New York Red Bulls vs. Orlando City Best Bets
New York Red Bulls (6-6-2, 20 points, 7th place East) vs. Orlando City (7-2-5, 26 points, 3rd place East)
When: Saturday, October 3, 4:30 p.m.
Where: Exploria Stadium, Orlando, Fla.
Point Spread: RBNY +1/Orlando -1 (Bet365)
Moneyline: RBNY +300/Orlando City -118//Draw +280
Total: Over 2.5 (-150)/Under 2.5 (+110)
Last Time Out:
New York hammered Montreal 4-1; Orlando drew 0-0 with Dallas.
The Red Bulls defeated Orlando 1-0 on July 21, 2019, at Exploria Stadium.
About the Matchup:
MLS’ hottest team over the past month collides with MLS’ hottest team over the past week. Orlando has been racking up points left and right as of late, and the Lions ride an eight-match unbeaten streak into this match after surviving going down a man in Dallas. Since giving up three goals to Miami on August 22, the Orlando defense has been solid, holding all of its past eight opponents to one goal or less.
New York, on the other hand, has been scoring like nobody’s business as the Red Bulls try to get themselves back into the top six in the Eastern Conference. Ten teams will qualify for the playoffs out of the 14-team East, but the top six will get automatic passage to the conference quarterfinals while teams seven through 10 have to survive a nervy play-in round. Can the Red Bulls pick up three big road points to get them above that line?
Scouting New York Red Bulls:
It’s tough to say whether the Red Bulls’ rise is for real or whether they’ll return to the habits that cost Chris Armas his job at the start of September. Probably the best way to put it is that the Red Bulls remain an inconsistent work in progress. While they’ve looked very good in the past week, their September also included an embarrassing loss at Cincinnati and a drubbing at the hands of Philadelphia, the latter of which didn’t see them get a single shot on target.
Ironically, the Red Bulls are at their best when they don’t have the ball very often. Whoever said possession matters in soccer never met this team, as New York didn’t even have the ball for 40 percent of the game against Miami or Montreal, yet blasted both of them. In fact, the Red Bulls haven’t yet won a match this season in which they won the time of possession.
When they do go for the goal, Daniel Royer remains the man that RBNY can count on. He’s now scored in three of the team’s past four games, and he’s got to keep that up if the Red Bulls are going to keep pace. Ideally, he’ll keep getting help from Tom Barlow. Barlow scored twice in the win over Montreal, and the 25-year-old could be a key piece for New York if he’s able to build off that performance. The Red Bulls have really missed having a reliable attacker they can count on, and if Barlow can become that man, these performances might be the norm instead of the exception.
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Scouting Orlando City:
Previous Orlando teams would have folded their tents after going down a man with 20 minutes to go in Dallas, but this Orlando team seems to have grown up under Oscar Pareja and refused to throw in the towel. It’s just been one step of maturity after another for the Lions this season, and they’ve quietly emerged as one of the dark horses to come out of the Eastern Conference.
What’s made Orlando dangerous is that the attacks often come quickly and can come from anywhere on the pitch. Against Kansas City, the Lions took control of the match in a span of three minutes by getting goals from Tesho Akindele and Benji Michel late in the first half, allowing them to dominate the rest of the match and withstand a late attempt by Sporting to level the game.
Orlando’s problem is the same as it’s always been: the defense remains a significant issue. The Lions’ shutout of Dallas marked the first time that they’d blanked anyone since the league returned to playing in actual stadiums, and even then, Dallas is well known as one of the lesser-scoring teams in MLS. This is a side that’s likely to give up a goal, and likely to do so after it gets its nose in front.
Dan’s Best Bets:
Don’t expect a blowout here. Orlando has played very well on offense but has been quite shaky on defense as of late. Plus, these teams have a history of playing competitive matches that feature a close winner. The teams have split their past four meetings, and all four times, the winner has triumphed by a single goal.
As such, I want to back either team to win by exactly one goal at +140. While I think Orlando is the better side, New York has been a tough opponent for the Lions in recent matchups, and I like the idea of getting plus money to back either side to get a one-goal win. If you’d like to back just Orlando to do so, you can get the Lions to win by a goal at +275.
But if I’m backing Orlando (and I am), I don’t want to pigeonhole myself into that narrow of a window. Instead, I’m taking the Lions and both teams to score at +225. I admit this is a bit of a risk, given that New York has a tendency to go completely MIA on offense and that the past three matches between these teams have all finished 1-0. But I don’t trust Orlando’s defense, and I’m not interested in paying juice just to get Orlando to win the match. If I’m taking Orlando, I’m expecting at least three goals. That’s also a solid way to play this, and you’ll get +155 to take the Lions and the over.
Finally, Orlando remains a first-half team, and since the Lions cashed this for me in Kansas, I’ll take them to score the first goal of the game in the first half again. This time, the odds aren’t quite as nice, but you’ll still get +105 if it occurs.
Dan’s Score Prediction:
Orlando is playing excellent soccer at the moment and seems to have its sights set on not only making its first playoff appearance but making some noise when they get there. I think they come out strong in this one and take another step toward getting a strong seed in the postseason. I still don’t trust this defense, but I do trust the Lions to keep the pressure on and see off the Red Bulls in this one. I’ll take Orlando to claim a 2-1 win at +775. Did you know that you can bet your MLS picks at discounted odds? Find this HUGE money saving feature at BetAnySports!