Sunday MLS Odds, Picks & Prediction: D.C. United vs. Orlando City Betting Preview

Sunday MLS Odds, Picks & Prediction: D.C. United vs. Orlando City Betting Preview article feature image

Rasid Necati Aslim/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images. Pictured: manager Wayne Rooney of D.C. United.

D.C. United vs. Orlando City Odds

D.C. United Odds+135
Orlando City Odds+185
Over/Under2.5 (-130 / -110)
Day | TimeSunday | 5 p.m. ET
How To WatchESPN+
Odds updated as of Sunday afternoon via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Wayne Rooney makes his Major League Soccer managerial debut Sunday when last-place D.C. United hosts Orlando City in Eastern Conference action.

The former England and Manchester United star previously played for D.C. United in 2018 and 2019. He was hired as manager in early July, but interim boss Chad Ashton remained in the coach's box until Rooney's visa paperwork was completed earlier this week.

Orlando enters the game fifth in the Eastern Conference. The Lions lost their most recent league clash at home against Philadelphia last weekend, but responded with a 5-1 win in a U.S. Open Cup semifinal clash with the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday to reach the competition's finale.

On the other side, D.C. United picked up a wild, 5-3 victory Orlando in Central Florida in their meeting earlier this month.

D.C. United

The host side's win in Orlando feels like ages ago.

At the time, Ashton was still being asked to play a form of predecessor Hernan Losada's high-pressure, three center-back system. And its win appeared to give the club a lifeline to a potential second-half playoff push.

Instead, Philadelphia badly exposed United's shortcomings in that shape in a 7-0 defeat in its next game.

Rooney's hire was announced not long after, and with it, D.C. United swapped into the 4-2-3-1 formation he favored at Derby County. The result was tighter contests, but United still dropped eight of nine points across three games.

By The Numbers

  • 54.5 — Percentage of how often D.C. United has scored two or more goals (six of 11 games) on home soil.
  • 27.3 — Winning percentage for D.C. United at home.
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Orlando City

Most of the Lions' acute troubles have come at home, with their loss to D.C. United the fifth of now six league games at Exploria Stadium.

Orlando has been far more difficult to solve on the road, losing only twice while opting for a deeper line and counterattacking posture. Even so, that's only amounted to the same number of points (15) because it has most often settled for draws.

Nicholas Gioacchini could make his MLS debut. The American World Cup hopeful — who most recently played for Ligue 1 side Montpellier in France — came on for the final five minutes of the Open Cup semifinal triumph.

By The Numbers

  • 3-2-6 — Orlando's away record (W-L-D) this season.
  • 1.91 — Combined goals per game in Orlando away matches this campaign.
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Betting Analysis & Pick

If Ashton was still in charge for the hosts, the clear bet would be on Orlando at least on a +0.5 Asian Handicap or Draw No Bet wager given its away form.

However, Rooney's introduction brings the "new-coach bump" in play. It's a real phenomenon, and while it's not enough to make the moneyline on a last-place team appealing, it's enough to look for an edge elsewhere.

That takes us to a lower total. Orlando away games have stayed under 2.5 goals almost as matter of habit. And even factoring in D.C. United home games, it's a trend that has hit on 13 of 22 occasions of the time. You're also getting -110 odds and 52.4% implied probability.

Further, while Rooney was known for his attacking as a player, as a manager all indications are his first focus will be making D.C. United tougher to play against. That could also lead the home side to play a deeper line than they have in the past, making chances less likely on both ends.

Wagers on the under are almost never comfortable in this volatile league, but they do sometimes bring value. This is one of those times.

The Pick: Total Under 2.5 Goals (-110)

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