MLS: New York to Break Barren Spell

  • NYCFC v Columbus
  • Saturday, 17 June, 2023, 13:30 ET
  • At Yankee Stadium

NYCFC is in desperate need of a win, but it could be the best pick this weekend as it takes on Columbus Crew at Yankee Stadium.

Who do Bettors Favor?

According to the best-rated online sportsbooks NYCFC is rated as the favorite for this game with bettors, though not by a huge margin. The New York team is priced at +120 to win this home game, while the visiting team, Columbus, is rated at around +220 and the draw is available at +250.

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NYCFC Adrift in the East

The 2023 season has been a disaster so far for NYCFC and the team finds itself adrift in the Eastern Conference, in 13th position and already eight points short of the playoffs.

Back-to-back wins at Yankee Stadium in April suggested that the team was heading in the right direction after a slow start, but that proved to be a false dawn. The last eight games have produced just three points for NYCFC, with five defeats in that run, although it has managed to stop the rot over the course of the last two games, earning goalless draws against New England and Real Salt Lake.

It is not hard to see where the problem lies. Nick Cushing’s team has now scored three goals in its last six games and has also lost two of its last three home games. If the season is to be turned around, improving its form at Yankee Stadium will have to be a priority.

Columbus Among the Goals

While NYCFC fans have been enduring a goal drought, things could not be more different for those who follow Columbus Crew, which has been among the goals, finding the net 35 times in 17 games.

That record makes it the joint top-scoring team in all of MLS. The downside of its style of play is that Columbus has only the 11th-best defensive record in the Eastern Conference, despite currently being in seventh place in the table. In the last five games, Columbus has conceded 10 goals, yet has won three of those games, due to scoring 11 at the other end.

That unpredictability means that this team is tough to play against and tough to predict. A closer look at the team’s form, however, indicates that its away performances have tended to lag behind its overall results. Columbus has played eight road games so far this season and has lost five and drawn one, picking up wins against only DC United and lowly Chicago.

MLS Match Betting Head-to-Head

NYCFC joined MLS in 2015, so the head-to-head record between these teams is limited to the last eight years, but over that period, the two Eastern rivals have met 21 times.

Their first meeting came in August 2015 and ended in a 2-2 draw, and that relatively high-scoring game has set the tone for the following 20 meetings, which have averaged 3.5 goals per game, while being shared equally between the two teams.

Columbus has a slight edge with nine wins to NYCFC’s eight, and over the last two seasons, both teams have won one game apiece, but the record shows that Columbus has not fared well in New York. Of the ten games staged at Yankee Stadium, NYCFC has won seven, with Columbus winning only two.

MLS Match Betting Team News

Both teams were struggling with long lists of absentees last week but the team news is looking a little brighter for them going into this game.

Last week, NYCFC was without key defensive duo Maxime Chanot and Braian Cufre due to suspension, but both are now available. Thiago Martins, however, remains on the injury list as he begins his long recovery from knee surgery, and he has been joined by Keaton Parks, who won’t be back until July.

Columbus had a long injury list as well as several players who were considered doubtful last weekend, but that situation seems to have improved. Milos Degenek, Will Sands and Gustavo Vallecilla are all still out, but Josh Williams has recovered from his ankle injury and although a number of players including Eloy Room, Kevin Molino and Alex Matan were said to be struggling with minor problems, all should be available for this trip to New York.

MLS Match Betting Pick

Based on league position and results, Columbus should arguably be a shorter price here, but bookmakers are factoring in the team’s unpredictability as well as its poor record on the road and its historically poor record at this stadium.

NYCFC is at least looking defensively solid and with Chanot and Cufre back, that defensive reliability will only be enhanced. Given Columbus’ tendency to concede goals, I think NYCFC to win is the best pick in the match-betting market.

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Noelle Matthews

Noelle Matthews is a tennis and soccer fan who has been working in the betting industry for over 15 years and has written for some of the big players in the sector, including Betfair, ESPN and Sporting Life. She has an in-depth knowledge of both tennis and soccer betting and you can trust her reviews to include the most precise, knowledgeable information available.