San Jose vs. Los Angeles Galaxy Odds, Picks, Predictions: Sunday MLS Action Betting Preview (June 26)
Michael Janosz/ISI Photos/Getty Images. Pictured: Los Angeles Galaxy star Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.
- The San Jose Earthquakes go up against the Los Angeles Galaxy in Saturday's MLS action.
- Los Angeles, which is led by Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, is coming off a thriling win against Vancouver.
- Ian Quillen explains below why he's backing the total to go over the number.
San Jose vs. LA Galaxy Odds
|San Jose Odds||+107|
|LA Galaxy Odds||+220|
|Over/Under||3.5 (+110 / -150)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 10 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||UniMás | fuboTV|
|Odds updated Friday evening via DraftKings.|
The San Jose Earthquakes hope a visit from the Los Angeles Galaxy on Saturday will be the occasion that shakes them out of an extended funk in the latest battle of these California Clásico rivals.
San Jose is winless with five defeats in its last six games, including Tuesday’s embarrassing 5-0 loss at Orlando City. Meanwhile, the Galaxy continue to give as good as they get in their first year under former Toronto FC manager Greg Vanney.
Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez is tied atop the MLS Golden Boot race with eight goals. And Los Angeles preserved its record of not going multiple games without a win in its dramatic 2-1 victory over Vancouver on Wednesday, one where the teams’ traded second-half, stoppage-time goals.
San Jose Falling on Hard Times Despite Decent Numbers
The Quakes have been unlucky and wasteful more than poor through most of their slide, with three of their five losses coming despite creating more expected goals than the opposition.
However, that wasn’t the case Tuesday in an encounter that got sideways after Florian Jungwirth felled Benji Michel in the penalty area early in the match. Nani converted the penalty and things snowballed from there. It was reminiscent of last year’s squad, which suffered 10 of its 12 defeats by three or more goals.
Perhaps manager Matias Almeyda’s decision to make only one change to his starting XI three days following a goalless draw against Austin FC was partly to blame. That included leaving 17-year-old attacker Cade Cowell on the bench for a second consecutive match after he had been a de facto starter before the international break.
Cowell hasn’t scored or assisted a goal since a 4-1 victory over D.C. United in the second week of the season. However, only two Earthquakes have actually found the net since: Chris Wondolowski twice in super-sub action in Week 3; and, Chofis Lopez in a 3-1 home loss to Sporting Kansas City back on May 22.
Fullback Luciano Abecasis and winger Carlos Fierro are both out with thigh injuries. Abecasis had come on as a substitute in Tuesday’s defeat.
Galaxy Getting Huge Season From Goalkeeper Bond
While Chicharito gets understandable plaudits for Los Angeles’ turnaround, an equally important figure can be found on the opposite end of the pitch in goalkeeper Jonathan Bond.
The Englishman offered a man-of-the-match worthy performance in the Galaxy’s previous 1-0 California Clásico win before the international break.
And after a crazy exchange of goals in second-half stoppage time against Vancouver, his denial of Caio Alexandre in the 96th minute enabled the Galaxy to return to California with all three points.
Also, 19-year-old winger Efrain Alvarez is also coming into his own in his third MLS season. His match winner against Vancouver was his first goal of the season and second of his career. However, it had been coming.
Aside from Chicharito, Alvarez is the only Galaxy player averaging more than 0.50 combined expected goals and assists per 90 minutes, according to StatsBomb.
Center back Derrick Williams is still in the middle of a six-game suspension for his challenge that ended Portland midfielder Andy Polo’s season. Yet, there might be a hint of defensive improvement for Los Angeles. The Galaxy went on the road and conceded less than 1.0 xG to an opponent for the first time this season in Wednesday’s win.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Before the first meeting between these clubs in late May, I wrote how the clearest value in this fixture was betting the total over 3.5 goals.
Since Almeyda has arrived at San Jose with his man-marking, 90-minutes-of-Hell approach, half of the fixtures between these clubs had gone above that threshold. Of course, what followed was a tight 1-0 Galaxy victory. Yet, there were clearly enough chances for the score to be much higher, with the teams totaling 4.3 xG between them.
The Earthquakes are in an offensive funk, but aside from their most recent nasty loss, they continue to create chances as often as they concede them. Their offense is due for a correction, even if the defense might struggle to corral Chicharito and company.
I don’t hate backing San Jose as a +107 favorite — an implied probability of 48.3% — when it has had a day more to prepare and a recent history of responding positively to lopsided losses.
However, I still believe goals will come in bunches in this rivalry as often as they do not. That means over the total — at +110 odds and an implied 47.6% probability — is still a good play here like it was a month ago, even if it didn’t work out then.
Pick: Total Over 3.5 Goals (+110)