Columbus vs. New England MLS Betting Odds & Pick: Don’t Expect Goals From Both Sides (July 3)

Columbus vs. New England MLS Betting Odds & Pick: Don’t Expect Goals From Both Sides (July 3) article feature image
Credit:

Emilee Chinn/Getty Images. Pictured: Manager Caleb Porter of the Columbus Crew.

  • The Columbus Crew open their new stadium Saturday when they take on the New England Revolution.
  • Columbus has had trouble finding the back of the net of late, while New England has been playing well thus far.
  • Ian Quillen breaks down the match below and details where he finds betting value in this MLS showdown.

Columbus vs. New England Odds

Columbus Odds +160
New England Odds +155
Draw +250
Over/Under 2.5 (-130 / -104)
Day | Time Saturday | 5 p.m. ET
TV ESPN
Odds as of Saturday afternoon via DraftKings

The Columbus Crew become the third and final Major League Soccer team to open a new stadium this season when they welcome the New England Revolution to Lower.com Field on Saturday for their match.

Columbus is returning from a scoreless two-game road swing after closing down historic Crew Stadium. However, the Crew did salvage a point from it in a scoreless draw against Austin that followed a 1-0 defeat at Philadelphia.

Out of sight relative to some of the league’s more glamorous clubs, New England has quietly built a résumé that proves the Revolution are capable of spoiling any party.

The Revolution enter the weekend tied with Sporting Kansas City for second in the Supporters’ Shield race and two points in front of Orlando City atop the Eastern Conference.

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Columbus Having Issues Capitalizing on Offense

Scoring hasn’t come as easily for the defending MLS Cup champion as it did last season.

The Crew have failed to find the net on six occasions, which is twice as many as in all their competitive matches in 2020. And according to StatsBomb, they’ve created less than 1.0 expected goal in seven of their 10 games. The reasons aren’t entirely clear, though they were one of the league’s biggest over-performer of their xG margin in 2020.

The spine — from Gyasi Zardes at striker to Lucas Zelarayan at attacking midfield, with Darlington Nagbe behind him — has been generally healthy. Yet, manager Caleb Porter has had to manage injuries to several of his supporting cast that were perhaps exacerbated by the spring challenge of the CONCACAF Champions League.

Midfielder Artur and reserve striker Bradley Wright-Phillips remain out. And with Zardes questionable with a calf injury, 21-year-old Romanian Alexandru Matan could get a chance to start the match leading the front line.

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New England Looking to Rebound Following Defeat

The Revolution are coming off what might be their most underwhelming performance, but to call it bad would be a stretch.

Texas is a notoriously difficult away destination this time of year, and the xG tally was a stalemate. Only teenager Ricardo Pepi’s breakout, two-goal performance earned Dallas three points and denied New England a point.

To halt the club might be as simple as stopping Carles Gil, but easier said than done. The Spaniard missed most of 2020 season with an injury, but returned in time to help the franchise reach the Eastern Conference final (where it lost to Columbus). Gil has followed that up with a strong league MVP bid.

According to MLS, Gil leads the league with 10 assists and 54 key passes. According to other record keepers who only include primary assists, his seven still top in the league and exceed the assists of five teams.

Only winger Luis Caicedo (lower body), who hasn’t seen the field this year, is on the injury report.

Betting Analysis & Pick

Before 2021, home teams had performed exceptionally well in recent MLS stadium openers, but after both FC Cincinnati and Austin FC failed to earn three points in their respective curtain raiser, I’m a little skittish backing Columbus against what has to date been a superior opponent.

Aside from Gil, it’s hard to explain why manager Bruce Arena’s Revolution have been so good. But that’s just it. They won a slugfest against D.C. United via their 1-0 shutout and a wide-open, 3-2 affair against New York City FC.

That leaves me thinking New England might be OK letting Columbus establish its more conservative approach, which makes playing under the total or no to both teams to score both attractive.

These bets would’ve hit in seven of the Crew’s last 10 games. The trends are even more stark in the recent Columbus-New England history, but that’s perhaps relevant since both managers have only been on board since 2019.

You’re probably getting value with either of those. At +135 odds and a 42.6% implied probability, I like no to both teams to scoring a bit better. It guards against the slim — but real — chance one side runs away with this thing, given the emotions and buildup of the moment.

Pick: Both Teams to Score — No (+135)

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