It’s a quiet period for domestic football around the world and there is just one game in MLS this weekend (Midnight on Saturday night / Sunday morning BST). It’s an important contest in the Western Conference with Real Salt Lake looking to continue their drive towards the playoff places.
Opponents Vancouver Whitecaps have the home advantage but a slow start to the season leaves them in danger of missing out on the postseason. Third plays twelfth in the west but will this be as straightforward as the form guide suggests?
The bookies have certainly identified a clear favourite but it goes against those league positions. Struggling Vancouver are in the lead at a general 7/5 while Salt Lake are the underdogs at 9/5. The draw completes the picture at a general 23/10.
Remember that nine places and eleven points separate these teams in the Western Conference standings. Home advantage could play a part but that’s an interesting match betting market.
The recent form guide is having an effect: The Whitecaps have lost just one of their last five matches with three wins and a draw thrown into the mix. Across the same five game period, Salt Lake have won four and lost one. They are on a three-game winning streak and it’s certainly tempting to get behind the outsiders here.
Before this VWFC vs RSL preview commits to a result, let’s take a look at the players who can decide the destiny of this game. There are no significant injury issues in either camp so both rosters will be close to full strength.
The favourite in the first goalscorer market is Lucas Cavallini who is on offer at a general 5/1. The striker is the leading scorer for Vancouver Whitecaps this season with four goals in 11 games. Cavallini’s team mate Brian White, with two goals in eight, is slightly further back at best industry odds of 6/1.
Despite their lofty position in the West, goals have been hard to come by for this Real Salt Lake side. They’ve managed just 17 in 14 games and their first representative in the opening goal market is Damir Kreilach at 7/1.
Moving away from the individual player markets, Both Teams to Score is on offer for Sunday’s contest at 8/11 in most places. If you want to take the ‘no’ option on BTTS, this gets up to a general even money.
Similar odds can be found in the total goals markets and they suggest that the leading UK bookmakers are expecting a low scoring 90 minutes. Over 2.5 goals is unusually high at a top price of evens. If we push that up just one notch, Over 3.5 goals would bring a best of 5/2. Those who want to bet with the trend and get behind a low scorer can get a general 4/5 on under 2.5 goals.
We’ll sign off with some Correct Score suggestions. We’re inclined towards a defensive 90 minutes and a 2-0 win for Real Salt Lake looks interesting at best odds of 14/1. The same outcome in favour of the Whitecaps is on offer at a general 11/1 while the 1-1 draw can be found at a top price of 11/2.
Our Preview’s VWFC vs RSL Betting Tips Verdict
Trends are always there to be broken but the stats aren’t pointing towards a high scoring game. Real Salt Lake have scored those 17 goals in 14 games and they have conceded just 17 times at the back.
The Whitecaps have scored just 14 in 13 but a leakier defense reflects their league position. 23 goals have gone in at the wrong end of the pitch. The Canadian side is improving and they claimed their first away win of the season at Sporting Kansas City last weekend.
Overall, recent form and results across the MLS season so far makes Salt Lake too tempting to turn down. The away side are coming into the match with that three-game winning streak and should be too strong for their opponents. Real Salt Lake to win it is the first pick of the game.
If we focus on the goals betting for our second tip, the lower scoring options carry low odds to match. Under 2.5 goals may be the option and 4/5 isn’t the worst price. But we’ll finish with a ‘No’ bet on BTTS which covers us if one team dominates.
It may not be the most exciting weekend for Major League Soccer, but these picks will hopefully make it a profitable one. So here are our betting tips, at best odds, for this MLS game preview: