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Philadelphia Union vs. Columbus Crew Odds, Picks, Predictions: Expect Low-Scoring Match

Philadelphia Union vs. Columbus Crew Odds, Picks, Predictions: Expect Low-Scoring Match article feature image

Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Cory Burke.

  • The Philadelphia Union host the Columbus Crew on Wednesday night in a big MLS regular-season matchup.
  • The Union are thriving after losing some key pieces from last year’s Supporters’ Shield-winning side, while Columbus enters having won three straight.
  • Ian Quillen breaks down the matchup and explains below where he sees value for bettors.

Philadelphia vs. Columbus Odds

Philadelphia Odds -120
Columbus Odds +300
Draw +270
Over/Under 2.5 (-108 / -125)
Day | Time Wednesday | 7:30 p.m. ET
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Odds updated Tuesday evening via DraftKings.

The Philadelphia Union and Columbus Crew put their respective good form on the line on Wednesday night in a meeting of the defending Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup holders.

Shield holders Philadelphia are unbeaten in their last six, taking 14 points in that stretch. The Union most recently rallied from two goals down late to draw Atlanta United 2-2 on Sunday.

Cup winning Columbus has won three in a row and is heading toward the opening of their new downtown stadium.

The Crew closed down Historic Crew Stadium in style on Saturday with a 2-0 victory over the Chicago Fire.

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Union Come in off Stellar Result

The Union conceded multiple goals for the third time this season against Atlanta, which merely provided yet another opportunity for manager Jim Curtin’s side to display their resiliency.

Cory Burke scored his third goal of the season merely a minute after Anton Walkes gave the hosts a 2-0 lead. Then Jakob Glesnes’ brilliant 35-yard strike leveled the match in second-half stoppage time.

The result was deserved after Philadelphia led Atlanta 2.1 to 0.9 in expected goals (xG), according to StatsBomb, and fell behind on an unfortunate own-goal off Kacper Przybylko’s head.

Burke and Przybylko each have three goals so far in the league, and Przybylko has five more in the 2021 Concacaf Champions League.  But the Union have some holes in midfield.

Attacking midfielder Anthony Fontana is out and in the league’s concussion protocol. Midfielder Brujo Martinez, who often slots behind Fontana, is still out at Copa America with the Venezuela national team.

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Columbus Showing No Signs of Slowing Down

Reports of Columbus’ decline have been greatly exaggerated.

After failing to score in four of their first five league matches and winning only once, the Crew have assembled three consecutive victories.

It started when Lucas Zelarayan struck twice on free kicks to turn a late deficit into a 2-1 away win at NYCFC.

Columbus followed that with a narrow home win over Toronto before the international break, then returned with an extremely comfortable victory against a struggling Chicago side sparked by Gyasi Zardes’ brace.

Zelarayan and Zardes each have three goals this season. And manager Caleb Porter could see several players return: Fullback Milton Valenzuela (thigh), holding midfielder Perry Kitchen (thigh) and attacker Luis Diaz (knee) are all questionable on the team’s injury report after previously missing games.

Betting Analysis & Pick

When the line opened, I bet Columbus to win at +410 odds and an implied probability of 19.6%.

Even with Philly’s home field advantage, the combination of the Crew’s extra days’ rest and their recent success against the Union — going unbeaten in their last four– made it too much value to pass up.

I’m not convinced that’s the case at +300 odds, where the line sits now. So I took a second look at the recent series history (the games since both managers have been in their current role.)

In five games between Curtin and Porter, both teams have found the net only once. In fact, the trend goes back even further in this series, with both teams only scoring once in the last 10 meetings back to 2017.

Is there an obvious reason? Not really. But styles make fights. And the trend is so pronounced that — without anything else really jumping at me — I’m willing to play no on both teams to score at -112 odds and a 52.8% probability.

Pick: Both teams to score: No (-112)

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