Austin FC vs. Los Angeles Galaxy Betting Odds & Pick: The Alternate Team Total We’re Betting
John Rivera/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Moussa Djitte.
- Austin FC and the LA Galaxy will do battle on Sunday night in MLS primetime action.
- The betting market sees this game as pretty even, but Ian Quillen likes a team total at nearly 3-1.
- Get our full breakdown of Austion FC vs. LA Galaxy below.
Austin FC vs. LA Galaxy Odds
|Austin FC Odds||+140|
|LA Galaxy Odds||+185|
|Over/Under||3.5 (+140 / -170)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 9:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN2 | fuboTV|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
The Los Angeles Galaxy look to snap out of a six-match winless slide Sunday when they visit an Austin FC club that’s staggering toward the end of its expansion Major League Soccer season.
The Galaxy still entered the weekend in fourth in the Western Conference despite their recent funk and five points clear of safety in the race for seven playoff spots.
On the other side, Austin is most likely already building toward the 2022 campaign after losing 11 of their last 13 games to blunt their postseason prospects.
This is the Galaxy’s first trip to the Texas capital after defeating Austin back in Southern California.
Standout Djitte Boosts Austin FC Attack
Austin’s eight-game road trip to begin the season was promising, resulting in eight points. And many thought that would be the foundation to build upon for a potential postseason push, as they played 17 of their final 26 matches in their first season at the new Q2 Stadium.
That hasn’t materialized primarily because of struggles in the final third of the pitch, with Austin failing to score in 13 of their 25 matches so far.
They eventually made offensively-minded roster additions in the summer window. However, even there they saw setbacks, with the signing of Senegalese striker Moussa Djitte held up by travel, visa and pandemic issues.
After four appearances off the bench, Djitte finally made his first start in a 4-3 home loss to San Jose last weekend.
Even without scoring, his presence in the center channel clearly gave Austin more offensive balance. It surged to a 3-1 lead by halftime, and even though it eventually gave that lead back, its 2.6 expected goals created was their second-highest total of the season.
The bad news now is Austin entered the weekend 15 points beneath the playoff line, with almost zero chance of making up that ground with the time remaining in the season.
Los Angeles Energized by Chicharito’s Return
Manager Greg Vanney and the Galaxy had to learn how to cope without leading scorer Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez for three months.
So, perhaps it’s not so surprising that things haven’t immediately snapped back to their promising early season form with his return. The Galaxy settled for draws in Chicharito’s first two starts back from a calf strain that sidelined him in early July.
Mexico’s all-time leading international goal scorer found the net for an 11th time with the Galaxy in a 1-1 home draw against Houston on Sept. 15. Three days later, Los Angeles was already two goals down when he entered what finished a 3-0 loss at Minnesota United.
If Vanney can get Chicharito going at the same time as some of his first-year Galaxy players, a deep playoff run would seem possible. Rayan Raveloson, Kevin Cabral, Samuel Grandsir and Dejan Joveljic have combined for 13 goals in their maiden MLS seasons. All have come without Chicharito on the pitch.
Goalkeeper Jonathan Bond and defender Derrick Williams are both questionable for the game.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The Galaxy have often been a cheaper play than their record would suggest, in part because of an xG differential of -7.0 that suggests a fair bit of good fortune. Still, it’s pretty drastic to see the fourth-place team in the West installed as slight underdogs against a team struggling as much as Austin.
And yet I’m inclined to play the home team here in some form, almost exclusively because of Djitte.
It’s not that he will immediately become an elite MLS scorer. It’s just how obviously Austin needed a competent center forward to help cure some of their yips in front of goal. A similar phenomenon impacted Los Angeles Football Club this season.
Now that he’s playing, I think it’s possible you see Austin at least improve to where it scored in concert with their xG production. It enters the match with an xG difference of -9.5 and a true goal difference of -15 this season.
Add the energy of Chicharito’s first trip to the Q2 and I like taking an aggressive shot here.
Give me Austin to score more than two goals. It has done it on five occasions in 12 home games, and the Galaxy have allowed at least three goals in five of their 12 away matches.
Add in Los Angeles’ potential defensive absences and the price of +270 odds, with an implied 27% probability, is clear value.
Pick: Austin FC — Team Total Over 2.5 Goals (+270)