MLS Playoffs Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Seattle Sounders vs. LAFC (Tuesday, Nov. 24)
Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: Nicolas Lodeiro (left) and Jordan Morris.
Seattle Sounders vs. LAFC Odds
|Seattle Sounders Odds||+114 [BET NOW]|
|LAFC Odds||+205 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+270 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||3.5 (+104/-139) [BET NOW]|
|Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
The Seattle Sounders and LAFC face off on Tuesday night for the highest-profile first-round matchup of the MLS playoffs.
Seattle has proved time and time again that it is a big threat to win it all. LAFC have had a tough year for their standards but will still be a tough out for the Sounders at home.
The Sounders finished second in the Western Conference. They were level on 39 points with Sporting KC and Portland, but Kansas City played the fewest games and had the best point-per-game average.
Seattle is tied with the Philadelphia Union at +500 to win MLS Cup. Only Sporting KC (+400) is above those clubs. With the Sounders’ current makeup, they have proven to be a legitimate contender to lift the cup and were a bet of mine to be the last team standing.
I’m always impressed with the shape Seattle plays with and how infrequent it is for the Sounders to be out of position. Also, having attacking options like Raul Ruidiaz, Jordan Morris and Nicolas Lodeiro usually proves to be significant at this point in the season. I think they are going to win it all this year.
From an advanced data perspective, Seattle generated 1.86 expected goals (xG) per game while only conceding 1.07 expected goals allowed (xGA) per game. Those numbers are impressive. If we isolate their home games, the xG jumps to 2.23 per contest and xGA moves to 1.18.
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.
Seattle was 8-3-2 at home this season, a very good record. The Sounders have dropped a game here and there, but I expect them to be locked in and focused for this matchup with LAFC. On the injury/COVID-19 front, Seattle are in good shape. Ruidiaz was a question mark from playing in the Peruvian national team, but it sounds like he is a go.
At full strength, the Sounders will be an incredibly tough out.
Los Angeles FC
Having been one of the dominant forces in the MLS since their inception in 2018, including winning the Supporters’ Shield last year, LAFC came back to earth this season. In my opinion, there were two reasons for this. One was the injury/absence of Carlos Vela, who was the best player in the MLS last season, since play restarted in the Orlando bubble. Vela is back, and that should undoubtedly help the club.
The second reason is their struggles defensively. Letting center back Walker Zimmerman go to Nashville was a decision that hurt LAFC at the back.
The biggest storyline in this game for LAFC has to do with positive COVID-19 tests, unfortunately. They will be without Diego Rossi, Brian Rodriguez, Jose Cifuentes and Diego Palacios all due to the virus. Missing Rodriguez is unfortunate, but Rossi is the biggest loss. The Uruguayan took his opportunity while Vela was out and won the MLS Golden Boot this season. Rossi was by far LAFC’s best player this year, and they will need to quickly adjust to life without him against Seattle.
From an xG perspective, LAFC are still a strong side. They generated 1.99 xG per game while conceding 1.36 per game. A +0.63 xG differential is pretty solid relative to Seattle’s +0.79, especially without Vela for a large chunk of the season.
I view LAFC as an extremely dangerous side on the front foot, even more so if both Rossi and Vela were in the team. Rossi generated 0.63 xG per game all by himself over 19 games. That’s even above Vela’s 0.56 for the limited seven fixtures in which he has played.
A final cause for concern is LAFC’s 2-1-7 road record. And one of the two wins came in the MLS Is Back tournament in Orlando.
Seattle Sounders-LAFC Pick
I would back Seattle on a neutral field given its track record in this tournament and the year that the Sounders have had. But this one is in Seattle, and combine that with LAFC’s struggles and absences due to positive COVID-19 tests, one of which is the league’s top scorer? Yeah, this is Seattle for me all the way.
Give me the Seattle moneyline at +114 all the way. I also see a minimum of three goals, so that will be a play for me as well.
Pick: Seattle ML +114, Over 3 (-157) or Over 3.25 (-117)