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D.C. United vs. Chicago MLS Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Thursday, May 13)

D.C. United vs. Chicago MLS Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions (Thursday, May 13) article feature image

Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post via Getty Images. pictured:
Manager Hernan Losada of D.C. United, center, and midfielder Russell Canouse.

  • D.C. United hosts Chicago on Thursday in the lone Major League Soccer showdown on the card.
  • The Fire haven't won a match away from home since the end of the 2019 season.
  • Ian Quillen breaks things down below and explains why he's backing D.C. United in this spot.

D.C. United vs. Chicago Odds

D.C. United Odds+148
Chicago Odds+165
Over/Under2.5 (-150/ +116)
Day | TimeThursday | 8 p.m. ET
How To WatchESPN+
Odds updated Thursday morning via DraftKings.

Both D.C. United and Chicago will look to reverse sluggish Major League Soccer starts when they meet Thursday in the nation's capital.

D.C. United has endured growing pains while trying to install manager Hernan Losada's high-tempo, high-pressure style, losing three consecutive games on the road after opening the season with a home win.

The Fire are still searching for their first win and haven’t won away from home since the end of the 2019 campaign.

Each club is likely to eye this match as a precious, highly realistic chance at three points in a year that hasn't had many of them so far.

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D.C. United

Losada's squad has battled more injuries than any other in MLS, though his fitness-reliant system might shoulder some of the blame as players have struggled to get up to speed.

The Black and Red still have 13 names on their injury/availability list entering this contest, though United States international winger Paul Arriola appears nearing a return from a quadriceps issue.

Arriola would mark the second attacker to rejoin the fold after Ola Kamara made his season debut as a substitute, scoring a consolation goal in a 3-1 loss at Columbus last Saturday.

D.C. United's 3.13 expected goals (xG) in terms of the quality of chances created is the second-fewest in MLS entering thus match, according to American Soccer Analysis.

The same metrics suggest D.C. United has been a lethal combination of sloppy and unlucky defensively.

Its nine goals conceded are more than six than xG would've predicted. Three own goals from center backs are partly to blame.

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In my 2021 season preview, I suggested Fire striker Robert Beric would be a good darkhorse futures bet to win the MLS Golden Boot.

He's not off to a flying start. However, his 1.96 xG (per American Soccer Analysis) are still good for 10th in MLS, suggesting he's getting better chances than his lone goal suggests.

The problem is there aren't nearly enough opportunities created for anyone else to earn results if Beric is in a run of bad luck or poor finishing form. Luka Stojanovic is Beric's only teammate in the top 75 in MLS in xG (0.73) this season.

That deficit in diversity helps explain how the Fire have gone their last 224 minutes without finding the net under second-year coach Raphael Wicky, as do their own injury problems.

Playmaker Ignacio Aliseda remains out with a thigh issue, but midfielder Fabian Herbers is officially questionable and could make his season debut after missing Chicago's early games with an ailing knee.

Betting Analysis & Pick

There are two reasons to take D.C. United on the money line in this match.

The first is pretty remedial. The odds essentially split down the middle — despite D.C. United playing at home — suggest Chicago is the substantially better side, given how much home field matters in MLS.

Frankly, there's no actual evidence of that. And if anything, D.C. United has had the poorer luck in the small sample size that is four matches.

The second is more psychological. While D.C. United’s struggles with results and injuries are real, it’s also expected in early days of a new managerial regime.

The Fire are in a position where they might be more mentally fragile. It's now year No. 2 under Wicky and sporting director Georg Heitz. Without signs of progress from their first year, there's more reason for doubt to seep into the dressing room and coaching staff.

Neither team is consistent enough for any result to be surprising. Still, I like my chances betting on D.C. United at home at +148 odds or a 40% implied probability.

Pick: D.C. United ML (+148)

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