MLS Playoffs Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions for New England Revolution vs. Montreal Impact (Friday, Nov. 20)
Jose L. Argueta/ISI Photos/Getty Images. Pictured: New England Revolution stars Adam Buska, left, and Gustavo Bou.
- The MLS Playoffs are here! The New England Revolution and Montreal Impact face off Friday in the Play-In round.
- The Revolution enter as the slightly better squad, but are they a smart bet? Jeremy Pond previews the matchup, including his favorite betting picks.
New England vs. Montreal Odds
|New England Odds||-240 [BET NOW]|
|Montreal Odds||+575 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+380 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-200/+160) [BET NOW]|
|Time||6:30 p.m. ET|
Another Major League Soccer postseason starts Friday when New England hosts Montreal in an Eastern Conference play-in match at Gillette Stadium.
The Revolution, who enter as the No. 8 seed, are making their second consecutive trip to the playoffs after a three-year absence. Manager Bruce Arena holds the league record for most postseason wins (32) and hopes to secure the 33rd win of his career for a club, which enters the game following its 2-0 loss to Philadelphia in its regular-season finale.
On the other side, Montreal needed a come-from-behind 3-2 win over D.C. United on Decision Day to reach the playoff promised land. It’s been nothing but a mixed bag of results for the Impact and gaffer Thierry Henry, who could never seem to get anything consistently going during its campaign.
That said, let’s take a look at these sides that are meeting for the first time in the MLS playoffs.
New England Revolution
The Revolution have been anything but great as of late, winning just one of their last five fixtures to close out the regular season.
However, there is reason for some cautious optimism for New England as it embarks on the postseason journey. The finale against Philadelphia marked just the fourth time all season Arena was able to start his three Designated Players — Gustavo Bou, Adam Buksa and Carles Gil — in the same match.
If that trio can get anything going whatsoever, the Revolution could take things to a much higher level than they have been playing against the Impact.
Statistically, New England finished the regular season with decent numbers. The Revolution wound up with 33.0 expected goals for and 27.0 expected goals against, yielding a +6.0 xGDiff and +0.26 xGDiff/90 minutes. That xG was good enough for fifth overall out of 14 teams in the conference standings.
Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.
Obviously, expectations were high at the start of the season with Henry at the helm of the franchise. However, Montreal could not gain traction at any point this season and sputtered down the stretch, losing five of its last seven games.
As previously mentioned, though, the Impact enjoyed the biggest moment of their season last time out when they secured a playoff berth with that wild victory against D.C. United.
Can Montreal build off that triumph over New England? Henry and his troops hope so, but it won’t be easy against a team it’s beaten just once in its last five meetings.
The area definitely working against the Impact comes via the advanced metrics. Montreal accumulated a mediocre 27.6 XG and brutal 38.7 xGA, which generated an even worse -11.1 xGDiff and -0.48 xGDiff/90 minutes. Those xGDiff and xGDiff/90 statistics were second to last in the conference, trailing only D.C. United (-15.1 xGDiff/-0.65 xGDiff/90) on the table.
Bottom line, this really is a battle of subpar teams. Neither club impressed me much at any time, and I don’t see either getting past the next round.
With that in mind, I am backing New England to get the job done and advance. The Revolution’s advanced metrics are better and home-field advantage — whether it be at a barren or packed stadium — is going to mean a whole lot in this showcase of soccer mediocrity.
Add in that aforementioned recent track record, and you have a perfect spot for New England to move on.
I will also play the total to stay under the alternative number of three goals as well. I expect a tighter affair than the last two meetings that saw a combined nine goals scored and the defenses to take center stage.
The Picks: New England ML (-167) | Total Under 3 (-115)