New York City vs. Red Bull New York Best Bets
New York City FC (1-4-0, 3 points) vs. New York Red Bulls (2-1-2, 7 points)
When: Thursday, August 20, at 7 p.m.
Where: Red Bull Arena, Harrison, N.J.
Point Spread: NYCFC 0/RBNY 0
Moneyline: NYCFC +155/RBNY +170/Draw +250
Total: Over 2.5 (-139)/Under 2.5 (+105)
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Last Time Out:
New York City lost 3-1 to Portland; the Red Bulls lost 2-0 to FC Cincinnati.
New York City defeated the Red Bulls 2-1 on August 24, 2019, at Yankee Stadium in New York.
About the Matchup:
The MLS regular season resumes with the Hudson River Derby, and New York City travels to their personal house of horrors. In nine meetings between the New York rivals at Red Bull Arena, New York City sports an ugly 1-7-1 record against their more experienced rival, having lost the past three meetings between the teams in New Jersey. But this will be a derby match, unlike anything these teams have faced, as they play their first match behind closed doors in an MLS stadium.
Truth be told, both teams are looking to recover after a rather poor showing in Florida, as the Red Bulls flamed out in the group stage when a draw with Cincinnati would have been enough to get them through. At the same time, NYCFC sleepwalked through three matches before putting one dominant performance together against Toronto. However, NYCFC then returned to its languid state in the quarterfinals and got smashed by eventual champion Portland, leaving the blue side of New York with more questions than answers. Can NYCFC finally break through against its rival, or will the Red Bulls once again be able to turn New York red?
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Scouting New York City:
Which side is the real New York City? Is it the team that looked incapable of delivering a response against Philadelphia and Orlando and nearly got itself dismissed in the group stage? Or is it the side that dissected Toronto and cruised into the quarterfinals?
New York City really hasn’t looked great outside of that one match with Toronto, as it hasn’t found the net more than once in any other game and has been shut out on three occasions. In order to get back on track, NYCFC is going to have to get some offense from someone other than Jesus Medina. Medina has scored three of NYCFC’s four goals this season, and when he isn’t scoring, the offense has simply looked lost.
NYCFC is capable of scoring goals, as it put home five against Costa Rican side San Carlos back in February, but the attack just hasn’t come back strong this season against MLS competition. The reason they managed three goals in the win over Toronto was that the Reds got desperate, but that isn’t going to happen in a return to regular-season competition. RBNY isn’t likely to leave things open at the back in a game where it’s not win or go home, which means NYCFC needs a new plan.
Scouting New York Red Bulls:
There’s a nice benefit to pairing with a European club: when they’ve got a good player that they can’t use, you’re probably going to get him. (Of course, New York City has that same advantage too, but that’s beyond the point.) That’s precisely what’s happened for the Red Bulls, as they’ve taken striker Samuel Tetteh on loan from Red Bull Salzburg in Austria in order to shore up an attack that scored all of one goal in three matches in Florida.
Truthfully, the Red Bulls were actually attacking reasonably well at the start of the season, as they scored three goals in their only match of the year played at home. But much like the Atlanta squad, they beat in their opener in Florida, the Red Bulls didn’t seem to be all that interested in getting the job done at Disney. Given how they played, it’ll be interesting to see if RBNY changes up its tactics and inserts Tetteh and new midfielder Dru Yearwood or opts to bring them on off the bench. If Chris Armas opts for the same lineup he used in Florida, expect Daniel Royer to be the main man finding the net, which wouldn’t be much of a shock. In the past two meetings at Red Bull Arena, Royer has been a one-man wrecking crew, scoring four goals against NYCFC.
Dan’s Best Bets:
I think the wrong team is favored here. I think RBNY will be ready to play at home, and I think the defense will give another good showing following low scores in Florida. As such, I like RBNY to win and under 3.5 goals at +270, allowing for the insurance against an NYCFC marker. Things have tended to go sideways at times for NYCFC in this matchup, but I can’t see RBNY punishing its rival to that extent. The Red Bulls’ attack isn’t as good as Portland’s, and NYCFC did play pretty well on defense in Florida. I’d rather take the under here than gamble on a breakout.
If you feel a bit daring, I’d look at taking RBNY and both teams to score at +350. It’s a pretty nice payout, and NYCFC has scored in its past three matches. If that offensive progress makes its way up the Eastern Seaboard, there’s reason to believe that NYCFC can find a goal, primarily since both teams have scored in each of the past three matchups.
Finally, I’d back a scoreless first half at +200. Both teams have tended to come to life in the second half, and after getting eliminated early from the bubble, it could take some time for these teams to get their legs under themselves.
Dan’s Score Prediction:
I wasn’t impressed by how either side looked in Florida, but I think RBNY looked a little better and will take advantage of playing at home. A lack of fans does change the equation somewhat, but both teams are now used to that atmosphere and shouldn’t be bothered by the situation.
As for the score, I think a repeat of last year’s result in New Jersey looks like a solid call. I’ll back Royer to continue his mastery of NYCFC and lead the Red Bulls to a 2-1 win at +950. Are you a small bettor that likes free bets? Deposit $25 and get an additional $50 added to your betting account at Intertops! Must sign up through this link and use promo code ROOKIE200.