Austin FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes MLS Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions & Preview (June 19)

Austin FC vs. San Jose Earthquakes MLS Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions & Preview (June 19) article feature image
Credit:

Fernando Leon/Getty Images. Pictured: Auston FC standout Matt Besler.

  • Expansion side Austin FC opens its new stadium Saturday when it hosts San Jose in Major League Soccer action.
  • The fresh face of the Western Conference has gotten off to a solid start and hopes it can find success against the slumping Earthquakes.
  • Ian Quillen analyzes the match below and details why he likes Austin FC to earn the home victory.

Austin FC vs. San Jose Odds

Austin FC Odds -104
San Jose Odds +250
Draw +270
Over/Under 2.5 (-165 / +120)
Day | Time Saturday | 9 p.m. ET
How To Watch UniMás | fuboTV
Odds updated Friday evening via DraftKings.

After starting life in Major League Soccer on an eight-match road trip, expansion Austin FC opens its brand-new Q2 Stadium on Saturday in a match against San Jose.

Austin has fared admirably so far, posting a record of 2-4-2 (W-L-D) record, while going without a home for two months.

Other MLS teams who have taken a similar path ahead of stadium openers have generally utilized a home-heavy latter schedule to make a successful playoff push. However, only one did so in its expansion year — Los Angeles Football Club back in 2018.

San Jose visits amidst a four-match winless run. Reversing their fortunes here might be of substantial benefit, given the likelihood the Earthquakes will be battling Austin for one of the final Western Conference playoff spots.

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Austin FC Has Shown Plenty of Moxie in Tough Venues

Austin earned a point its last two times out in two of the more difficult away venues in MLS, Seattle and Kansas City. Those results preserved a 1.0 point-per-game through its eight-game trip. Los Verdes sit in a three-way tie for fifth in the Western Conference in points-per-game earned away, along with San Jose and the Los Angeles Galaxy.

Has Austin been lucky? Perhaps. According to American Soccer Analysis, Austin’s minus-3 goal difference would be more in the neighborhood of -8 if expected goals (xG) mirrored actual scoring.

However, a lot of that “luck” occurred in matches Austin lost anyway. Its expected point total is in the neighborhood of six or seven, a fraction lower than its actual haul.

Former San Jose striker Danny Hoesen remains out for Austin with a hip issue. Fullback Hector Jimenez is questionable to return after missing two games with a knee injury.

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San Jose Looking for Answers During Current Slide

San Jose’s four-match skid followed three consecutive victories, which is more or less life in a nutshell under third-year coach Matías Almeyda.

Since the charismatic Argentine took the helm in 2019 following a similarly turbulent tenure at Mexican giant Chivas, the Earthquakes have already assembled four losing streaks of at least three matches and three winning streaks of at least as long.

Yet, unlike previous seasons, the question with this year’s San Jose side is not whether it can create chances consistently. It’s if it can finish them. 

According to American Soccer Analysis, San Jose’s -1 goal difference is two shy of what xG would predict. And two players are the prime culprits.

Winger Cristian Espinoza, who has scored once, is lagging his xG by 1.66, the fifth-highest MLS total. Right behind him is Chris Wondolowski, who has scored twice, and lagging his xG by 1.64 in the same advanced metric.

As the MLS all-time leading scorer, Wondolowski’s wastefulness might be expected to turn around. But at age 38 and now used primarily as a sub, it’s also possible his finishing sharpness is finally declining.

The Earthquakes are more or less healthy, though fullback Marcos Lopez is with the Peru national team at Copa America.

Betting Analysis & Pick

Cincinnati was the first MLS team to open a new stadium a bit more than a month ago. And when it hosted Inter Miami for its opener, I wrote it was worth backing (as a substantial underdog), because five of the previous six home sides had won in such venue-opening games.

Cincinnati didn’t pull it out, but I still think it’s a trend worth noting here.

Now, it’s five of the last seven teams that have won stadium openers. The two that fell short of victory — Cincinnati and Minnesota in 2019 — were obviously inferior to their opponents. Yes, Miami has problems, but it’s still a fair margin better than an FCC side that continues to be the worst in the league.

San Jose is not definitively better than Austin. And in these kind of special-occasion games, emotions matter more than usual.

Throw in Almeyda’s man-marking press, which can lead to snowballing scores on the odd night things go wrong for the Earthquakes and this could be a laugher in front of a packed home crowd. 

At the very least, I think it’s fair to assume Austin wins this one a good deal more often than 51% percent of the time, which is the implied probability of backing them on the money line at -104 odds.

Pick: Austin ML (-104)

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