There are going to be clearly defined favorites in all six of the Gold Cup matches in Group B. It wouldn't be shocking if this was a group that featured six defined winners, all of which end up being the favorites. If that's the case, it's good news for the United States and Panama and bad news for Martinique and Nicaragua.
United States +150 – The Americans should take some strength in seeing what Germany just did in the Confederations Cup. Joachim Low brought an incredibly young side to Russia and watched it win the whole darn tournament. Proportionately speaking, this team isn't nearly as young, but there are still a lot of the usual names you would expect to see on this roster that flat out aren't here. Instead, Bruce Arena has put his faith in a lot of younger players, particularly in the midfield. Outside of Alejandro Bedoya and Dax McCarty (the latter of which we don't suspect will feature much in the Gold Cup), the Yanks are going without a midfielder beyond the age of 26. This is as B-squad as a B-squad could get for the United States, and that could leave it vulnerable as this tourney progresses.
Panama +1400 – Of the "other" teams aside from the group favorites in the Gold Cup, Panama is the most dangerous. This team still has a decent chance of getting through the Hex and into the World Cup after drawing three straight matches against Honduras, Costa Rica and the United States, and that's proof that this team can indeed play with the hosts and the other superiors. There are three major vets on this squad, Gabriel Torres, Gabriel Gomez and Armando Cooper, all of whom have at least 60 career appearances. The real key, though, is going to be at the back. The Panamanians have allowed just four goals in six Hex matches to date, and they reached this point in World Cup qualifying on the back of their back line. Frustrating the Americans could be the key to an upset in Group B.
Nicaragua +25000 – Nicaragua and Martinique each figure to have one shot and one shot only to pick up points in the Gold Cup, and it will come against each other. Nicaragua was only in the Gold Cup once before, that coming in 2009 when the team went 0-0-3 and was outscored 8-0. This year's team should fare a bit better, especially with Juan Barrera now wearing the captain's armband. He's got 10 goals for his country in 40 career matches. That said, Nicaragua doesn't have a single player who is attached to a club in any notable domestic league.
Martinique +50000 – Martinique actually has a couple wins in its Gold Cup history, including in 2013 when it shocked Canada 1-0. There are a few defenders attached with solid clubs, including Jordy Delem with the Seattle Sounders and Jean-Sylvain Babin at with Sporting Gijon. Both play in defense alongside a reasonably experienced back line. Keep an eye as well on Stephane Abaul, Djenhael Mainge and Christophe Jougon. These three men all play together at Martinique club, Club Franciscain, and with the experience all three have playing in the midfield together at the club level, that could at least bring a little bit of hope to a team that otherwise probably doesn't have much at this level.
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