Houston Dynamo v Sporting Kansas City
It has been a tough recent period for Sporting Kansas City in general. They did beat Seattle 3-2 last week in what was one of their best performances this season but there is a general malaise around the club at the moment. That victory is their sole success in 9 games and as a result SKC find themselves as low as 11th in the Western Conference. Injuries remain a massive problem for this team and up to a dozen players could be ruled out of this match. The squad has been down to its bare bones and in one example match of such a dire situation the manager was only able to name four substitutes! This week is a nightmare scenario and they will have eventually played 3 games in the space of just 6 days.
MLS Player Analysis: Sporting Kansas’ Felipe Gutierrez.
You have to think a team like Houston Dynamo can take advantage of such a depleted team and tired legs. They themselves come into the match off the back of a defeat last week away at Minnesota, but Houston losing away from home is nothing new. They have never been great travellers but are usually very strong in front of their own fans. Their home record reads an impressive 6-2-0 this season and this place is pretty much a fortress. The one concern for them is to star attacker Alberth Elis who has ben out of action with a concussion recently. He may not be passed fit for the game, but Houston still have the likes of Manotas, Quioto & Memo Rodriguez to fall back on.
I don’t think SKC are as bad as their league position suggests and I certainly think they can rebound once all of their injured players return. But they need this mid-season break to come quickly and this looks like an ideal chance to take them on. Houston can be backed around the 1.90 mark on a -0.5 Asian Handicap. This looks quite a big price to me and the odds should shorten closer to kick off. Over 2.75 is another tempting bet here but Sporting might not have anything left in their tank after such a tough week and could produce a totally flat performance.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Houston Dynamo -0.50 at 1.900
Portland Timbers v LAFC
The renovation of Providence Park has now been complete so the Portland Timbers will finally have a home match. It has been a long run of 12 consecutive road games for the Oregon club and in many ways they have done well to pick up 14 points. The Timbers have been in good form of late, winning 3 of their last 5 games so they carry some excellent results into this big clash with LAFC. Portland have always been regarded as a very strong home team and this stadium is one of the biggest fortresses in MLS. Everyone will be massively pumped up for the reopening of the stadium and that might just give them the extra edge.
LAFC are the runaway leaders in the Western Conference and have won a massive 10 out of 15 games. They look head and shoulders above the rest of the field right now and I’d say it’s highly likely they go on to win the supporters shield. Their attacking arsenal of Rossi, Vela and either Rodriguez or Diomande have been in amazing form this season and they show no signs of slowing down. Bob Bradley’s men have scored 16 goals in 7 away games this season and travel everywhere attempting to win. This is a very positive team that believes it can outplay and outscore any team at any location.
It’s interesting to note that LAFC are -0.25 Asian Handicap favourites ahead of this match. I think it’s very hard to bet against them at the moment but I actually reckon a fairer line for this match would be a DNB handicap. Let’s not forget that the Timbers had the best home record in MLS Western Conference last season and I also think they match up well to LAFC. Portland have the attacking pace and skill to potentially expose Los Angeles and new signing Brian Fernandez has looked especially good recently. All things seem set for a high scoring shootout and I expect plenty of goals at both ends of the field here. The obvious bet is to take over 3 goals considering the amount of attacking explosion on show.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.00 goals at 1.900
Preview by: @meatmansoccer.