Sporting Kansas City vs. Orlando City: Friday Major League Soccer Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (April 23)

Sporting Kansas City vs. Orlando City: Friday Major League Soccer Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (April 23) article feature image
Credit:

Bill Barrett/ISI Photos/Getty Images. Pictured: Alan Pulido.

  • Week 2 of the MLS gets under way with a rare interconference game between Sporting KC and Orlando City.
  • Sporting is still working striker Alan Pulido back to fitness, while Orlando City will be without Alexandre Pato.
  • Ian Quillen explains why he's decided to target the total after the movement on Sporting's moneyline.

Sporting KC vs. Orlando City Odds

Sporting KC Odds -120
Orlando City Odds +280
Draw +285
Over/Under 2.5 (-175 /+128)
Day | Time Friday | 7:30 p.m. ET
TV FS1
Odds updated Thursday evening via DraftKings.

Two managers with plenty of history reconvene to kick off Week 2 in MLS when Peter Vermes and Kansas City host Oscar Pareja and Orlando on Friday.

It’s the duo’s 15th managerial duel in MLS, with Vermes holding a 6W-4D-4L record in the series during his time as MLS’ longest-tenured active manager. 

Now in his third MLS stop, Pareja is catching up, with his four wins in the series coming since 2016. 

Most recently, City edged Sporting 2-1 in a rare 2020 interconference match in Kansas City last season. Benji Michel and Tesho Akindele scored first-half goals two minutes apart for the visitors.

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Sporting KC

Concerns over match fitness restricted striker Alan Pulido to a 14-minute cameo in KC’s 2-1 win at the New York Red Bulls in week one.

He should be in line for a longer shift — though maybe not a start — which is good news for Friday’s hosts.

Since Pulido’s arrival, Kansas City have earned 28 out of 39 points possible in the league when he sees the field. Put another way, it’s 2.15 points per match when he plays, and 1.56 when he doesn’t.

In other injury news, regular starter Tim Melia is one of two goalkeepers still injured, and central midfielder Ilie Sanchez is also out.

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Orlando City

The Lions aren’t as lucky as K.C. with regards to their star striker. Alexandre Pato won’t require surgery, but he will miss Friday’s encounter after appearing to injure his knee late in a scoreless draw against Atlanta last Saturday.

The former Brazilian international had been arguably Orlando’s most dangerous attacker prior to his 80th-minute departure, with a couple good second-half chances.

City still have former Manchester United and Portugal star Nani at their disposal, but there were already questions in the attack before Pato’s absence.

Creative midfielder Mauricio Pereyra is serving the last game of a two-match ban stemming from his red card in last year’s playoff defeat to New England. With Daryl Dike still on loan in England, Pareja will likely look to Tesho Akindele or Chris Mueller to fill Pato’s striking role.

Betting Analysis & Pick

Orlando could approach this game more conservatively given their absences. And with Sanchez out and Pulido perhaps a sub, it won’t be easy for Kansas City to break them down.

Last week, K.C. didn’t generate mentionable chances until going behind against the Red Bulls, then benefitted from a fortuitous penalty to level the game. Their non-penalty expected goals (xG) hovered around 1.0.

Orlando were perhaps even less impressive at 0.8 xG from their play, according to MLSsoccer.com. And that was with Pato leading the line.

I bet on Sporting to win earlier in the week at -102 odds, but I don’t like it as much at -120, and wouldn’t expect it to move away from K.C. prior to kickoff. Considering Orlando’s potential approach, betting under 2.5 goals at +128 (a 44% implied probability) is a solid play here.

Pick: Total Under 2.5 Goals (+128)

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