Orlando City vs Inter Miami Odds, Pick | Lionel Messi Leagues Cup Preview
Hector Vivas/Getty. Pictured: Lionel Messi.
Orlando City vs Inter Miami Odds
|Inter Miami Odds||-143|
|Orlando City Odds||+375|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-175 / +135)|
|Both Teams to Score (Yes/No)||(-175 / +125)|
|Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
Lionel Messi and Inter Miami continue their Leagues Cup run with a round-of-32 clash against Florida rival Orlando City on Wednesday night.
Miami have won both games since Messi debuted in the mid-season tournament, and the Argentine star has three goals and an assist across the Herons' triumphs in group play, 2-1 over Cruz Azul and then 4-0 over Atlanta United.
Orlando required late drama to secure their 3-2 victory over Santos Laguna and their spot in the next round. The Lions played to a 1-1 draw in their group opener against Houston, earning a second point via the penalty tiebreak that followed the 90 minutes.
Orlando won 3-1 at Miami in league play back in May.
Inter Miami Beginning to Click With Messi
In Messi's first game with the Herons, his late game-winning free kick overshadowed the fact that Cruz Azul were the better team on the night, including during the stretch of the game after Messi's entrance early in the second half.
In his second, he and former Barcelona teammate Sergio Busquets ran a naive-looking Atlanta ragged, with Robert Taylor also scoring a pair of goals and contributing an assist.
The question is how much of that improvement is owed to an improved understanding within a Miami team adjusting to its new star, and how much to a naive and sloppy opponent playing one of its worst games of the season.
And while Atlanta were disappointing, they weren't completely out of character. They also lost 6-1 away to the Columbus Crew and 4-0 at the New York Red Bulls during their ongoing league campaign.
One interesting angle regarding Messi's arrival is how it impacts former MLS Golden Boot winner Josef Martinez. The Venezuelan has been on the field for every minute Messi has played so far and has appeared to develop an immediate understanding with his new playmaking teammate.
Orlando City a Dangerous Opponent For Anyone
The Lions won last season's U.S. Open Cup and have been the perennial "team you don't want to play" under Oscar Pareja in the third stop of his lengthy MLS managerial career.
After a slow start, Orlando have morphed into one of the league's more quietly dangerous attacking teams as spring has turned to summer, with 24 goals in their last 13 league games. They've done it by committee as well. Duncan McGuire is making a strong Rookie of the Year case with eight goals to lead the Lions in league play, while Facundo Torres has seven and Ercan Kara has five in each player's second MLS campaign.
Torres is also one of three Orlando players from Uruguay, arch-rival of Messi's Argentina, along with midfielders Mauricio Pereyra and Cesar Araujo.
Orlando have been one of MLS' elite away teams, owing in part to their exceptional skill on the counterattack. Their 16 goals scored away from home are tied with Philadelphia for the most in the Eastern Conference. Their five wins lead the East and are tied for second in MLS, and they are only one of two MLS sides with an even away goal-differential.
Inter Miami vs Orlando City Pick
Assuming Messi and Busquets both start again, where Orlando have an advantage in this game is their ability to bring in reinforcements off the bench. Whether it's McGuire, Kara, Ramiro Enrique or Martin Ojeda, Pareja will have better potential impact players to turn to late that Tata Martino just doesn't right now.
Combine that with a moneyline that I think might be giving a little too much credit to Messi and Miami at the moment based on that Atlanta game, the play I like best here is to back Orlando in the second half, either on the moneyline or on a draw no bet wager.
Given the quality of the opponent, I'll go with the latter at +200 odds and an implied 33.3% probability. If the second half finishes even, your wager is a push.
The Pick: 2nd half Orlando Draw No Bet (+200 via BetRivers)