MLS Playoff Betting Odds & Picks: Minnesota United vs. Colorado Rapids (Sunday, Nov. 22)
David Berding/Getty Images. Pictured: Minnesota United’s Hassani Dotson, left, and Kei Kamara.
- Minnesota United hosts Colorado in a Major League Soccer first-round playoff match at Allianz Field.
- The Loons are slight favorites in this Western Conference showdown.
- Dillon Essma breaks down the meeting and tells us why he likes Minnesota to move on in the postseason.
Minnesota United vs. Colorado Odds
|Minnesota Odds||+118 [BET NOW]|
|Colorado Odds||+195 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+270 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||3.5 (+128/-167) [BET NOW]|
|Time||7:30 p.m. ET|
Minnesota United hosts Colorado in the first round of the Major League Soccer playoffs Sunday at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minn., highlighting the stacked Western Conference card.
Both teams are enter the meeting in solid form, which should lead to hotly contested match.
Let’s take a look at what might be in store for this contest taking place on a chilly, yet dry, November night in Minnesota.
The Loons finished fourth in the Western Conference standings, finishing the regular season with a 9-5-7 record and 34 points.
It was a solid campaign for Minnesota, especially given some of the injuries it had to endure. Losing Ike Opara — the 2019 MLS defender of the year — early on was tough. However, Michael Boxall has stepped in to lead the line.
Luis Amarilla, the Loons’ big off-season signing, was a big flop, which has led to the striker position being a weakness. Luckily for them, they hit an absolute home run by signing Emanuel Reynoso. The former Boca Juniors standout is far and away Minnesota’s best player on the pitch. He is a creative, playmaking midfielder, who provides more opportunities for the club’s skilled wingers.
Minnesota enters the game in strong form, going unbeaten in its last eight matches. One of those matches was a close, 2-1 win over Colorado just a few weeks ago.
The Loons went 5-1-3 at home this season, with its lone loss coming against Sporting Kansas City back in August at Allianz Field. Minnesota is tough to beat at home, which should give it an advantage.
Over the course of their season, including MLS is Back, Minnesota generated 1.47 expected goals per game and 1.78 expected goals against.
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.
However, in their nine home matches, the Loons’ numbers were 1.68 xG and 1.65 xGA, which is much better than the overall data. The season long numbers are weighted to more away games.
Suffice it to say, Minnesota is a better at home, and I think this is an advantage. The Loons don’t have a natural goal scorer, so midfield creativity and execution will be keys for the Loons.
The Rapids enter the playoffs winners of three consecutive games, including victories over Seattle and Portland.
You could tell Colorado was playing with a sense of urgency, even in their tough, 2-1 loss against Minnesota prior to their current winning streak.
One item of note is the fact Colorado played 18 games this season, which three less than any other team due to COVID-19 issues. Regardless, I would be encouraged if I were a Colorado fan, especially due to the foes it did beat over that recent run of form.
The Rapids’ xG wound up at 1.1/game, with a 1.0 xGA as well. Maybe Colorado was a bit fortunate to win all three of those contests, but it’s playing better and will be a handful for Minnesota.
Over their 18-game schedule, Colorado generated 1.43 xG/game while conceding 1.27 xGA on the numbers. Those are pretty solid statistics, which would give them a slight leg up on Minnesota if this were on a neutral field.
The Rapids’ 5-3-1 away record is definitely solid, but the advanced data shows them tailing off a bit from season-long stats. Their xG were 1.32/game, with 1.46 xGA in those road games.
Colorado plays solid defense, does well on set pieces and doesn’t make a ton of errors. All those things make them a side that can be difficult to put away.
I do think it’s somewhat tough to say if the Rapids deserved the No. 5 seed or if they would have been higher or lower had they played those three extra games.
Regardless,, Colorado can hang around in this contest.
Betting Analysis & Picks
Bottom line, this is a very even first-round playoff matchup.
However, I give a slight edge to the host and will back Minnesota United at -0.25 and the total going over three goals, which are both alternative numbers in the betting markets.
The main reason I am backing Minnesota is largely due to the home/road splits of each team. The Loons are tough to beat at home, and the Rapids have struggled at time in road contests.
I expect the Loons to have their full lineup, with all of their attacking players at manager Adrian Heath’s disposal. Colorado has been playing more aggressively, so I would expect the same from as well.
That said, give me the Loons with confidence.
Picks: Minnesota United -0.25 (-108) | Total Over 3 Goals (-122)