Nashville vs. New York City FC Betting Preview: How To Bet Friday’s MLS Matchup (Sept. 3)

Nashville vs. New York City FC Betting Preview: How To Bet Friday’s MLS Matchup (Sept. 3) article feature image

Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Valentin Castellanos.

  • NYCFC makes the trip to Nashville on Friday for a meeting between to top teams in the East.
  • Nashville is unbeaten at home, while the visitors have only won twice away from home confines.
  • Soccer betting analyst Ian Quillen details below the ways he's betting this match.

Nashville vs. NYCFC Odds

Nashville Odds+175
NYCFC Odds+160
Over/Under2.5 (-110 / -115)
Day | TimeFriday | 7:30 p.m. ET
How To WatchESPN+ | fuboTV
Odds updated Thursday evening via DraftKings.

Nashville SC put their MLS-best home unbeaten record on the line when they host fellow Eastern Conference contenders New York City FC on Friday night.

Manager Gary Smith’s side has already played 13 of its 17 home matches this season without defeat, winning seven and drawing six. 

Their form is even better of late, with three home wins in a row prior to their 1-1 draw against Orlando on Aug. 18.

Meanwhile, it’s mainly away form that has kept NYCFC from keeping pace with the New England Revolution atop the East standings. 

City have only won twice in nine trips this season, the last coming in 2-1 victory at LAFC in late May.

This is the teams’ first all-time meeting, with the 2021 return fixture set for early October.

Sapong Has Aged Like Fine Win For Nashville

Throughout his career, C.J. Sapong has been a reliable, if unspectacular, MLS goal scorer. Now at age 32, it’s possible he is producing his best season.

His team-leading nine goals are still seven shy of the career-high 16 he scored for the Philadelphia Union during the 2017 campaign. 

But his three primary assists are also one shy of a career high. In terms of efficiency, his 0.62 goals and 0.21 primary assists per 90 minutes would both amount to career bests.

Additionally, he has four goals in 10 career appearances against NYCFC.

The hosts are healthy but will miss four players to World Cup Qualifying duty, the most prominent of those being American defender Walker Zimmerman and Costa Rican midfielder Randall Leal.

The latter had been relegated to the substitute’s bench in Nashville’s 2-0 win at Atlanta United last weekend, and responded with an insurance tally in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time.

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NYCFC Enter Match On A High

City will make the trip likely as high in confidence as they’ve been all season, after a comprehensive 2-0 home win over the Supporters’ Shield-leading New England Revolution last weekend.

Valentin Castellanos struck for a brace for his team-leading ninth and 10th goals of the season, which puts him not all that far off the pace of Seattle’s Raul Ruidiaz, who leads MLS with 14 goals.

It was also the 22-year-old’s second multi-goal performance in three games.

If and when he scores his 11th of the campaign, it will match a career high, and that’s despite considerably underperforming his current expected goals (xG) total of 15.7.

The Cityzens’ +18.7 xG difference overall and +16.9 xG difference at home are both tops in the Eastern Conference.

The reason they’re not leading the East is not any major underperformance of their own analytic metrics. But City has played 1-3 fewer matches than all three teams above them in the standings, and leader New England’s +16 goal difference is 6.1 higher than xG predicts.

Like Nashville, New York will miss four players to the international break, the most notable being American midfielder James Sands, Peruvian midfielder Alex Callens and Luxembourg defender Maxime Chanot.

Betting Analysis & Pick

New York are certainly among the top three or four teams in the East, and in my overall opinion have slightly more overall quality and depth than Nashville.

But there’s nothing obvious that should make them a road favorite, either in terms of overall record, home and away form, advanced stats or international absences. Not in a league where the average home team wins 47% of the time.

However, the draw at +240 odds and a 29.7% implied probability is even better than on a Nashville win at +175 odds and a 36.4% probability. These are evenly-matched sides. Nashville lead the league with 11 draws, and three of City’s four have come on the road.

I’m going to throw in a second play: Yes on both teams to score at -135 odds and an implied 57.4% probability. Each team has an above-average MLS attack, and each and is missing multiple centerbacks and a holding midfielder to international duty.

Picks: Draw (+240), Yes – Both Teams to Score (-135)

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