Columbus vs. Seattle Odds, Picks, Prediction: How to Bet Saturday’s MLS Match (August 21)
Alika Jenner/Getty Images. Pictured: Seattle Sounders standout Raúl Ruidíaz.
- Crew are looking to break a five-match losing streak that has kept them on the outside of the Eastern Conference's playoff picture.
- This 2020 MLS Cup Final rematch will allow the Sounders to rebuttal their 3-0 loss last December.
- Lucas Zelarayan has more than proven he can win matches all on his own for Columbus, but Ian Nicholas Quillen wonders if that will be enough Saturday.
Columbus vs. Seattle Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+100 / -125)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 5:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||FOX | fuboTV|
|Odds updated Saturday via DraftKings.|
The Columbus Crew and Seattle Sounders meet on Saturday in a rematch of the 2020 MLS Cup Final that doesn’t quite feel like a title game reprise.
Western Conference-leading Seattle has maintained its end of the bargain since falling 3-0 to Columbus on a chilly December evening at Historic Crew Stadium.
But amid celebrating their second MLS Cup title and a move to their new downtown home of Lower.com Field, the Crew have unraveled into a five-match losing skid.
They now host Seattle — the Western Conference leaders — having slid to the outside of the seven Eastern Conference playoff places.
Bad Luck For Columbus
The severity of the Crew’s recent slide is perhaps undeserved.
Manager Caleb Porter’s men have only been thoroughly outplayed in one of their five defeats, a 4-1 loss to New York City FC at Yankee Stadium. And they were particularly unlucky not to get at least a point in their last two matches.
Luka Stonanovic’s match-winner in the Crew’s 1-0 away loss to the Chicago Fire resulted from a fortunate deflection in the penalty area.
Following that, a 1-0 midweek loss at the New York Red Bulls came despite a 1.5-0.9 in expected goals (xG).
Adding injury to insult, the Crew lost striker Gyasi Zardes to a hamstring strain against the Red Bulls that required Lucas Zelarayan to come on at halftime.
Zelarayan remains Columbus’ leading scorer with six goals from his attacking midfield role. As he showed in his 2020 MLS Cup Final performance, he’s plenty capable of winning a match on his own.
But he won’t have as much firepower alongside him to keep defenders honest on Saturday.
Zardes’ most likely replacements in the central attacking role, Bradley Wright-Phillips and Erik Hurtado, have combined for zero goals over 752 minutes.
Sounders Looking To Make Some Noise
After a July dip in form, the Sounders have gotten healthy in August while returning their peak in emphatic fashion.
Seattle was unlucky to draw FC Dallas 1-1 at home on Aug. 4 after bossing play until Franco Jara’s stoppage-time equalizer.
They erased any frustration over that result with a stunning 6-2 win at rival Portland last Sunday, then followed that with a professional 1-0 victory at Dallas while beginning the match with regulars Raul Ruidiaz, Joao Paulo, Yeimar Gomez Andrade, Brad Smith, Fredy Montero and Alex Roldan on the subs bench.
Ruidiaz scored his MLS-leading 14th goal immediately upon entering, pushing his total two higher than other challengers for the MLS Golden Boot entering the weekend.
The Sounders have awon three in a row away since their 1-0 loss at Minnesota United ended a 13-match unbeaten start to the season. And they’ve taken 20 of their 39 overall points on the road despite playing eight away matches and 11 at home.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Given the pretext of this match, it’s easy to second guess all the indicators pointing in Seattle’s direction.
Just as now, the Seattle Sounders entered the 2020 MLS Cup as the healthier and deeper side, as Columbus absorbed injuries to Pedro Santos and Darlington Nagbe.
But it was the Crew who had an easy title-winning night thanks to Zelarayan’s individual brilliance and two goals.
There isn’t necessarily a huge difference this time around. But making the correct decision doesn’t always mean you’re right. And it’s awfully hard for me to arrive at a scenario where playing the Sounders as a modest but definitive underdog here is the wrong play.
The line has adjusted somewhat for Seattle being the better side. In a truly even MLS match in terms of talent, a home team would be roughly a +100 favorite.
But there’s so many variables in the Sounders’ favor here. Not only are they deeper and in better form, they’re also better rested and rotated in this busy stretch.
And their shift to a three-back formation has made them the ideal road team, capable of absorbing early pressure and attacking at speed through their wingbacks.
It’s almost impossible not to like them here as +195 odds and an implied 33.9% probability. If the Crew find resiliency and fortitude to shake out of their slump and prove me wrong again, so be it.
Pick: Seattle ML (+195)