Sunday MLS Odds, Picks, Prediction, Best Bets: Austin FC vs. Seattle Betting Preview
Alika Jenner/Getty Images. Pictured: Manager Brian Schmetzer of the Seattle Sounders.
- Austin FC welcomes Seattle to Texas for Sunday's Major League Soccer showdown.
- The Sounders have some personnel issues heading into this affair that could give the hosts the edge.
- Ian Quillen breaks down the matchup below and explains why he's backing Austin to win outright.
Austin FC vs. Seattle Odds
|Austin FC Odds||+110|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-125 / -115)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 4:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||FS1 | fuboTV|
|Odds updated via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Fresh off its triumph in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal round, Seattle returns to Major League Soccer action Sunday with a visit to Austin FC in nationally televised affair.
The Sounders went to Texas straight from Mexico, where they gutted out a 1-1 draw against Liga MX side Club Leon in second leg of a comfortable 4-1 aggregate victory. Fredy Montero scored from the penalty spot, as Seattle got the desired result despite missing injured standouts Raul Ruidiaz and Nicolas Lodeiro.
Austin will have the edge in rest to go with home-field advantage, plus a full week to prepare following its first loss that came in a 1-0 defeat at Portland.
The Sounders are unbeaten in two previous meetings against their foes, drawing the inaugural affair in a 0-0 tie in Seattle last May and then securing a 1-0 road win two months later.
Austin Making Progress in Second Season
There’s little doubt Austin is improved from the team that faced Seattle last season.
Los Verdes began its second MLS season by scoring an MLS record 10 goals in their opening two matches, which came in a 5-0 victory over FC Cincinnati and a 5-1 triumph against Inter Miami.
To be fair, manager Josh Wolff’s squad rode some good fortune, scoring more than double the number of goals from their expected goals total of 4.6 in those games.
And the club’s first away day proved to be a major step up in class, with Austin failing to put a shot on frame in its visit to Portland.
Even so, the side nearly matched the Timbers in xG and have a more complete roster following the 2021 summer arrivals of Sebastian Driussi and Moussa Djitte.
Driussi has become the creative engine that makes Austin’s attack go. Djitte might not produce as well as some point forwards in MLS, but his comfort playing that role helps others slide into stronger positions for their skillsets.
Personnel Issues Surrounding Seattle
With Seattle facing its fifth match in 15 days, and Ruidiaz, Lodeiro and a few others out, its 1-0 July victory in Austin could provide a blueprint of how manager Brian Schmetzer might approach this showdown.
With a top-of-the-table clash looming against Sporting Kansas City three days later, Schmetzer made history by starting an MLS-record five teenagers.
Yet, there’s a couple differences. For starters, Schmetzer was able to bring on Ruidiaz early in the second half and he was the player who ultimately scored the winner.
And this time the Sounders are facing a two-week layoff for the FIFA international window following their fourth MLS game of the season.
Even with the Sounders among the most impacted sides by international call-ups, that rest to come might convince Schmetzer to test their physical limits a bit more.
Then again, a growing injury list amid the CCL burdens might give Schmetzer fewer choices anyway.
Center back Yeimar Gomez Andrade — a 2021 MLS defender of the Year finalist — is also out, as is goalkeeper Stefan Frei.
Betting Analysis & Pick
There are two CCL-related trends worth considering here.
From 2018 to 2021, the total has stayed under 2.5 goals in six of seven games where an MLS team is playing on the road following a quarterfinal second leg.
Intuitively that makes sense. Away league games on short rest are the most likely time for MLS managers to give regular attackers a break.
However, with such a small sample, I need to see some additional reasons to play it. Given the odds in the neighborhood of -110 and Austin’s inclination toward letting it fly at home, that’s not present here.
Additionally, CCL teams hitting the road following the second leg of the quarterfinals have also lost four of seven games and won only one time. Those matches have generally come against teams who finished lower in the table the previous season as well.
And this makes more sense to back for a couple reasons.
The first? The Sounders are already in relatively poor league form. Removing penalty kicks, they’ve trailed opponents in xG in all three contests. All three of their league goals — all against a suspect Los Angeles Galaxy defense — have come from dead-ball situations.
The second? it also matters what kind of CCL game you play in midweek. The Sounders did a lot of chasing at altitude in Mexico. Now, they’re playing again fewer than 72 hours later.
Lastly, Austin might have been a bit embarassed about how last year’s meeting transpired. That said, I’d expect a bit of an extra edge here from them.
So, I’m on Los Verdes to get their first victory over a fatigued Seattle bunch at +110 odds and an implied 47.6% probability.
That probability is roughly around the average home winning percentage in recent years. Austin is a league average team right now. With injuries and travel, the Sounders might actually be below average in this meeting.
I’m not writing off Seattle in the long term by any stretch. It’s just a bad spot for them.
Pick: Austin ML (+110)