FC Cincinnati vs. Columbus Crew Picks 7/11/20
FC Cincinnati (0-0-0 Group E) vs. Columbus Crew (0-0-0 Group E)
When: Saturday, July 11, 10:30 p.m.
Where: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Bay Lake, Fla.
Point Spread: FC Cincinnati +0.5/Columbus -0.5
Moneyline: FC Cincinnati +300/Columbus -110/Draw +260
Total: Over 2.5 (-110)/Under 2.5 (-121)
Soccer Lines available at BetOnline (Their in-game betting platform is awesome!)
Last Time Out:
Cincinnati lost 2-1 to Atlanta on March 7; Columbus drew 1-1 with Seattle on March 7.
Columbus defeated Cincinnati 3-1 on Aug. 25, 2019, at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati.
About the Matchup:
The Hell is Real rivalry comes to Florida, and Cincinnati hopes to make a better showing against its Interstate 71 rival than it did a season ago. Truth be told, both teams come into this hoping for a better showing than last year, as Columbus and Cincinnati were so poor that Eastern Conference champion New York City’s 64 points was two more than both Ohio teams collected together.
Columbus believes that it’s transformed itself into a contender in the East after a strong offseason, while Cincinnati hit the reset button for its second MLS season and hopes to see its defense show some improvement. Considering that Cincinnati gave up a league-worst 75 goals a year ago, things can’t really get much worse for the Orange and Blue in that department.
Scouting FC Cincinnati:
It doesn’t seem real, but FC Cincinnati is now on its fourth coach since joining MLS last year. Jaap Stam takes over the Orange and Blue after previous coach Ron Jans resigned in February, which means nobody knows what Cincinnati is going to look like. Stam is likely going to remake Cincinnati in the style of his native Netherlands, but that’s going to take a lot of time to successfully pull off.
For the time being, expect Cincinnati to look to find Jurgen Locadia as often as possible and play with nothing to lose. Nobody expects Cincinnati to make it out of what appears to be the Group of Death, so the Orange and Blue really do have nothing to lose over the next 12 days. Any result they get will be a major coup, and if they can make it out of the group stage, that’ll be a significant victory for them.
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The Crew came apart at the seams last season, crashing to a 10th place finish that has been far from what’s expected under Caleb Porter. That shouldn’t happen this season after Columbus imported Lucas Zelarayan from Tigres UANL of the Mexican league and added Darlington Nagbe from Atlanta, reuniting Nagbe with Porter, who led Nagbe and the Portland Timbers to the 2015 MLS title.
So far, Columbus has lived up to the hype, winning a match against last year’s Eastern champ New York City and getting a draw at defending MLS champion Seattle. Zelarayan was part of that, scoring the winner against NYCFC. He’s going to need to be at his best if Columbus is going to finish in prime position to come out of Group E. Defense hasn’t been a problem in the past for Columbus, but the offense left a lot to be desired last year, scoring just 39 goals. If the Crew can get the attack going, they could be a real threat to top the group.
Dan’s Best Bets:
Columbus has to have this match, while Cincinnati would be delighted with a draw. Because of that and the heat, I’m going to bank on a low-scoring game that allows the Crew to boss the run of play, and that means that I’m very enticed by a Columbus win under 3.5 goals scored for +155.
If you’re feeling daring, you might want to go even lower and take the Crew at under 2.5 goals for +320. Two of the first three MLS Tournament matches have featured a single goal, and the one exception came from the two Florida teams, who live in this weather and are used to the heat. Plus, dating back to last season, six of Columbus’ past seven matches have featured two goals or less, with five of those matches saw exactly two goals, which makes the under an excellent bet.
If you’re looking to score early, you might want to play a scoreless first half. The first three MLS Tournament matches have all seen a grand total of zero goals in the first 45 minutes, and you’ll get +175 if it happens again. You could also bet on more goals in the second half, which will pay +105. Speaking of odds, prices are ALWAYS lower when you bet at 5Dimes. It’s why we advertise them so much! Make the switch today and start betting smarter/saving tons of cash!
Dan’s Score Prediction:
The Group of Death usually has a surprise in there somewhere (Ghana in the 2006 World Cup, Costa Rica in the 2014 World Cup), but I don’t think it’s going to happen this time. Cincinnati still has too much of a mountain to climb to become a competitive MLS side, and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if the Orange and Blue finish with three defeats in three matches from this tournament.
Columbus needs to get off to a great start, and given how they’ve looked in their first two matches, I think they’ll do exactly that and make sure that Hell is Real for Cincinnati. I like the idea of a 1-0 Crew win at +650.