LA Galaxy vs. Los Angeles FC Odds & Pick: Betting Preview for Sunday’s MLS El Trafico (Oct. 3)

LA Galaxy vs. Los Angeles FC Odds & Pick: Betting Preview for Sunday’s MLS El Trafico  (Oct. 3) article feature image
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Michael Janosz/ISI Photos/Getty Images. pictured: Los Angeles Galaxy star Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.

  • The latest edition of "El Trafico" takes place Sunday when the LA Galaxy host LAFC in MLS action.
  • The Galaxy, who are slight favorites, are hoping Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez can keep getting better since returning from injury.
  • Ian Quillen breaks down the match below and details why he's backing the LA Galaxy to triumph.

LA Galaxy vs. LAFC Odds

LA Galaxy Odds +155
LAFC Odds +170
Draw +260
Over/Under 3.5 (+130 / -165)
Day | Time Sunday | 8 p.m. ET
How To Watch ESPN | fuboTV
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

The Los Angeles Galaxy and Los Angeles Football Club meet for the third and final time this season Sunday, with both sides hoping to snap recent slides.

Each Southern California club has lost its last three matches and have seven left to play, starting with this El Trafico encounter.

The Galaxy’s struggles have been more prolonged in the form of a seven-game winless run. However, LAFC has less room for error as it enters the game five points back of the Western Conference playoff line.

The Galaxy won the first meeting between these sides in a 2-1 victory back in early May before they played to 3-3 draw in late August.

LA Galaxy Hoping To Regain Winning Ways

The Galaxy’s dip in form is startling in part because it comes when most expected them to be rejuvenated by Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez’s return from injury.

Chicharito has scored twice in his five matches since coming back from a calf strain, including in a midweek 2-1 loss at Real Salt Lake.

The problem is Samuel Grandsir is the only teammate who has also found the net since Mexico’s all-time leading international goal scorer returned from a three-month layoff.

That dynamic also existed to a lesser extent earlier this year when Chicharito scored 10 of his team’s 17 goals. Yet, there was a difference: Los Angeles won seven of 10 games.

It might be wise to add context to the recent slide, which has taken them out of race for the Western Conference title but not a playoff spot.

While Los Angeles is winless in seven, five of those matches were on the road. The last defeat came via a goal deep in second-half stoppage time. And the analytics suggest Chicharito’s return has ironically made the Galaxy better on the defensive side.

In terms of chances allowed, the Galaxy have yielded opponents only 1.1 expected goals per game in the last five matches. That represents a decrease of 0.9 from the previous five games.

Unfortunately, Los Angeles actually conceded nine times in its last five games. However, the potential return of defenders Jorge Villafana and Derick Williams on the back line from knocks could help tighten things. Both are questionable on the Galaxy availability report.

LAFC Struggling Without Former MLS MVP Vela

The Black and Gold are without their own Mexican star in Carlos Vela, who will miss his eighth consecutive match with a knee injury. That also means the 2019 MLS MVP won’t face the Galaxy this season unless these teams meet in the MLS playoffs.

That is looking less and less likely after LAFC’s last three losses. Those defeats have followed the pattern that has characterized this season: Plenty of chances; not enough goals.

Through 26 games, LAFC’s xG difference is +20.5. Their actual goal difference is -1. Theoretically, they’ve scored 21 fewer goals than anticipated given their chances.

The last MLS team to incur such a disparity was Sporting Kansas City in 2019. They began the year among the MLS Cup favorites and finished outside the postseason.

Summer signing Cristian Arango has solved some of LAFC’s issues at center forward with six goals in his first 10 MLS games.

Danny Musovski has also scored twice in his last four games since Arango’s arrival has allowed him to move back to what is predominantly a bench role.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

The three-way line here is almost even, which is pretty stunning considering the season each team has had and the Galaxy’s home record in this derby.

In five meetings in Carson, Calif., the Galaxy have four wins and a draw even while playing LAFC teams in better form than this one.

As I’ve discussed before, the price on LAFC is high because their xG and other analytics continue to outperform their results.

And with both teams slumping, LAFC’s better metrics might be worth backing if it came with the experience edge.

However, it’s the Galaxy who have the better roster composition for the occasion. They have the more consistent scorer and boast the kind of veteran core that’s not going to panic based on recent form.

Given all that, there’s really no choice but to back the home team at +155 odds and a 39.2% implied probability of a victory.

Pick: LA Galaxy ML (+155)

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