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MLS Betting Preview: Who Will Reign Supreme in El Trafico?

Credit:

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Los Angeles Galaxy forward Ola Kamara (11) and midfielder Romain Alessandrini (7) celebrate after a goal in the second half against the LAFC

  • The third installment of El Tráfico is set for Friday night at 10:30 p.m. ET with the favorites LA Galaxy (+153) hosting LAFC (+166) at the Stubhub Center in Carson, CA.
  • LA Galaxy have come back from multiple goal deficits in both meetings this season, winning 4-3 at home and drawing 2-2 at LAFC.
  • For Friday night's matchup, the Galaxy opened as slight betting favorites but the odds have shifted toward LAFC.

The new Los Angeles soccer rivalry dubbed “El Tráfico” has already provided plenty of entertainment this year and Friday night should be no different.

While bragging rights are always on the line, the fight to make the playoffs is far more critical at this junction of the season for both the Los Angeles Galaxy and Los Angeles Football Club.

After analyzing the matchup and betting market, I’ve picked out a value play to bet on.

Season Record: 48-49-3, +31.80 units, 33% ROI


Los Angeles FC at Los Angeles Galaxy (10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN)

LAFC odds: +166
LA Galaxy odds: +153
Draw odds: +288
Over/Under: 3.5 (o-109)

The Galaxy have really struggled to find points lately and are winless in their last four matches. After a decent start to the year, they’re now in serious danger of missing the playoffs in the Western Conference, especially since every club behind them in the standings has games in hand.

With 37 points, they’re tied for fifth-place with Portland, Seattle and Vancouver breathing down their neck.

The task at hand won’t be easy for the Galaxy, as they have to find a way to get it going tonight without the likes of Romain Alessandrini (knee), Giovani dos Santos (leg) and Michael Ciani (hamstring).

LAFC also suffered a lengthy winless streak but have pitched back-to-back clean sheets to move into third place in the West with 42 points.

A victory tonight would put them just a point behind FC Dallas for top spot in the conference, and the visitors will be licking their chops to get revenge on the Galaxy.

“Of course we think about it,” said LAFC’s Carlos Vela when asked about the previous losses to the Galaxy.

Vela, who starred for Mexico at the 2018 World Cup, must be especially frustrated with the first two results after scoring within the opening ten minutes in each game.

Both head-to-head meetings should have been victories for LAFC, but they blew second half leads of 3-0 and 2-0 to lose and draw, respectively.

 

 

If the first two matchups are any indication, we should see plenty of goals scored again and public bettors agree.

More than 80% of over/under tickets has been placed on the over 3.5, and sportsbooks have adjusted for the heavy action.

Moneyline tickets have been evenly split, but the line has shifted toward LAFC from +179 to +166. They’re the healthier club right now and come into the match with better form and recent results.

Here are the latest odds and betting percentages around the offshore market:

  • 58% on LA Galaxy (+153)
  • 28% on LAFC (+166)
  • 14% on Draw (+288)

Despite just 27% of bets coming in on LAFC, their odds have come down from +180 to +166.

LAFC is the superior club by nearly every metric and I don’t see any way for the Galaxy to contain them.

While some of the line movement was due to injuries for the Galaxy, I love the road side as a contrarian value play, and anything higher than LAFC +150 is absolutely worth betting.

The Bet: LAFC +166

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