Inter Miami vs Nashville SC Odds, Picks, Predictions: Messi & Co. Look to Extend Unbeaten Streak
Ira Black/Getty. Pictured: Lionel Messi.
Inter Miami vs Nashville SC Odds
|Inter Miami Odds||-175|
|Nashville SC Odds||+475|
|Over / Under|
-175 / +135
The Lionel Messi show rolls on when Inter Miami host Nashville SC in a midweek MLS tilt on Wednesday night.
This will be Messi's first regular season home game since joining Miami after making his league debut as a second-half substitute and scoring his 11th goal in all competitions in a 2-0 win at the New York Red Bulls on Saturday night.
Those limited minutes owed to a hefty workload, with Messi having played all 120 minutes of a U.S. Open Cup semifinal in Cincinnati three days prior.
It will also be his first time playing an MLS opponent for a second time. Miami won the Leagues Cup title in Nashville only 11 days prior on penalties following a 1-1 draw in the final.
Here is my Inter Miami vs Nashville SC pick and prediction.
Saturday's win may have been Messi's shortest appearance since his debut in the Leagues Cup opener, but as a group it may have been Miami's most impressive performance.
The Herons were worthy of their first-half lead through Diego Gomez's 37th-minute strike. And just as the high-pressing Red Bulls appeared to be turning the tide in the second half, the entrance of Messi off the bench — not to mention his former FC Barcelona teammates Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets — helped the Herons kill off the game by keeping the ball and eventually scoring a wonderful second goal through some of Messi's passing magic.
When it was all over, Miami had outperformed an opponent in the expected goals category for the first time in an away game since Messi's arrival, suggesting maybe there is room for the quality of the Herons' efforts to grow beyond Messi's immediate impact. That would make sense given just how different Miami's squad is now versus at the beginning of the summer transfer window.
With six starting-caliber players total coming into the team during that time, an adjustment period of a few weeks before finding the Herons' best form would be expected.
If that more well-rounded improvement continues Miami's blistering run of form since Messi's arrival might be sustainable. But they can't keep relying on outperforming their xG difference by more than two goals per game, as they did in the Leagues Cup.
Nashville are among the MLS teams to have put on the best performances against Miami during their Leagues Cup final meeting, and in some ways they were unfortunate not to win the game in regulation.
But the Coyotes are also in the midst of their worst league form of the season, having lost four in a row following a 4-0 drubbing at Atlanta United on Saturday night.
Nashville were without captain and two-time MLS defender of the year Walker Zimmerman with a lower-body injury, and he is listed as questionable on the club availability report for Wednesday. So is Sam Surridge, the summer striker signing who scored three times in the Leagues Cup.
Perhaps that losing run in the league is a coincidence of timing more than anything. Before Saturday's defeat, that last league loss came on July 15 before the Leagues Cup break. There were a lot of strong tournament performances in between.
Regardless, it's dragged manager Gary Smith's team from near the top of the Eastern Conference table down to seventh, although they still maintain a healthy eight-point cushion above the playoff line.
Inter Miami vs Nashville SC
Pick & Prediction
Oddsmakers are adjusting to the reality that Miami with Messi just don't earn corner kicks with regularity, failing to earn more corners than an opponent or earn more than three corners in a match since his arrival.
But you can still find value on that market, particularly on the wager of Miami to take fewer than 4.5 corners at -120 and an implied 54.5% probability.
As for how this game finishes? Both Miami's unbeaten run and Nashville's losing streak both feel destined to end sooner than later, but it's hard to get behind fading the Herons at home right now, even if the analytics support it.
My greatest confidence is in the total coming in under 4.5. Miami — who control games from in front by hoarding possession rather than sitting deep and countering — have yet to play a home game where the total goes above that threshold. Nashville haven't played a road game where that has occurred all season.
So I'm leveraging that and playing a goal-bands wager on 3 or 4 goals at +140 and an implied 41.7% probability. The bet has cashed in all of Messi's four home games so far.