MLS Betting Odds, Picks: Philadelphia Union Is Undervalued vs. Sporting KC
Emilee Chinn/Getty Images. Pictured: Graham Zusi
- The MLS Is Back Tournament is down to the quarterfinals in Orlando, and tonight the Philadelphia Union will take on Sporting KC at 8 p.m. ET.
- KC is the listed favorite at -104 odds, but the advanced analytics actually suggest that the Union are more likely to win this match.
- See the full betting odds and analysis on this match below, plus the best way to bet an undervalued Union squad.
Philadelphia vs. Sporting KC Odds
|Philadelphia Union Odds||+260 [BET NOW]|
|Sporting KC Odds||-104 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+255 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-136o/+105u) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Thursday, 8 p.m. ET|
Things are surely going to heat up Thursday at the MLS is Back tournament, with Philadelphia taking on Sporting Kansas City in an exciting quarterfinal match in Orlando.
The winner advances to the semifinal round, where it will take on either Portland or New York City FC for the right to play for the championship.
Philadelphia, despite winning Group A in the opening stage, continues to receive somewhat of a level of disrespect from the betting market.
The Union secured their place in the quarterfinal round with a 1-0 shutout against New England in Round of 16 action and weren’t threatened much at all.
On the other side, heavily favored Sporting Kansas City needed penalty kicks to get past undermanned Vancouver after playing to a scoreless draw in regulation. Sporting Kansas City racked up an unreal 36 shot attempts in that match, but could not find the winner before surviving in the shootout.
Oddsmakers have installed Sporting Kansas City as a relatively large favorite, but the analytics and statistical numbers point the opposite way. Philadelphia is actually ranked higher in the FiveThirtyEight Soccer Power Index at 44.0 points, which is just ahead of Sporting Kansas City (42.5 points) in the overall SPI numbers.
The Union also has a 53% chance of advancing to the semifinal round, according to FiveThirtyEight’s data.
That said, this really has the makings of a tight affair that really could go either way despite what the market shows.
Sporting Kansas City holds a 3-2-1 record against Philadelphia in their last six meetings, but were outscored a combined 8-7 in those contests. This game is so evenly matched that the slightest gaffe from either club could prove costly and decide the outcome.
With all that taken into consideration, I am backing Philadelphia to cover the spread as the slight underdog. The Union are a sneaky good club, have been a model of consistency at the tournament and seem to step up its level of intensity as the matches get more difficult in Florida.
I am also playing the total to stay under the number. The last five matches between these sides has finished with two goals or fewer and I see that trend continuing in this showdown.
The Bets: Philadelphia +0.5 (-120); Total Under 3 Goals (-155)