MLS Betting Odds & Picks: New York City FC vs. Columbus (Monday, August 24)

Credit:

Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images. Pictured: Luis Diaz #12 of Columbus Crew

  • The red-hot Colombus Crew take on struggling NYCFC in Monday MLS action. Kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. ET.
  • The total for Monday night's game is set at 2.5. Jeremy Pond expects this contest to be a low-scoring affair, thanks in part to NYCFC's stingy defense.
  • Check out Pond's full betting preview and analysis for NYCFC vs. Columbus below.

New York City FC vs. Columbus Odds

NYCFC odds +140 [BET NOW]
Columbus odds +180 [BET NOW]
Draw +240 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 2.5 (-137/+107) [BET NOW]
Time 7 p.m. ET
TV MLS Live on ESPN+

Odds as of Monday at 7:45 p.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


Clubs going in completely different directions go at it Monday when Columbus takes on struggling New York City FC in Major League Soccer action.

Columbus, which sits atop the Eastern Conference standings with a 5-0-1 record on 16 points, enters this showdown fresh off a 3-0 victory against Chicago. The shutout further solidified the Crew as the league’s top defense, which has allowed just one goal thus far this season.

In contrast, NYCFC is off to a horrific start that has been compounded even more due to the fact that it entered the campaign as one of the Eastern Conference favorites. The club is 1-5 on the season, with its most recent loss coming in a 1-0 setback against the New York Red Bulls.

Throw in the fact that NYCFC is without a home this season due to Yankee Stadium’s jam-packed MLB schedule and you have a less-than-ideal situation for the club. The worst part for NYCFC is its temporary venue is Red Bull Arena, which is the home of its bitter rival.

When poring over the data and statistics, Columbus has some of the best numbers in the league. The Crew boast an impressive 4.9 expected goals against 3.0 expected goals against for a solid plus-1.9xGDiff/+0.61 xGDiff/90 minutes, with the latter two figures only second to Toronto FC among Eastern Conference clubs.


Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.


On the opposite end of the spectrum, NYCFC has been the definition of terrible in the same categories (1.4 xGF/-4.9 xGA = -3.4 xGDiff and -1.15 xGDiff/90) and really needs to get it together if there is any hope of digging itself out of its current hole.

That said, I am backing Columbus to get the job done in this spot. The Crew might be the best team in the entire league and should have no issue getting a result against a struggling NYCFC side that can’t seem to get anything together on the pitch.

The one thing NYCFC does have going for it, though, is a pretty stingy defense. Four of its six losses have been 1-0 defeats, so the problems haven’t been on that part of the pitch. Throw in Columbus’ defensive track record and this has all the makings of a low-scoring affair, which is why I am playing the total to stay under the number as well.

The total is sitting at a juicy 2.5 and plus-money, but I’m going to err on the side of caution and buy up to 3 instead.

If you want to roll the dice, try waiting for the live total to dip slightly in the first half to get a better number.

The Bets: Columbus — Draw No Bet (+112); Total Under 3 Goals (-157)

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