Nashville look overpriced for their trip to take on DC United this weekend and they can pick up another win as they aim to cement a playoff spot.
Who do Bettors Favor?
According to the best-rated online sportsbooks DC United are rated as narrow favorites for this game at odds of around +130. Nashville are considered the slight outsiders ahead of their trip to Washington, with the draw available at a price of +260
|DC United v Nashville||XBets|
DC Struggles Ongoing
DC’s failure to make the playoffs for the second season in a row meant that Hernan Losada was under pressure from the first kick off this season and a run of four consecutive defeats into April saw the franchise act to remove the head coach.
Victories over Houston and New England in the spring, shortly after Losada’s departure suggested that they might be getting back on track, but they’ve since picked up only one point in four games, losing to both New York teams and, most embarrassingly, slipping to a 1-0 loss against rock bottom Chicago Fire, last weekend.
In fact, their record of eight defeats in 14 games is the worst in MLS and despite the best efforts of interim coach Chad Ashton, their struggles are ongoing.
Nashville in Contention Again
Nashville have earned a reputation as a consistent presence in and around the playoffs, and they are in contention again this season, currently lying in sixth place in the Western Conference, with a typically impressive defensive record.
They have generally been much more effective at home than on the road, although their 25-game unbeaten home run came to an end with a 2-1 defeat against Kansas, although they were arguably unlucky not to get at least a point out of that game.
Still, they have also managed to win four games away from home this season and their resilience is underlined by the fact that they haven’t lost a game in which they have taken the lead in 2022.
MLS Betting Team News
Andy Najar is set to miss this game for DC United, having returned from injury against Chicago, a game in which he earned another yellow card, triggering a suspension, though Brendan Hines-Ike, who was suspended against Chicago will be available for selection again here.
Doubts remain, however, about the fitness of a number of key players. Adrien Perez has been suffering from a foot problem, while Moses Nyeman, Gaoussou Samake and Chris Odoi-Atsem are all currently on the injured list and may not be in contention for the starting line-up.
Nashville were missing a number of players for the game against Kansas, but Randall Leal made a welcome return to the bench after recovering from an ankle injury and may get a start here. Teal Bunbury, Handwalla Bwana and Robert Castellanos all remain doubtful.
In other team news, goalkeeper Joe Willis will be aiming to record his 45th career clean sheet in this game, Hany Mukhtar will once again be the main focus of the Nashville attacks. The German currently leads MLS in both shot attempts and shots on target, although he is tied for 14th in goals scored.
MLS Betting Pick
DC United are the favorites here, and there’s no doubt that home advantage still counts for something, no matter what a team’s form, but I still think they are overrated based on what we’ve seen this season.
They certainly have the potential to score goals, but their attacking play is hit and miss and although Ashton has made a point of talking about encouraging players to express themselves, they remain vulnerable in most departments; a situation not helped by their ongoing injury problems.
They are also up against one of the most resilient teams in MLS. Nashville have not been phased by the switch to the Western Conference made necessary by the addition of Charlotte to the league and have continued to do what they do best: defend like tigers.
They remain the leading team in MLS when it comes to shutting down space in their own penalty box, making it tough for opposing sides to even get a shot at goal and that means that even teams in good form have to be patient: something that DC United may struggle with.
Nashville’s main soccer identity has been that of the rugged defensive unit, but they have shown this season that they can also find a way to win, despite some changes in line-up and formation, and can create enough chances to win games when required.
Overall this is likely to be a scrappy game and not one for the purists, but at the current odds, I think Nashville are the best pick.