Los Angeles FC vs. Seattle: Saturday Major League Soccer Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (April 24)
Omar Vega/Getty Images. Pictured: Seattle Sounders standout Raúl Ruidíaz.
- There are plenty of questions surrounding Los Angeles FC and Seattle entering Saturday's Major League Soccer showdown.
- Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi are questionable with injuries for LAFC, as is Sounders' star Nicolas Lodeiro.
- Ian Quillen breaks it all down and gives his top pick below.
LAFC vs. Seattle Odds
|Over/Under||3.5 (+106 / -137)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 6 p.m. ET|
|Odds updated Friday evening via DraftKings.|
Seattle and Los Angeles FC have consistently produced entertaining clashes, but Saturday’s meeting is clouded by questions over the availability of star players on both sides.
Los Angeles’ former Golden Boot winners — Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi — could miss out. Vela (quad) had not resumed full training as of Bob Bradley’s regular press conference earlier in the week, and Rossi failed a late fitness test prior to last week’s opener.
Meanwhile, former Major League Soccer MVP Nicolás Lodeiro is questionable for the Sounders with a quad issue that kept him out of his side’s 2021 debut.
The result — and a successful wager — might hinge on which team’s supporting cast can rise to the occasion to make a big play.
Second-half goals from Jose Cifuentes and Corey Baird spared Bradley some embarrassment after he appeared to prematurely sub off Vela in the first half of a 2-0 home win over Austin in the visitor’s inaugural match.
Even without Vela, a heavily favored Los Angeles eventually proved itself a class above the expansion side, creating 2.7 expected goals (xG) compared to Austin’s 0.7 xG, according to MLSsoccer.com.
However, defeating an expansion club while shorthanded is different from trying to take on the Seattle, which has eliminated Los Angeles from the postseason the past two years.
Even Los Angeles’ most obvious backup option up top — Danny Musovski — is questionable with a hip issue, which could bring Baird into the No. 9 role.
Without Lodeiro, the Sounders completed a 4-0 rout of Minnesota in their home opener on a night the final score flattered the hosts.
Aside from a first-half penalty — which Raúl Ruidíaz had saved — the visitors carried decidedly more of the play until Joao Paulo scored on a stunning strike that earned MLS Goal of the Week honors.
It unraveled from there for Minnesota, with Ruidíaz scoring twice and Fredy Montero adding a late goal in the rematch of last year’s Western Conference title game.
Even the xG totals were deceiving. Most of Seattle’s 2.8-1.2 xG edge was built after going ahead, and the majority of its xG total from before Paulo’s strike could be attributed to Ruidíaz’s penalty miss.
Betting Analysis & Pick
If you don’t trust the injury report and won’t wait for the team sheet, back the over on the total. These teams have combined to score four or more in six of their last eight meetings, plus they’re pretty loyal to their attacking styles.
However, let’s assume Vela, Rossi and Lodeiro are out. Which team is worse off in that case?
We might look at American Soccer Analysis’ goals-added metric (G+), which quantifies a players’ actions all over the field — not just near the goal — to rate how many theoretical goals above average he contributes at his position.
Rossi finished third in MLS in at 2.07 G+ the season he won the 2020 Golden Boot. Vela posted an incredible 10.46 g+ to lead MLS when he captured the same honor in 2019. Lodeiro was not in the top 30 in the league in either year.
Lodeiros’s availability probably isn’t as consequential as Rossi’s or particularly Vela’s if I’m being honest. If all three are out, it’s a clear advantage to the Sounders and more than worth taking them to win or draw away at +100 odds.
Pick: Double Chance — Sounders or Draw (+100)