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Los Angeles FC vs. Sporting KC Odds, Picks, Prediction: Wednesday MLS Betting Preview (August 4)

Los Angeles FC vs. Sporting KC Odds, Picks, Prediction: Wednesday MLS Betting Preview (August 4) article feature image

Lyndsay Radnedge/ISI Photos/Getty Images. Pictured: Sporting Kansas City forward Alan Pulido.

  • Sporting Kansas City head to LAFC with a shot at the West's top spot on the line for the visitors
  • Sporting should be welcoming at least one player back to their Starting XI after the Gold Cup, while LAFC continue to benefit from the return of Carlos Vela.
  • Ian Quillen explains below how he's betting this game based on a recent negative trend from the home side.

LAFC vs. Sporting KC Odds

LAFC Odds-180
Sporting KC Odds+475
Over/Under3.5 (+125 / -155)
Day | TimeWednesday | 10:30 p.m. ET
How To WatchESPN+
Odds updated Tuesday night via DraftKings.

Sporting Kansas City could move into the top spot in the Western Conference on Wednesday with a victory against host Los Angeles Football Club.

Sporting Kansas City already missed one chance to climb to first after thier 2-1 loss at home to FC Dallas last Saturday. Unlike that match, the club will be a substantial underdog against LAFC and a resurgent Carlos Vela.

However, LAFC are also coming off a pair of disappointing draws that have prevented its own climb up the standings. The franchise settled for a 2-2 tie against Minnesota its last time out a week ago after conceding in second-half stoppage time.

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Late Goals Costing LAFC

Here was the conventional thinking about LAFC: Get Vela rolling again and results will follow.

After Vela posted the single most productive offensive season in MLS history in 2019, injuries and health concerns limited the Mexican star to seven appearances in 2020. Then he began 2021 on the injury shelf again with a knee issue he picked up on opening weekend.

In July, vintage Vela returned, as the 32-year-old has scored in each of LAFC's last four matches. And yet the results are middling for the preseason MLS Cup favorite.

After winning three in a row, the Black and Gold have taken only two points from their last three games while facing teams beneath them in the standings.

One culprit: very late goals. Manager Bob Bradley's men conceded twice in second-half stoppage time in their last three matches. Going back further, four of LAFC's 19 goals conceded have come after the 85th minute.

The defensive challenge grows in this affair. Centerback Eddie Segura will miss a second consecutive match with a knee injury that forced him out at halftime of a 2-2 draw against Vancouver on July 24.

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Sporting KC Can Take West's Top Spot

Kansas City already missed a chance to take the Western Conference lead with their surprising 2-1 home loss to Dallas on the weekend.

Sporting KC entered the game on the heels of a 3-1 win at Eastern Conference-leader Seattle the week before. And then the Sounders went on to lose again to San Jose earlier this past Saturday.

Instead of taking advantage, Sporting KC conceded three minutes into the first half and six minutes into the second. Johnny Russell's third goal of the season provided only consolation.

Now, Sporting KC head west on short rest to play a foe that had a whole week to prepare. However, striker Alan Pulido and potentially Gianluca Busio could return from duty at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Pulido appeared in four games for Mexico, but played only 45 minutes in total and conceivably should have no minutes limit.

Busio played in all six United States matches (starting four) and played the last 34 minutes of the final. He could be held out of manager Peter Vermes' squad if — as has been reported — a transfer to newly promoted Serie A side Venezia is imminent.

Betting Analysis & Pick

The timing and travel for Sporting KC sets up well for LAFC. However, the problem for bettors is the Black and Gold are almost always prohibitively expensive if you don't snag them on the opening line.

Take last week. I bet LAFC to defeat Minnesota at -155 odds — which I considered decent value at the time.

The price had risen to around -233 by kickoff, a climb from 60.8% to 70% in implied probability. And these kinds of swings occur week over week with LAFC.

Some of it owes to Vela's starpower and the club's reputation following its 2019 Supporters' Shield win. And some of it probably owes to the teams' expected goals, which predict LAFC should have a goal differential around +11. It's actually +3 as of writing.

So, without an attractive moneyline play, you look to other possible trends that could prove profitable. And there's one pretty big one.

Kansas City have scored the last goal in 10 of its 16 games, and LAFC has conceded the last goal in 10 of its last 16 games. And there's likely a causal reason.

Los Angeles are far more reliant on its starters — Vela, Diego Rossi and so forth — to create the majority of its offense.

Kansas City are far more likely to get a goal from a source that begins the game on the bench. When the likes of Pulido, Busio, Gadi Kinda, Johnny Russell, Daniel Salloi, Khiry Shelton and so forth are healthy, someone is outside the starting XI.

Yet, Sporting KC are at +200 odds in the Last to Score market in game prop bets, a 33.3% implied probability. This is a steal given those trends, since it doesn't matter if that last goal changes the outcome or not.

Pick: Sporting Kansas City — Last To Score (+200)

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