Orlando City vs. New York City Odds, Picks & Prediction For Saturday’s MLS Match
Andrew Bershaw/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Orlando City forward Nani.
- Has NYCFC's form been a rung above Orlando's so far? That's tough to say as both teams have been in good form but under specific circumstances.
- Which team has the edge on Saturday? Soccer betting analyst Ian Quillen breaks down the match below, complete with odds and a pick.
Orlando City vs. NYCFC Odds
|Orlando City Odds||+138|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-147 / +118)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 6 p.m. ET|
|Odds updated Friday afternoon via DraftKings.|
Orlando City and NYCFC each look to make a statement in the Eastern Conference when they meet early Saturday evening at Exploria Stadium.
Both sides are in good form, albeit after matches where they were expected to earn positive results.
The Lions snagged their first win in Week 3 against defensively challenged Cincinnati after opening the season with a pair of draws.
The Cityzens have won two in a row, but their first victory also came at home against Cincy, and excitement over a 2-0 away victory at Philadelphia should be tempered by the fact the Union were balancing Concacaf Champions League commitments and played the final 74 minutes with 10 men.
Saturday’s nationally televised contest is probably the stiffest test for either club so far.
The Lions will continue without Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato for 3-6 weeks after he had surgery on his injured right knee this week.
But they welcomed back Mauricio Pereyra in a 3-0 win over Cincy last weekend after the Uruguayan completed a two-match suspension to start the season.
Pereyra led Orlando with 0.41 assists per 90 minutes last season, and his return could free Nani to focus more on scoring and less on creating with Pato out and Daryl Dike still on loan in England.
Orlando dominated Cincy in the run of play in addition to on the scoreboard, generating 2.8 expected goals (xG), according to StatsBomb.
The Lions have shaded their opponents in xG all three of their matches, but averaged just above a goal per game in that metric in their opening two draws.
Paraguayan midfielder Jesús Medina could author a breakout season if he continues at his early scoring pace for the Cityzens.
Medina hit a brace as NYCFC romped past Cincy 5-0 in Week 2, then added an insurance tally against Philadelphia last Saturday night. He’s already more than halfway to his career-high of five MLS goals, which he compiled across 22 appearances last season.
Valentín Castellanos also has three goals — one in every match — for a club that advanced metrics suggest might be the best in MLS so far.
According to American Soccer Analysis, NYCFC is second in MLS in xG at 5.83 and leads the league in expected goal-difference at 3.79, the latter being a measurement of their own xG against their opponents’ in each game.
That suggests City was more unlucky than poor in a season-opening defeat at a D.C. squad that hasn’t won since.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Has NYCFC’s form been a rung above Orlando’s so far?
FiveThirtyEight’s modeling system certainly thinks so, installing City as slight favorites with a 39% chance of victory, despite the consistent edge home field provides in MLS.
The problem is the suspect circumstances of City’s best results that are at least partly informing those projections.
It’s hard to overstate how bad Cincinnati has been defensively, having allowed 10 unanswered goals in total entering a bye in Week 4. And NYCFC playing 74 minutes with an extra man against a rotated Philadelphia squad also flattered their performance.
Orlando has faced playoff-caliber opposition at full strength, and each match has ended in a draw.
There’s a solid chance of a similar outcome Saturday, in my view well above the 24% chance FiveThirtyEight projects and somewhat north of the 27% implied probability that +265 odds assume.
Pick: Draw, moneyline (+265)