Sunday MLS Odds, Picks, Predictions: LA Galaxy vs. Minnesota United Betting Preview

Sunday MLS Odds, Picks, Predictions: LA Galaxy vs. Minnesota United Betting Preview article feature image
Credit:

Shaun Clark/Getty Images. Pictured: Chicharito.

  • Minnesota United hosts the Los Angeles Galaxy on Sunday in a match ripe with Major League Soccer playoff implications.
  • A win or a draw for Minnesota and it's guaranteed a postseason berth, while the Galaxy need to win or tie with some help.
  • Ian Quillen breaks down the game below and gives his top pick.

LA Galaxy vs. Minnesota Odds

LA Galaxy Odds -105
Minnesota Odds +270
Draw +280
Over/Under 2.5 (-150 / +120)
Day | Time Sunday | 6 p.m. ET
How To Watch FS1 | fuboTV
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

A place in the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs is on the line when the LA Galaxy host Minnesota United on Sunday.

The Galaxy are guaranteed a postseason spot with a win, while United can seal the spot with either a win or a draw in this regular season finale.

Los Angeles is coming off a 1-1 draw at the Seattle Sounders on Monday night, while Minnesota defeated Sporting Kansas City 2-1 at home on Sunday.

It’s these teams’ third meeting of the season. Each has one previous victory in a pair of matches played in the Twin Cities.

LA Galaxy: Win (Or Tie With Some Help) & In

The Galaxy have escaped a nine-match winless run that plagued them from mid August to early October. That doesn’t mean they’ve answered all the questions those struggles raised.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez proved the illness that kept him out of a loss in Kansas City was not a major worry in a man-of-the-match performance in Monday’s draw in Seattle.

But Mexico’s all-time leading international scorer still has five of LA’s last 11 goals, and 15 of the Galaxy’s 28 in games he’s played.

However talented Chicharito may be, that kind of offensive imbalance can be more easily shut down by playoff-caliber opponents.

On the other hand, the analytics suggest LA’s performances have improved materially in the last 11 matches since Chicharito’s return.

The Galaxy have led opponents 15.5 to 12.3 in expected goals (xG) created during that stretch. Over the whole season, the Galaxy lag opponents 47.1 to 50.6 in the statistic.

Minnesota Brings Balanced Attack

While there’s something to be said for balance, it’s tempting to wonder what Minnesota could accomplish with a Chicharito-type striker in the lineup.

The Loons are one of the rare playoff contenders without a double-digit scorer. Robin Lod’s eight lead the team as one of four players with five or more.

That balance has helped Minnesota survive. But the lack of a productive leading striker is likely the reason the Loons’ -2 goal differential is more than seven below what xG has predicted.

It may also explain why Ardrian Heath’s claim that Emanuel Reynoso is among the best players in the league might be right.

Reynoso’s stat line is pedestrian for an attacking midfielder — five goals and four primary assists.

But teammates are repeatedly letting the former Boca Juniors man down. According to xG modeles, Reynoso’s primary assist tally should be closer to nine.

Reynoso’s ability to draw and convert his own penalty helped Minnesota earn a critical 2-1 home win over Sporting Kansas City. Otherwise, it might’ve been another match where the final score didn’t reflect the Loons’ superiority in the run of play.

Captain Osvaldo Alonso will have to serve a one-match yellow-card suspension.

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Betting Analysis & Pick

We know Minnesota can lock up a spot in the playoffs with a win or a draw.

We also know there are scenarios where a draw will be enough for the Galaxy, which the home team bench will be aware of while monitoring out-of-town scores.

And the two previous meetings in Minnesota were very even, with 2.6 xG created by the host Loons and 2.3 by the Galaxy.

So, I’m playing the draw in this match.

The Loons have drawn seven of 16 away matches. The Galaxy have only drawn four at home, but those have mostly come recently.

At +280 odds and an implied 26.7% probability, that would be good value even if you were only betting the sample of 11 draws in the 32 combined matches in that sample.

Add the recent form, and chance results elsewhere have both teams shutting it down after the 75th minute, and it’s the way to go for me.

Pick: Draw (+280)

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