differential makes that scenario unlikely, but an American loss coupled by a 2+ goal win by Ghana in their match against Portugal would send the Americans home early.

Winless so far at Brazil 2014, Portugal were 11/10 moneyline favorites against Ghana, who have played well in the group stage. But the line moved further in their favor when Kevin-Prince Boateng and Sulley Ali Muntari were kicked off the team for verbally abusing and threatening team officials.

After their heartbreaking loss to the U.S.A., Ghana raised their game against Germany, playing the 4/1 World Cup futures wagering favorites to a 2-2 draw in possibly the most exciting match of the World Cup so far. As more than 2/1 underdogs against Portugal, Ghana may attract some betting interest as game time approaches.

Few expected the United States to compete for top spot in Group G. The Americans entered the World Cup as 10/1 longshots in group betting and distant 100/1 longshots in World Cup futures betting.

But after their thrilling 2-1 win over Ghana, their World Cup nemesis, combined with Portugal's poor performance in the group stage, the United States control their own destiny.

A win over Germany would mean a round of 16 showdown against one of three likely opponents: Algeria, Russia or South Korea. Although the Americans have never defeated Russia on the pitch, they have enjoyed recent success against both Algeria and South Korea.

The Koreans are 17/4 moneyline underdogs against Belgium, who currently own top spot in Group H and a berth in the round of 16. The young Belgians have lived up to the hype so far in the group stage and are a strong 20/31 on the moneyline.

Russia must beat Algeria to have a chance to advance. The Russians are slim 21/20 favorites over the surprising Algerians, who only need a draw to advance to the knockout stage for the first time in the nation's history.

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