MLS Odds, Picks, Prediction: Austin FC vs. Seattle Betting Preview (July 22)

Alika Jenner/Getty Images. Pictured: Seattle Sounders standout Raúl Ruidíaz.

Austin FC vs. Seattle Odds

Austin FC Odds +105
Seattle Odds +240
Draw +240
Over/Under 2.5 (-120 / -110)
Day | Time Thursday | 9:30 p.m. ET
How To Watch ESPN | fuboTV
Odds updated Wednesday night via BetMGM.

Austin FC hopes to return from a two-week break having suddenly discovered its finishing boots when it welcomes Seattle to Q2 Stadium on Thursday in Major League Soccer action.

Austin’s 10 goals scored are the second-fewest in MLS, ahead of only Inter Miami, and nearly half of them came in a 4-1 home win over Portland at the start of the month.

Seattle heads to the Texas capital on the heels of its first defeat, a 1-0 loss at Minnesota United that snapped the club’s MLS-record unbeaten start to the year at 13 games.

Perhaps more importantly, the Sounders will be playing their second of three games during an eight-day stretch, while managing a ballooning list of unavailable players.

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Austin FC Enduring Expansion Growing Pains

Austin’s early home record of 1-1-2 (W-L-D) is disappointing, but also understandable given the circumstances.

This is still an expansion team. And of the four clubs it has played on home soil, only San Jose currently sits beneath the playoff line.

It doesn’t necessarily get easier with Seattle and then Colorado visiting next either.

A full-strength Sounders squad would be a particularly problematic matchup, pitting Austin’s second-worst scoring offense against the MLS-best scoring defense.

The hope was striker Moussa Djitte would be available by now after Austin FC announced his signing from Ligue 2’s Grenoble last month to help fix those scoring woes.

However, the 21-year-old Ghanaian talent’s move from France has been held up for unspecified reasons. When he does arrive, he will still have to go through a mandatory quarantine before joining full-team activities.

If there’s good news, it’s that Austin FC is underperforming its expected goals by six full goals, according to StatsBomb.

That’s a large enough number that it’s likely more than just poor finishing plaguing Los Verdes, but also some poor luck. The latter can have a way of correcting itself over the longer term.

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Missing Players Creating Issues for Seattle

Somehow, the Sounders’ player-availability situation continues to get worse.

None of the seven injured players previously unavailable for Sunday’s loss in Minnesota have improved enough to be upgraded to questionable.

Both Cristian Roldan of the United States and Alex Roldan of El Salvador have reached the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, meaning each will miss at least two more MLS games. And center back Xavier Arreaga will have to serve a card-accumulation suspension after picking up a yellow card on the weekend.

However, there’s still plenty of talent on the Sounders’ available squad. Raúl Ruidíaz’s 10 goals remain tied for first in the MLS Golden Boot race, even though he failed to score at Minnesota. And center back Yeimar Gomez Andrade could be having an MLS Defender of the Year type season.

Yet, Seattle has already had to make two extreme hardship loan signings from its USL team — the Tacoma Defiance — to field something close to resembling a full bench.

With a home clash against Sporting Kansas City looming Sunday, this might be the game manager Brian Schmetzer chooses to field a lesser-strength squad to ensure he doesn’t lose more players to fatigue-related injuries.


Betting Analysis & Pick

Objectively, I know the gap in talent between a full-strength Austin FC side and a dramatically weakened Seattle squad is considerable enough that I should expect the host to win at least half the time at home.

Intuitively, I don’t trust this group at +105 odds and a 48.8% implied probability.

So, how can I find value? For me it’s the “home no bet” market, which lets me rule out an Austin victory when calculating probability. (An Austin win is a push.)

BetMGM is offering both Seattle and draw at -115 odds, with an implied 53.5% probability. Unlike a moneyline bet, that probability applies only to the range of outcomes where Austin doesn’t win.

That said, it doesn’t matter if I calculate that Austin FC wins this game 40 out of 100 times or 60 out of 100 times. It only matters what happens what I calulate will happen in the games Austin does not win.

For me, that’s a draw well more than 53.5% of the time in such games. Austin is going to continue to struggle to score, and Seattle only has seven goals in six away matches, full strength or not.

Pick: Draw — Home No Bet (-115)

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