Friday MLS Odds, Picks, Prediction for Atlanta United vs. Orlando City: How to Bet Eastern Clash (Sept. 10)

Friday MLS Odds, Picks, Prediction for Atlanta United vs. Orlando City: How to Bet Eastern Clash (Sept. 10) article feature image
Credit:

Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Daryl Dike.

  • Orlando City hosts Atlanta United in Friday's Major League Soccer action.
  • Both clubs could be without several regulars after World Cup qualifying, leaving a little uncertainty about the respective starting lineups.
  • Ian Quillen explains below why he's backing a certain club to score last.

Atlanta United vs. Orlando City Odds

Atlanta United Odds +130
Orlando City Odds +210
Draw +260
Over/Under 2.5 (-115 / -110)
Day | Time 7 p.m. ET
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Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here

New Atlanta United manager Gonzalo Pineda will be at the helm of his first derby when his new club hosts Orlando City on Friday night.

Atlanta had gone five unbeaten under the guidance of interim boss Rob Valentino before Pineda officially took the reins two weeks ago in a 2-0 home loss to Nashville.

Orlando are unbeaten in seven after their dramatic 3-2 home win over the Columbus Crew last weekend.

This is the third and final regular-season meeting between these clubs, with the previous two coming in Orlando.

After an opening-weekend scoreless draw, the Lions defeated the Five Stripes 3-2 on Nani’s 87th-minute match winner on July 30.

Atlanta United Must Recapture Offensive Dynamism

Despite the result, Atlanta’s most recent loss to Orlando came during an eight-game period of marked improvement under Valentino.

Atlanta created about 1.5 expected goals (xG) per game in that stretch against 1.0 in the first 13 games before the club parted with Gabriel Heinze.

Pineda’s first match lacked the same dynamism, though Nashville are exceedingly difficult to break down

Even so, Pineda probably faces some pressure to field a team that consistently creates chances at a level similar to that recent five-match unbeaten run.

Atlanta are relatively healthy, but club leading scorer Josef Martinez and defender Ronald Hernandez are unlikely to be available after completing their September World Cup qualifying duty for Venezuela on Thursday.

American defenders Miles Robinson and George Bello could also be limited after the United States’ win in Honduras on Wednesday.

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Orlando City Needs Success Without Nani

The Lions have gone through a couple phases during this season, but their most recent is defined by exceptional consistency, if not necessarily dominance.

Manager Oscar Pareja’s squad has not only gone seven matches without defeat, but the xG numbers show a team that isn’t just lucky.

The Lions only created fewer xG than their opponent just twice in that stretch, and that was by an aggregate difference of 0.3 xG, according to StatsBomb.

Orlando’s success is also highly correlated to Nani’s availability. They’ve earned 32 points in the 15 games he has started, a rate of 2.13 per game, and only six in the seven matches he hasn’t.

The former Manchester United and Portugal star isn’t on Orlando’s player availability report.

That hasn’t stopped Pareja from giving the veteran planned rest during a stretch of three games in 10 or fewer days. But in this one he might instead opt to rest the attacker in midweek at home against CF Montreal.

Strikers Daryl Dike and Sylvestre van der Water each scored in Orlando’s win over Columbus, marking a third goal of the season for each.

Increased production from either could make the Lions less Nani-reliant down the stretch. Dike is the more likely to go on a run, given his track record from last season and his half-season loan to Barnsley in the 2020-2021 England League Championship campaign.

First-choice goalkeeper Pedro Gallese (Peru) and midfielder Sebas Mendez (Ecuador) won’t be available with CONMEBOL’s September qualifiers wrapping on Thursday.

Betting Analysis & Pick

Two things are working on Orlando’s favor here.

The first is that Atlanta’s international impacts are greater in number and significance. Robinson and Bello may technically be available, but asking Robinson to make a fourth start in the space of nine days is extremely risky, even if center backs don’t cover as much ground as some players.

The second is Pareja has a much better knowledge of what his players can and can’t handle coming back from such a break than Pineda, who is still learning his team.

If I could be sure Nani would start, I’d tell you to jump all over Orlando +0.5 goals, even at the relatively steep price of -140 odds on the road. However, given Atlanta’s turf and Pareja’s unpredictability with regard to when he rests his Portuguese star, I can’t guarantee he’ll be in the starting lineup.

Yet, I’m sure Pareja will have more options at his disposal off the bench. And Orlando are better than Atlanta in goals scored past the last 15 minutes of matches (9-6) and goals conceded in the last 15 minutes (5-9) this season.

That leaves plenty of value in playing Orlando to score last, a feat they’ve accomplished in eight of 10 away matches, at +120 odds and implied 45.5% probability.

Pick: Orlando City To Score Last (+120)

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