The New York Red Bulls are heavily favored against Atlanta United in Thursday evening’s big MLS clash.
Who do Bettors Favor?
Checking out the best-rated online sportsbooks we can see that bookmakers are in agreement on the chances of the Red Bulls. The New York team are -140 favorites across the books, with Atlanta available at up to +390. If you think the visitors can earn a draw, you can back that outcome at +310.
|NY Red Bulls v Atlanta United||XBets|
New York Looking Solid
The Red Bulls have lost three consecutive road games after winning their first six away from New York this season, but on the flip side, have won their last four home games in all competitions after failing to win any of their first six at Red Bull Arena.
Last time they slipped to defeat against LAFC, in a game where it seemed the conditions in LA sapped the energy of the Red Bulls, leading to less intensity in the press, so Gerhard Struber will be hoping to see an improvement in this game back on the east coast.
Still the Red Bulls are in a far more solid position than they were at this time last year, sitting in a top-four spot and well-positioned to continue their streak of 13 straight postseason appearances. If they can summon the same level of intensity that they showed in the second half of last season, in which they earned points in 13 of their last 17 games, they should be set for a high finish in the East.
Atlanta Struggles Continue
After a comfortable 2-0 win against Inter Miami, Atlanta United slipped to defeat on the road against Toronto last weekend, extending their losing streak away from home to six straight games in all competitions and adding to head coach Gonzalo Pineda’s concerns.
Pineda and his squad have made one step forward and two steps back throughout the 2022 season. Currently only four points behind FC Cincinnati for the last playoff berth in the East, their home form remains strong, but it is away from Atlanta where their struggles have continued. With tough games on the road against the Red Bulls and then New York FC, this would be a good time to turn that around.
MLS Betting Team News
The Red Bulls were without Jason Pendant, Luquinhas and Aaron Long against LAFC, due to health and safety protocols and it is not clear whether any of the three will be available here. The New Yorkers will also be without Andres Reyes and Wikelman Carmona, who are suffering from foot injuries and Lucas Monzon who is still hampered with a hamstring problem.
On the positive side, both Serge Ngoma and Dru Yearwood came off the bench to play a part against LAFC, having had hamstring issues, and both could be in line for a start here.
For Atlanta, the team news is a little less encouraging as their injury list was extended when Brooks Lennon picked up an MCL sprain before the Toronto game. He is expected to be out for up to six weeks, and he joins a list of absentees that includes Brad Guzan, Miles Robinson, Dylan Castanheira and Osvaldo Alonso. In addition, Andrew Gutman is still fighting a quad strain, Santiago Sosa is out with illness and Ronald Hernandez is not fully recovered from his MCL problem.
Resolute New York the Pick
After a tough first half in 2021, it was their solid defensive play that ultimately transformed the season for the Red Bulls, and that ability to tighten up at the back has been evident in their most recent home performances this time around. The New Yorkers have kept consecutive home clean sheets across all competitions, in the process keeping the likes of Valentin Castellanos and Jesus Jimenez quiet.
This resolute version of New York can be demoralizing for teams to come up against, while their relentless pressing also saps the energy of visiting sides.
For Atlanta, that could spell trouble. There are some positives for the Five Stripes in that they have, on occasion, started strong, finding the net in the first 15 minutes of a game three times this season.
But those strong starts have been outweighed by the times when they have seemed to be asleep at the kickoff. Five times this season they have conceded a goal in the first 11 minutes, and given the Red Bulls strong defense, a similar slow start could be game over for the visitors.
That isn’t Atlanta’s only problem. They also have a significant issue in defending at dead-ball situations, where they have frequently been caught out of position. Throw in their extensive injury list and it is hard to see how they are going to be able to match the Red Bulls here.