Pick Seattle to Snatch a Point

  • Seattle Sounders v LAFC
  • Saturday March 18, 15:00 EST
  • Lumen Field

LAFC has made a whirlwind start to its MLS Cup title defense, but it has played four games in two weeks and that gives Seattle a great chance to earn a point.

Who do Bettors Favor?

The best-rated online sportsbooks made the home team the favorite, as bettors side favor the Sounders, although not by a large margin. Seattle is rated at around +124 with the draw priced around +260. If you think the reigning MLS Cup champion LAFC is the best bet, you can wager at odds of +216.

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Seattle Aiming to Bounce Back

After winning its opening two games, Seattle Sounders slipped to a 1-0 defeat in Cincinnati last week so will be aiming to bounce back against one of the toughest teams in MLS.

Going into the season, the sentiment from pundits was that Seattle was still a solid team and would benefit from not having to play any CONCACAF games in the early campaign. That appeared to be borne out by the opening two games, in which the Sounders beat Colorado and Real Salt Lake 4-0 and 2-0, but the loss in Cincinnati was a setback, particularly as the home team was down to 10 men at the end.

Still, a record of one goal conceded in three games is a pretty clear indication of this team’s solidity and defensive reliability, and back on its own patch, it will present a formidable obstacle for LAFC.

LAFC Tested by Congestion

The challenge for teams that get to the final of the MLS Cup is to do it all over again the following season but with the added complication of a CONCACAF Champions League campaign at the start.

So far, LAFC has coped well but the fixtures are piling up and Steve Cherundolo’s team is going to find itself tested to the maximum by fixture congestion this spring.

LAFC fired in seven goals in its opening two wins, over Portland and New England, and in between those fixtures, scored three without reply in Costa Rica to take a big lead over Alajuelense in the Champions League Round of 16. The return leg, however, is scheduled for Wednesday, leaving LAFC with just two clear days to prepare for the trip to Seattle.

There may be some room for rotation in the game against Alajuelense, but coach Cherundolo will have to find a way to keep his players fit and fresh for this game, against one of the best teams in the West.

MLS Betting Head-to-Head

LAFC joined MLS as an expansion team in 2018, so the head-to-head record between these teams is a relatively short one, although both have been regular rivals for playoff places.

The team from Los Angeles won both fixtures in the 2018 season, and won again when they met in 2019, but since then, Seattle has fought back. In total, there have been 14 games between the two teams, with LAFC winning six, Seattle claiming five and three games ending in a tie.

Their two most significant meetings came in the playoffs of 2019 and 2020, both of which were won by Seattle, but LAFC had the edge last season. The game in Seattle was drawn 1-1 but LAFC won their home fixture 2-1, on their way to winning the MLS Cup.

MLS Team News

The team news for Seattle is relatively good. Only two players are on the absentee list: Heber, who is out with a muscle injury sustained earlier this month and central midfielder Obed Vargas, who has been out with a back problem since last summer and who still does not have an expected return date.

For LAFC, Maxime Crepeau fractured his tibia in the Cup Final in November and it is not clear when he will return, but otherwise, the squad is in remarkable shape considering its exertions in recent weeks. Depending on how the midweek Champions League game goes, Cherundolo may opt to rotate his squad, but can’t afford to take Seattle lightly.

MLS Match Betting Pick

On the face of it, LAFC is in top form, having won all three games in both competitions so far this season. However, as we have seen in previous years, those Champions League exertions at the start of an MLS campaign can take a toll, and a visit to Lumen Field is sure to expose any weaknesses.

Seattle has started well, and although there remain doubts about the squad’s creativity, there is no doubt about its resilience and organization. I don’t quite have enough faith in its attacking abilities to go for the home win here, but the draw looks a good option in the Match Betting market.

DrawSeattle v LAFC
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CTA Draw 267 BetOnline

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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.