- NYCFC v Atlanta United
- Saturday, April 08, 19:30 EST
- Yankee Stadium
Atlanta United has made a good start to the 2023 season and it looks like a good pick to earn a victory in New York this weekend.
Who do Bettors Favor?
The best-rated online sportsbooks indicate that bettors are favoring the home side here as NYCFC is rated as -112 chances to win this game against its Eastern Conference rivals. The draw is priced at around +275 and the visiting team is a +300 chance to earn the win.
|NYCFC v Atlanta|
NYCFC Looking for Second Season Bump
The arrival of a new head coach at NYCFC usually coincides with a first-season dip, followed by a second-season bump, and after winning the MLS Cup in 2021, the New York team couldn’t match that under new head coach Nick Cushing in 2022, bowing out in the Conference Finals.
While that still represents a strong season, NYCFC fans will be hoping that the second-season bump kicks in and propels the team back to the MLS Cup Final in 2023. That may be hard to achieve, however, given the transitional nature of this season. Maxi Morales, Sean Johnson and Alex Callens have all departed and the team has made an unsteady start to the new season.
Back-to-back home wins against Miami and DC in the middle of March gave the fans something to cheer about, but those successes were sandwiched between four poor road performances, which saw City lose to Nashville and Houston, and draw with Chicago and New England.
Atlanta Starting Strong
Atlanta United suffered horrendous injury problems last season yet still managed to finish in the playoffs, and with some shrewd recruitment over the summer, things are looking up for the Five Stripes, at least based on what we’ve seen from its strong start to 2023.
Four wins and a draw from six games have propelled Atlanta to second place in the East and the team has scored a healthy 13 goals over that period, including five in a big home win against Portland.
There are still problems, however. Last season, the Atlanta defense was fragile and already this time round, it has conceded nine times. Admittedly, six of those goals came in one game: a surprise 6-1 loss in Columbus, but only five teams in the whole of MLS have conceded more goals so far, and all five of those teams are in the bottom five in their respective Conferences.
The addition of Luis Abram to partner Miles Robinson in central defense was supposed to be a significant fix for the team’s 2022 defensive woes, but the early signs are that more work is still required in that area.
MTS MLS Betting Head-to-Head
Atlanta United joined MLS in 2017 and since then, the head-to-head record shows that these two teams have played one another 13 times.
Although the record indicates that this is a close fixture overall, with five wins for NYCFC and four for Atlanta, both teams have enjoyed a period of dominance.
Their first game, in May 2017, ended in a 3-1 Atlanta win and the Five Stripes had the better of their encounters, winning four of the first six and sharing two draws. Two of those wins came during the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals, as Atlanta marched on to MLS Cup glory.
In September 2019, however, NYCFC beat Atlanta for the first time and since then, has not lost to the team from Georgia. It also gained some post-season revenge, by dumping Atlanta out of the playoffs in the first round with a 2-0 win at Yankee Stadium in 2021.
MLS Betting Team News
For NYCFC, the main team news concern is around the right-back position. Regular starter Tayvon Gray was already out with a leg injury and his replacement Mitja Llenic limped off in the 1-1 draw against New England Revolution at the weekend. That is likely to mean that third-choice right-back Stephen Turnbull will have to step up to start against Atlanta.
Atlanta will be missing a couple of players for this one. Defensive midfielder Osvaldo Alonso is still out with the cruciate ligament injury he sustained just under a year ago, and left-back Andrew Gutman is also unavailable, due to an adductor injury. More worryingly for Gonzalo Pineda, central defender Luis Abram is listed as questionable for this game after returning from international duty with Peru.
MTS MLS Betting Picks
NYCFC has been strong in two games at Yankee Stadium, while Atlanta is enjoying an excellent start to the 2023 season, so it is easy to be tempted by the draw here, however, the free-scoring – and occasionally free-conceding – style of play Atlanta has displayed means that there is likely to be goals in this game, reducing the appeal of betting on the draw.
The home team looks too short in the match betting market here, so it could pay to take a chance on Atlanta to pick up a win in New York this weekend.