MLS Odds, Picks, Predictions: LA Galaxy vs. Sporting Kansas City Betting Preview (July 4)

MLS Odds, Picks, Predictions: LA Galaxy vs. Sporting Kansas City Betting Preview (July 4) article feature image
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Michael Janosz/ISI Photos/Getty Images. pictured: Los Angeles Galaxy star Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.

  • The Los Angeles Galaxy square off against Sporting Kansas City on Sunday in an MLS matchup.
  • The Galaxy have won five of their last seven games behind the standout Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, who has a league-leading 10 goals.
  • Ian Quillen breaks down the contest below and details why he likes Los Angeles to pull off the victory.

LA Galaxy vs. Sporting KC Odds

LA Galaxy Odds +155
Sporting KC Odds +148
Draw +270
Over/Under 3.5 ( +135/ -182)
Day | Time Sunday | 10:30 p.m. ET
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Odds as of Sunday morning via DraftKings

The Los Angeles Galaxy and Sporting Kansas City are trying to keep pace with the Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference race, which means trying to beat each other in Sunday’s Major League Soccer match.

The Galaxy have won five of their last seven games behind the heroics of Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, whose 10 goals led all of MLS entering Sunday’s fixtures.

Sporting KC has  countered with six goals from their own Mexican striker in Alan Pulido, as well as seven from Hungarian winger Daniel Salloi. The visiting side has also won five of seven contests as it heads to Southern California.

That said, can either team make it six of eight in this matchup?

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Los Angeles Playing Well, But Still Getting Better

The Galaxy’s staple victory this season came against rival Los Angeles Football Club back in early May, but there have been more subtle signs of improvement since that triumph.

For example, Los Angeles has won both of its California Clasico fixtures against San Jose. However, the first required a fortunate own-goal, a home crowd and an other-worldly performance from goalkeeper Jonathan Bond.

The second? It was a comfortable 3-1 win on the road a few weeks later, where the Galaxy exceeded the Earthquakes by 1.2 expected goals,  according to StatsBomb.

Additionally, the idea Chicharito might fizzle out after an explosive start is less credible than it was two weeks ago. Mexico’s all-time leading international goal scorer has three goals in his last two games after he went three matches without finding the back of the net.

The Galaxy are mostly healthy, but will lose midfielders Jonathan dos Santos and Efrain Alvarez to join Mexico to prepare for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

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Pulido, Salloi Power Balanced Sporting KC Offense

Salloi and Pulido continued their impressive seasons when each scored to help Sporting KC rally to a 2-1 home victory over LAFC last Saturday.

It was the second come-from-behind Sporting KC win this season, aided by a red card to an opposing player. That came when Tristan Blackmon pulled down Salloi and denying a goal scoring opportunity.

Sporting KC also rallied for a 2-1 win against Austin FC in similar circumstances.

Pulido will also be away with the Mexican national team. Even if he wasn’t, he would’ve missed this game with a foot injury suffered against LAFC, manager Peter Vermes said.

Defender Jaylin Lindsey is out with a hamstring injury he acquired against LAFC, which is another blow for a back line desperately trying to develop consistency.

Sporting KC have mainly compiled its strong form by outscoring opponents, given that it has conceded at least a goal in every match it has played.


Betting Analysis & Pick

Bettors apparently still aren’t believers in the Galaxy, who opened as favorites around +120 odds and have slid to fractional underdogs.

That’s an odd place to be for a team playing at home against an opponent that is averaging slightly fewer points per game. It’s possible bettors just haven’t caught up to the idea that the Galaxy are legit. Yet, it’s more likely they’re looking at goal difference, xG and other statistics that suggest Los Angeles has been luckier than good.

The Galaxy have actually allowed opponents 3.3 more xG than they’ve created, according to StatsBomb, and they’re outperforming those numbers by a +5.3 goal margin. Sporting KC has created 8.6 more xG than it has allowed, plus in terms of actual goal differential it’s -1.6 goals behind what xG predicts.

Context matters, though. In this case, the context is that Sporting KC has twice played nearly a full half with a man advantage. Meanwhile, the LA Galaxy have played one half a man down.

Sporting KC’s +7 goal difference is five better than Los Angeles in the same category, but if you only consider goal difference playing 11 on 11, the home side’s number rises to +5 and Sporting’s drops to +3 overall.

The TL/DR version: The analytics skew unnaturally in Sporting KC’s direction. That might be why the line moved that way. Either way, home-field advantage is probably larger than any inherent edge Sporting KC has in this game.

The Galaxy weren’t giving much value when the line opened, but at +155 odds and a 39.2% implied probability, they are now and will be my top pick.

Pick: LA Galaxy ML (+155)

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