Sunday MLS Betting Odds, Picks & Preview: Nashville vs. Austin FC (May 23)
Brett Carlsen/Getty Images. Pictured: Nashville standout Daniel Lovitz.
- Nashville welcomes expansion side Austin FC to "Music City" for Sunday's Major League Soccer matchup.
- The hosts are unbeaten this season but have just one win win in those five contests.
- Ian Quillen breaks down the affair below and gives his top pick.
Nashville vs. Austin FC Odds
|Austin FC Odds||+390|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+118 / -144)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 9 p.m. ET|
|Odds updated Sunday morning via FanDuel.|
Nashville plays the unusual role of older brother when the second-year MLS club hosts expansion side Austin FC on Sunday in Major League Soccer action.
Nashville has begun it season much like ended the 2020 campaign, sitting among the toughest teams to break down defensively. The club has kept three consecutive clean sheets so far, en route to an early record of 1-0-4 (W-L-D) record.
Meanwhile, Austin began life in MLS in dreamy fashion by winning its second and third games in club history.
However, the reality of the league's parity and the rigors of an eight-match road trip to begin things have caught up to Austin lately in the form of consecutive defeats. Will a trip to Nashville end with a third loss?
Nashville Hoping To Continue Solid Start
Technically, Nashville was one of three teams to reach Week 6 undefeated. Yet, it's as much with a sense of opportunity lost as gained after opening with four home matches and only taking six points.
However, there have been improvements over the last 180 minutes.
Manager Gary Smith's squad was permitted to take a more comfortable counterattacking posture in a 2-0 win over New England and a 0-0 draw at Real Salt Lake, while holding the majority of possession in neither.
Striker Jhonder Cadiz is Nashville's only player with multiple goals, but after scoring in its first two matches, he has fallen out of Smith's starting XI in favor of veteran CJ Sapong.
Reigning MLS Defender of the Year Walker Zimmerman is questionable with a left ankle injury.
Austin FC Struggling Against Offensive Powers
Major League Soccer's newest club was in dreamland after beating Colorado and Minnesota. They were deserved wins after manager Josh Wolff's side created the better chances.
However, the league's elite attacking teams have consistently found joy against Austin.
Not only did Austin concede six goals in three games against Los Angeles Football Club, Sporting Kansas City and the Los Angeles Galaxy, the opportunities it allowed were worth 8.5 expected goals, according to MLSsoccer.com.
Cecilio Dominguez and Diego Fagundez each have two goals for Austin. Former San Jose striker Danny Hoesen has yet to score for his new club after he was taken with the first pick in the expansion draft.
Betting Analysis & Pick
There are two trends on Nashville's side that could influence your wager:
- Struggling to turn a point into three points
- Playing an abundance of low-scoring games
I'm paying more attention to the latter, because of both teams' relatively contradictory nature.
Austin is an average expansion team by talent, but in style one less afraid than most to send numbers forward. And Nashville is completely unafraid to play like the away team when at home, by absorbing pressure, staying organized and looking to exploit mistakes.
That could result in a draw or a narrow win for either side. Yet, I'm more confident it results in a match with only a couple of goals.
The price for under 2.5 goals is unusually high for an MLS match at -144 odds, but in my view, thats worth it.
Pick: Total Under 2.5 Goals (-144)