Sunday MLS Odds, Picks, Prediction: D.C. United vs. Montreal Betting Preview (August 8)
Scott Taetsch/Getty Images. Pictured: D.C. United standout Ola Kamara.
- D.C. United seeks its for a fourth home win in a row Sunday when it hosts Montreal in Major League Soccer action.
- Things have not gone well as of late for the Canadian visitor, which is winless in its last four contests.
- Ian Quillen breaks down the meeting below and explains why he doesn't see many goals in this Eastern Conference match.
D.C. United vs. Montreal Odds
|D.C. United Odds||-137|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-120 / -113)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 8 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN+|
|Odds updated Saturday night via DraftKings.|
D.C. United looks for a fourth consecutive home win Sunday when it hosts Montreal in Major League Soccer action.
United has been making a steady climb up the Eastern Conference standings after alternating wins and draws in its last four games. The club entered the weekend occupying the sixth of seven playoff positions.
Meanwhile, Montreal has lost its grip on a playoff spot for the moment after going winless in its last four contests, including losing its last three on the road.
Sunday marks these teams' second meeting after a scoreless draw played in Florida back in June, in what was officially a Montreal "home" game because of COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions.
Losada, Kamara Breathing Life into D.C. United
The story of United's revitalization is partly that of new manager Hernan Losada's high-risk, high-reward pressing style.
It's also partly about the return to form of Ola Kamara, who once had three consecutive double-digit goal seasons in MLS before signing with United. Injuries and the pandemic conspired to limit Kamara's chances in his first 1 1/2 seasons in the nation's capital.
However, the Norwegian is in the MLS Golden Boot conversation this season with nine goals. And he's scoring an MLS-best 1.51 goals per 90 minutes after striking twice in Wednesday’s 4-2 win at Columbus. A 3-0 halftime lead allowed Losada to remove Kamara at halftime, which should free him for extended minutes against Montreal.
Jon Kempin is the likely starter in goal after Bill Hamid suffered what appeared to be a hamstring injury early in Wednesday's game.
Winger Paul Arriola should make his return after helping the United States win the CONCACAF Gold Cup. Although that tournament concluded last Sunday, he was left off the traveling roster Wednesday.
Montreal Hoping to Reverse Fortune
Montreal's recent slump has been as much a function of the schedule makers and bad fortune as any substantial dip in on-field production.
It started with one-goal defeats at New York City FC and New England, which are two of the league's best home sides. In a 2-1 loss against the latter, Montreal had several late looks at an equalizer.
Then, in a 2-1 defeat to Miami, Montreal fell victim to a suspect penalty decision, an awful defensive giveaway and save that wasn't.
After all that, the Canadian side might be more disappointed with its 2-2 home draw midweek against Atlanta United.
Not only did Montreal give back a two-goal lead, but it collectively lost its temper in a fashion that will leave the club significantly shorthanded in Washington.
Defender Rudy Camacho and holding midfielder Victor Wanyama were sent off and will be on red-card suspensions, while defender Kiki Struna has to sit with a card-accumulation suspension.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Part of the appeal of Losada's hire was the promise of high-scoring nights that would restore some of the feel of the club's early glory years in the late 1990s.
We've seen glimpses of that for D.C United, but more often on the road. At home, five of the club’s seven fixtures have featured two or fewer goals.
It makes sense United is seeing more fruits of its labor in attack as a road team, because that's where opponents are more likely to take an aggressive attacking posture.
Not to say D.C. United isn't getting results at home, where it has won five of its seven at Audi Field. However, opponents are more content to limit the transition opportunities the side craves.
Then there's Montreal, which needs to make no apologies for its highly pragmatic approach at times while playing the first three months of the season entirely in the United States. In nine away games, there have been two or fewer combined goals scored on six occasions.
In other words, betting the total under 2.5 goals at -113 odds and an implied 53.1% probability is a considerable bargain here, even if it's pricier than your average MLS bet of this sort. I'd have to consider playing it up to -150 odds.
If there is any reason to stay away at the current price, it's only because of the suspensions in Montreal's defense. However, veterans like Camacho, Wanyama and Struna might have been in line for an off day anyway considering the short turnaround.
And what Montreal's younger defenders lack in technical ability, they may make up for in the athleticism to deal with D.C. United’s pace of play.
Pick: Total Under 2.5 Goals (-113)