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MLS Odds, Picks, Predictions: LAFC vs. Houston Dynamo Betting Preview (June 19)

MLS Odds, Picks, Predictions: LAFC vs. Houston Dynamo Betting Preview (June 19) article feature image

Shaun Clark/Getty Images. Pictured: Carlos Vela

  • MLS play resumes on Saturday night, with Houston Dynamo traveling west to take on LAFC.
  • Both sides want to play an open, attacking brand of soccer, although neither has been able to thrive doing so quite yet.
  • Ian Quillen breaks down the matchup and where he sees betting value.

LAFC vs. Houston Odds

LAFC Odds -265
Houston Odds +700
Draw +360
Over/Under 3.5 (+110 / -150)
Day | Time Saturday | 11 p.m. ET
How To Watch UniMás | fuboTV
Odds updated Friday evening via DraftKings.

Carlos Vela and LAFC try to get back on track amid a stretch of four consecutive home matches when they host Houston in a late Saturday night encounter.

Vela, the 2019 MLS MVP, had recovered from an early-season injury to start both previous home matches.

But the preseason MLS Cup favorites continued their skittish start. They defeated Colorado despite a less-than-convincing outing, then played better against NYCFC only to concede the visitors a late winner.

Houston is seeking its first away victory after earning only a point from its first four trips. Only Dallas has a worse road record in the Western Conference.

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LAFC Still Not Back to Old Form

Vela and 2020 MLS MVP Diego Rossi were finally healthy and on the field together for LAFC’s last two matches, but the end product on attack is still falling a good deal shy of the club’s vintage 2019 form.

It’s now been 15 matches in all competitions since LAFC scored more than twice over 90 minutes. Back in their Supporters’ Shield-winning campaign two years prior, they accomplished the feat 16 times.

The two-week international break — and the training time it allows — may help Vela get closer to that peak 2019 form. He only played a full 90 minutes once this season, in the 2-1 loss to NYCFC.

And if there’s a benefit of LAFC’s intermittent form, it’s that they have close to a full squad available on Saturday.

Fullback Diego Palacios is away with the Ecuador national team at Copa America. But Rossi — who is tied for the team lead with three goals — was left out of Uruguay’s squad.

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Houston Defense Still Struggling Under New System

The Dynamo underwent as wide a roster overhaul as any MLS club this offseason, with an aim of constructing a group more equipped to run manager Tab Ramos’ pressing system.

The results have been far from emphatic.

Houston looked improved in spots. But 13.63 expected goals (xG) allowed is the third-most in MLS entering the weekend, according to American Soccer Analysis.

Even adjusting for games played, the Dynamo are the fifth-worst in MLS in allowing opponents 1.70 xG per 90 minutes.

The Dynamo are currently unscathed on the medical report and aren’t missing anyone to international duty. They also have yet to be shut out this season, scoring 11 goals through their opening eight matches. 

Maxi Urruti has particularly flourished in early days with his fifth MLS team, scoring four goals in 601 minutes.

Betting Analysis & Pick

Both LAFC and Houston have potential to play some truly wide open soccer. Neither has done so yet, though.

Even with its pressing mantra, Houston’s combined xG created and allowed is a shade beneath 3.00 per game, according to American Soccer Analysis.

And LAFC has actually been one of the more measured sides on both ends of the pitch, with the combined xG created and allowed in their matches totaling only 2.08 per game.

The odds on total goals don’t reflect that, likely because of LAFC’s star power. But for Vela, Rossi and the rest of their names, they’ve yet to play a match where total goals exceeds three. Houston has only played two.

Could it happen Saturday night? Sure. And if you’d rather stay away from the total and play the money line, I’d probably tell you LAFC isn’t consistent enough to be this heavy a favorite.

But in taking the under at -150 odds, you’re saying the total goes under that mark three out of five times. That’s hard value to argue against given the recent track record.

Pick: Total under 3.5 goals (-150)

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