Atlanta United vs. Philadelphia Union Odds, Preview, Predictions: How to Bet Sunday MLS Action (June 20)
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Marcelino Moreno.
- Atlanta United looks to get back on a winning track Sunday without its top goalscorer when it plays Philadelphia.
- The Union won four of their last five games before the international break, while Atlanta drew three of its four contests.
- Ian Quillen explains the betting value below and how he's backing both attacks in this MLS Eastern Conference emeeting.
Atlanta United vs. Philadelphia Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-104 / -125)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 2 p.m. ET|
|Odds updated Saturday afternoon via DraftKings.|
Atlanta United and Philadelphia meet for the first time in the regular season on Sunday, but they’re already plenty familiar with each other.
Earlier this spring, the Union bested Atlanta, 4-1, on aggregate over two legs of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals, including a 3-0 win in Atlanta in the opening leg. The win made Philadelphia the only remaining Major League Soccer team to reach the semifinal round.
Now, revenge might be on the mind of an Atlanta side that wants to get back to the winning ways it established through its first three MLS seasons.
Atlanta Enters Without Top Scorer
It’s a paradox of soccer that quite often the best performances don’t necessarily yield the best results.
That appears to be the case for the Five Stripes, who stormed to a 2-0 lead in their final game before the international break, only to concede two late goals in a 2-2 home draw to Nashville SC.
Josef Martinez, the club’s all-time leading scorer, is with the Venezuela national team at Copa America. Martinez appeared to be regaining strong form in an attack that is trying to be less reliant upon him under first-year manager Gabriel Heinze.
Marcelino Moreno leads Atlanta with three goals, while the absent Martinez has two. Winger Jurgen Damm is questionable with a lower body issue, while midfielder Mo Adams could potentially make his season debut after undergoing sports hernia surgery in March.
Union Adjusting Well After Key Departures
It’s not often you call the defending Supporters’ Shield winners one of the surprises of the season, but that’s exactly what the Union have been a quarter of the way through the 2021 campaign.
After losing playmaker Brenden Aaronson and center back Mark McKenzie to Europe, manager Jim Curtin’s squad has responded by going unbeaten in its last five games (four wins) prior to the international break.
Reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Andre Blake remains in 2020 form, having kept clean sheets in three consecutive games despite his side yielding at least 1.0 expected goal in each, according to StatsBomb.
A draw and two defeats to start the season were likely owed to the challenge of managing commitments in the Champions League, in which Philadelphia was more successful than its four MLS colleagues.
Holding midfielder Brujo Martinez is at Copa America with Martinez and Venezuela, while midfielder Daniel Gazdag is recovering from a knee injury sustained with Hungary at Euro 2020. Curtin’s squad is otherwise healthy.
Betting Analysis & Pick
With the obvious talent of both these sides, I look at this match in terms of who is the recent three-week layoff most likely to help and hurt.
Atlanta’s attack might be the most likely to benefit given Heinze molding his tactics to his roster in his first season with the club. Blake might be the most at risk of losing some of his rhythm for Philadelphia after continuing to bail his squad out over much of May with his shot-stopping ability.
That doesn’t necessarily mean I favor Atlanta or the total going over.
However, I think the Union’s clean sheet streak is likely to end. And since Curtin’s men have only been shut out once 11 on 11, betting yes on both teams scoring is the play for me.
The -137 odds convey a 57.8% probability or a less than 3-in-5 chance. That’s worth it to me.
Pick: Both Teams To Score — Yes (-137)