Saturday MLS Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Prediction: Can Gareth Bale, Los Angeles FC Down Sporting Kansas City?
Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images. Pictured: Los Angeles star Gareth Bale.
- Gareth Bale and Los Angeles FC hit the road Saturday to face struggling Sporting Kansas City in Major League Soccer action.
- The visitors are solid +110 moneyline favorites, but analyst Ian Quillen has found an even better wager at plus-money odds.
- Check out below why he's backing a Single Game Parlay pairing LAFC with an alternate game total.
Sporting KC vs. LAFC Odds
|Sporting KC Odds
|2.5 (-135 / -105)
|Day | Time
|Saturday | 8:30 p.m. ET
|How To Watch
|Odds updated as of Saturday afternoon via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.
Gareth Bale and Los Angeles FC continue their pursuit of the MLS Supporters' Shield on Saturday night when they visit struggling Sporting Kansas City.
Bale debuted in the final 18 minutes of LAFC's 2-1 road victory against Nashville last Sunday. The former Real Madrid and Tottenham star faces the most disappointing MLS team, which sits last in the Western Conference a year after finishing in third place.
These teams previously met in April when LAFC responded from an early deficit to secure a 3-1 victory.
Sporting Kansas City
If there's any hope for the hosts to get something from this season, it's in a backloaded home schedule.
Manager Peter Vermes' group play eight of their last 12 games at Children's Mercy Park. And the other West playoff contenders aren't gaining any separation. Entering the weekend, only seven points separate Sporting KC from the playoff places.
However, it's not clear where the goals would come from. None of the potential replacements for injured center forward Alan Pulido have worked out. Johnny Russell and Daniel Salloi have 10 goals from the wings, but the rest of their teammates have combined for only eight goals.
Vermes also faces some defensive absences, with Roger Espinoza (suspension) and center back Kortne Ford (suspension) out. Veteran fullback Graham Zusi is questionable.
By The Numbers
- 77.8 — Percentage of Sporting Kansas City home games where it scored scored one or fewer goals.
- 1.89 — Average goals per match for the club and foes in nine home fixtures.
Los Angeles FC
The visiting side’s remarkable consistency has shown some signs of slowing on the road, but with some lurking variables at play.
For example, LAFC has trailed opponents in expected goals on only three occasions, all of those coming away for California. However, it was a heavily rotated squad that suffered a 1-0 road loss at Vancouver a few weeks ago. Nashville's xG superiority last weekend owed to a converted penalty.
The five away wins for the outfit are tied for third best in MLS and the side played two fewer away matches than the teams above them.
After his 18-minute shift last weekend, Bale could again be used off the bench. That could be a good thing since LAFC leads all MLS clubs with 12 goals from their substitutes.
By The Numbers
- 5-1-3 — LAFC's away record (W-L-D) this season.
- +27 — The club’s second-half goal differential, which ranks No. 1 in the league.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Rarely does a visiting favorite provide value in MLS, which is a league where home teams win nearly 50% of the time. And this is one of them, especially given Sporting Kansas City’s defensive personnel questions.
Even without them, the visiting win rate between Sporting KC home matches and LAFC away games is 50%, and that's before controlling for the quality of the opponent.
However, how do we leverage the value? The trends support a Single Game Parlay on an LAFC victory and the total staying under 4.5 goals at +150 odds and an implied 40% probability. That trend has hit on eight of 18 occasions between LAFC travels and Sporting KC home matches.
Yet, LAFC's talent and depth (and the addition of Bale) combined with Sporting KC’s possible absences are reason to be more concerned about the host losing grip in the contest on the defensive side.
That said, I’m backing a Single Game Parlay pairing LAFC on the moneyline with the combined total clearing 1.5 goals at the same odds instead. The home/away trends don't support it quite as much, but the personnel picture does. And LAFC hasn’t won a game without scoring twice this season.
The Pick: Single Game Parlay — LAFC ML & Total Over 1.5 Goals (+150)