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Sunday MLS Odds, Picks, Prediction: Atlanta United vs. Charlotte FC Betting Preview

Sunday MLS Odds, Picks, Prediction: Atlanta United vs. Charlotte FC Betting Preview article feature image

David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Atlanta United standout Josef Martinez.

  • Atlanta United hosts expansion side Charlotte FC in Sunday’s MLS action.
  • Goalkeeper Brad Guzan and Atlanta are solid -170 ML favorites, but have some personnel issues ahead of this meeting.
  • Ian Quillen breaks down the contest below and details why he’s expecting both teams to score goals.

Atlanta vs. Charlotte Odds

Atlanta Odds-170
Charlotte Odds+450
Over/Under2.5 (-135 / +108)
Day | TimeSunday | 4:30 p.m. ET
How To WatchFS1 | fuboTV
Odds updated via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Atlanta United hosts expansion side Charlotte FC on Sunday in the first meeting of two potential longtime Major League Soccer rivals.

Charlotte has made a grand entrance off the field, setting the MLS record for stand-alone, regular season attendance of 74,479 in last weekend’s home opener at Bank of America Stadium.

However, the club is still waiting for its first MLS goal or points after a 1-0 home loss against the Los Angeles Galaxy spoiled the Saturday night party.

Atlanta United has split two inter-conference games. The side handled Sporting Kansas City in a 3-1 home win before suffering a 3-0 defeat at reigning Western Conference regular-season champion Colorado.

Atlanta also previously held the MLS attendance record broken in Charlotte.

Atlanta United Dealing With Array of Issues

Hopes were high entering 2022 with manager Gonzalo Pineda getting his first full season under his belt. After his summer appointment last year, Pineda helped lead a second-half resurgence that resulted in a return to the playoffs.

However, it sort of feels like the 2022 club is still on the runway waiting for clearance to take off.

Blockbuster attacking signing Thiago Alamada has yet to see the field because of visa issues. Winger Luiz Araujo left injured before halftime of Atlanta’s opener. Playmaker Marelino Moreno has been limited to a bench role with his own health issues. Midfielders Santiago Sosa and Franco Ibarra are questionable for season debuts because of immigration paperwork.

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Complicating matters further is Miles Robinson’s red-card suspension.

Robinson is among the best 1-on-1 central defenders in MLS and played his way into a consistent starting role with the United States Men’s National Team. His loss adds to a lack solidity at the back evident through the first two matches, and places even more burden on the 36-year-old legs of Osvaldo Alonso in the No. 6 midfield role.

Atlanta had 12 shots in both its first two games, but their attacking performances differed substantially. Against Sporting Kansas City, Atlanta created five chances with at least a 30% chance of conversion — per — converting three of them.

In Colorado, the Five Stripes generated only one such opportunity with the rest falling below a 10% chance of conversion.

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Charlotte Enduring Rocky Start in Debut Season

All the hype surrounding Charlotte’s opener failed to translate into an inspired performance in Week 2 against the Galaxy.

If anything, manager Miguel Angel Ramirez’s men looked nervy and less connected than in their opener, a 3-0 loss at D.C. United that was much closer than the final score. Yet they could still rue their luck after hanging tough through 75 minutes, only to go behind on Efrain Alvarez’s thunderbolt goal.

Only moments earlier, a credible (if not obvious) penalty shout went unheeded on the other end.

What might trouble Ramirez more than the score against the Galaxy is how toothless the attack looked in the debut of Designated Player signing Karol Swiderski. The Polish international might have a prolific scoring record, but he’s clearly a player who needs service.

The Galaxy limited that to an exceptional degree. The result was only one shot with roughly a 5% conversion rate.

Betting Analysis & Pick

This is a tricky game to forecast in part because of the extremely small body of work from the visitors, who have played only two matches in their history.

Yet, looking at the personnel that might not play for Atlanta, I think there’s an opportunity to back a “Yes” wager on Both Teams To Score at -130 odds and an implied 56.5% implied probability.

Atlanta has been exposed defensively in both previous games, and even if Ibarra and/or Sosa return to sure up midfield, it’s hard to imagine either starting. Add Robinson’s absence, and that’s a lot of softness in the middle against a Charlotte attack that has deserved at least one goal this season.

On the other end, I don’t have confidence in Charlotte to keep a clean sheet. Goalkeeper Kristijan Kahlina has looked unsteady in his first two games. And defensive communication is always something that takes time to build with a brand new club.

Atlanta might win this as expected, but its absences keep me from backing them outright at the expensive price of -170 odds when a 1-1 draw also feels like a very possible outcome.

The straight draw probably isn’t a terrible play given the price of +300 odds and a 25% implied probability, but I’m staying more conservative with all the unknowns.

Pick: Both Teams To Score — Yes (-130)

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