Two inconsistent teams meet in MLS this weekend, and bettors can count on goals as the Red Bulls take on Orlando in the Eastern Conference
Who do Bettors Favor?
Checking out the best-rated online sportsbooks it’s clear that the Red Bulls are expected to win this one. The New York side are rated as -130 favorites, with the visitors, Orlando, priced at around +400. And if you want to wager on the draw, that is available at +297.
|NYRB v Orlando|
Red Bulls Home Slump
The Red Bulls are still in the hunt for a top-four spot, but there have been worrying signs in recent MLS games. Going into this contest against Orlando, Gerhard Struber’s side have won only one of their last five in the league and one from six in all competitions.
That additional defeat was a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Saturday’s opponents at the end of July, which dumped them out of the US Open Cup at the semi-final stage. Prior to that game they had won only one from three – a high-scoring thriller in Austin – and their last two MLS fixtures saw them lose another entertaining game, this time 5-4 to Colorado, before being held to a draw against DC United.
The result is that they are eight points behind the Conference pace-setters Philadelphia and seven points clear of the teams chasing the playoffs. That still puts them in a strong position for a playoff spot, but their home form is a problem. They’ve only won three of their eleven MLS games at the Red Bull Arena and they need to arrest that home slump to avoid slipping any further.
Orlando Dropping in MLS
After a relatively strong start to the season, Oscar Pareja’s side has been dropping down the standings, recording a five-game winless streak that saw them slip out of the playoff spots.
Victory over the Red Bulls to secure a US Open Cup final spot was a big highlight, but in MLS, they have been struggling, losing their last three. After a narrow loss to Eastern Conference leaders Philadelphia, they were beaten by DC United at Audi Field. They led early though Junior Urso, but were unable to hang on, suffering a 2-1 defeat when DC scored twice in a four-minute spell to turn the game round.
That disappointment was followed by an even bigger defeat against New England Revolution at the weekend: a 3-0 reversal in which Orlando were not competitive at any stage. This means that they go into this weekend’s round of fixtures without a win in any of their most recent five MLS games, claiming two draws and losing three and with 30 points from 24 games. They’ve also dropped out of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference standings, though only on goal difference
MLS Betting Team News
The team news for the Red Bulls going into this weekend is relatively good, given the stage of the season. Struber will here be without midfield pair AJ Marcucci and Wikelman Carmona. Marcucci is continuing to recover from a shoulder problem, while Carmona has a foot injury. Otherwise, he has a full squad to choose from though Dru Yearwood and Cameron Harper are one booking away from suspension.
Orlando City will be missing goalkeeper Mason Stajduhar, who is still out with a jaw injury sustained back in May in a win over Inter Miami. Midfielder Joseph DeZart is also absent as he recovers from a knee injury, along with long-term absentee Gaston Gonzalez, who has undergone cruciate ligament surgery.
MLS Match Betting Pick
While playing at home should give the Red Bulls an advantage, Red Bulls fans may not be too hopeful going into this game, given the way that their team has performed at the Red Bull arena of late. But with both teams enduring a slump at the moment, it is hard to say who has the edge.
Orlando will be able to draw on that recent US Open Cup win but that game could also serve as motivation for the Red Bulls, who were humiliated by that 5-1 defeat. Ultimately, these are two inconsistent rivals and trying to pick a winner here is tough, so other markets make more appeal.
One factor that they have in common is that both teams tend to produce high-scoring games. Red Bulls games have averaged over 2.8 goals so far in MLS, while Orlando are at 2.6. Both teams have also recorded multiple 5+ goal games, with Red Bulls in particular producing some entertaining games, most notably their two recent contests against Colorado and DC which provided an aggregate of 16 goals. More entertainment can be expected on Saturday, and over 2.5 goals looks like a solid betting pick.