LAFC vs. LA Galaxy MLS Odds, Picks, Prediction: Where Value Lies in El Trafico (August 28)
Jeremy Olson/ISI Photos/Getty Images. Pictured: Rayan Raveloson.
- LA Galaxy makes the short trip to LAFC for the 11th regular-season El Trafico.
- The home side is winless in its last seven matches, while the Galaxy have lost two in a row for the first time this season.
- Ian Quillen explains below why LAFC are just to expensive to bet on.
LAFC vs. LA Galaxy Odds
|LA Galaxy Odds||+380|
|Over/Under||3.5 (+115 / -140)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 7 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||FOX | fuboTV|
|Odds updated Friday evening via DraftKings.|
There’s plenty at stake in the 11th all-time, regular-season El Trafico meeting between LAFC and the LA Galaxy on Saturday, even if star men Carlos Vela and Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez won’t play a role.
Officially both men are suspended Saturday after injury kept each out of Wednesday night’s MLS All-Star Game.
Unofficially, it seems unlikely Vela would’ve featured for LAFC or Chicharito for the Galaxy anyway.
The Galaxy visit their crosstown rivals seeking to halt their first two-match losing run of the season.
And LAFC are currently on the outside of the MLS Cup playoffs looking in, after going winless in their last seven, including four consecutive losses.
The Galaxy won these teams’ first meeting 2-1 at home back on May 8, their fifth victory in the series.
LAFC Must Find More Scoring Options
Vela exited 15 minutes into LAFC’s 2-1 defeat at the Vancouver Whitecaps last weekend with a knee injury that was predictable given the 32-year-old’s recent workload.
Vela was making his 10th consecutive start in the game at BC Place and had played all but 12 minutes in the previous stretch of nine games in 43 days.
You could understand manager Bob Bradley’s instinct to push his captain, who with five goals and five assists is again LAFC’s most productive attacker. And LAFC had earned eight points in the five games when Vela scored, compared to 15 in the 15 he hasn’t, including those last four defeats.
Diego Rossi’s six goals lead LAFC. Jose Cifuentes also has five, and Corey Baird has three, all respectable totals. The quartet of Vela, Rossi, Cifuentes and Baird is lagging its expected goals (xG), but only marginally (19 goals, 21.9 xG).
It’s the rest of the Black-and-Gold squad that isn’t pitching in, with only six goals scored on 13.2 xG produced.
That needs to change if oddsmakers’ preseason MLS Cup favorites are going to climb back into one of the seven Western Conference playoff spots.
Can LA Galaxy Avoid Three Straight Losses?
The Galaxy are clearly a better club with Chicharito and his 10 goals in the lineup.
But at least they have adapted to his absence in the 11-game stretch that began when he was a late scratch with a calf strain on July 4.
Defensive midfielder Rayan Raveloson has been the single biggest provider of offense with Chicharito out, finding the net five times since making his MLS debut
Victor Vazquez and Kevin Cabral have also scored all three of their goals during Chicharito’s injury layoff.
Now manager Greg Vanney’s next task is to get new striker Dejan Joveljic off the mark.
The 22-year-old has made three appearances since his transfer from Eintracht Frankfurt. He provided the assist in LA’s last win, 1-0 at Minnesota United, but he has yet to find the goal in his role as the Galaxy’s other centerforward.
Back-to-back home losses would be more concerning if they weren’t part of a three-game, eight-day stretch.
The Galaxy are very obviously less equipped to weather such stretches than some clubs as they build out depth in Vanney’s first year on the job while relying on a cluster of older veterans.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The Galaxy have the better goal differential, the better record in this rivalry, the better place in the standings, and even with Chicharito’s absence, the healthier roster.
Yet it’s LAFC who are enormous favorites at -160 odds in a match where home field probably isn’t as big an edge as typically in MLS, given the lack of real travel for the Galaxy.
The Black-and-Gold have been an excessively expensive team all season, likely because their goal difference is a massive 17.9 goals fewer than xG predictions.
Betting on a course correction is sound logic if there isn’t a clear explanation for at least part of the disparity.
But in this case there is: the lack of an MLS starting-caliber center forward, unlike Bradley’s formidable LAFC teams of previous years.
The Galaxy still have plenty to prove in a season where they’ve ridden their own good fortune a little. But it’s pretty clear you’d give them better than a 40.8% chance to sneak at least a point.
That’s the implied probability of the +145 odds available on an Asian Handicap bet on the visitors at +0.5 goals. It’s easily worth taking.
Pick: LA Galaxy +0.5 goals (+145)