Seattle Sounders vs. Los Angeles FC Odds & Picks 7/27/20
Seattle Sounders (Group B runner-up) vs. Los Angeles FC (Group F runner-up)
When: Monday, July 27, 11 p.m.
Where: ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Bay Lake, Fla.
Point Spread: Seattle +0.5/LAFC -0.5
Moneyline: Seattle +240/LAFC -106/Draw +310
Total: Over 3.5 (100)/Under 3.5 (-139)
(Bet this game at a BitCoin Sportsbook)
Last Time Out:
Seattle beat Vancouver 3-0; LAFC drew 2-2 with Portland.
Seattle defeated LAFC 3-1 on October 29, 2019, at Banc of California Stadium in Los Angeles.
About the Matchup:
The MLS tournament gives us perhaps its juiciest matchup yet, as the teams who faced each other in the Western Conference final last year meet again in the round of 16. Last season, Los Angeles dominated the league in the regular season and seemed on their way to a coronation — only to watch Seattle turn the Western Conference final completely on its head and steal the conference title as a +600 underdog. The Sounders then went on to claim their second MLS title in four years, leaving LAFC to regroup and try to again scale that mountain.
This time, neither team has shown their best form in Florida, as both sides have looked like they would rather be getting ready for a push toward the MLS Cup. But they’re both here, and now that they’ve gotten through the group stage, the motivation is very much there to try to go ahead and win this match and pull closer to a CONCACAF Champions League berth.
Scouting Seattle Sounders:
The last time these teams met, virtually nobody gave Seattle anything resembling a chance. The Sounders had never beaten LAFC before, but they had lost three of their four meetings and looked multiple steps behind in doing so. But in the playoffs, Seattle had an X-factor it hadn’t had in previous matchups: a healthy Raul Ruidiaz. Since moving to western Washington in 2018, the Peruvian striker has been the ultimate playoff performer. In six career MLS playoff games, Ruidiaz has an unbelievable seven goals, including two against LAFC last time.
Seattle’s attack is likely to heavily emphasize Ruidiaz and Jordan Morris, both of whom will be needed to try to answer for a leaky defense that has struggled in past playoff matches. In their previous six playoff matches, the Sounders have allowed the opponents to find the back of the net on five occasions, despite the presence of Stefan Frei at the back. The defense has managed two shutouts in Florida thanks to Frei, but it hasn’t always looked great. Against LAFC’s attack, it’ll have to be great.
Now LAFC finds itself in the position that Seattle previously faced in the teams’ prior meetings: down their best striker. LAFC heads into this match without Carlos Vela, who chose not to play in the MLS tournament over coronavirus fears. Without him, LAFC has been a mixed bag in Florida. On the one hand, LAFC showed just how effective it could be when it slammed L.A. Galaxy for a 6-2 win, built off four goals from Diego Rossi. On the other, LAFC has struggled to stop its opposition throughout this tournament. Of the 16 sides to progress from the group stage, Vancouver was the only team to let in as many goals as the seven that LAFC conceded in its three group matches.
The bottom line with LAFC is that it will score goals, but it’s not going to be able to prevent them. Only in the opener against offensively-challenged Inter Miami did LAFC not give up two goals to its opponent, and the Black and Gold has now given up two goals or more in six of its past seven matches.
Dan’s Best Bets:
Let’s get one thing out of the way right away: Both teams scoring is about as sure as it gets here. Both sides have scored in 13 of LAFC’s last 15 matches, and there’s no reason to expect that LAFC can stop Seattle from finding the net. So the thing we’re looking for here is which result to pair it with, and honestly, I’m going to lean toward the underdog on this one.
When Seattle beat LAFC last time, the Black and Gold were at full strength, had a full stadium behind it, and had all the motivation in the world. None of it mattered as Seattle was able to weather the early storm, get two quick goals and boss the rest of the match. Now LAFC has to find a way past Seattle without its best scorer, right when the Sounders seem to be rounding into form.
Because of that, I think taking Seattle to win and both teams to score holds outstanding value at +375, as the Sounders tend to raise their game in knockout-type situations and have a full-strength squad available for coach Brian Schmetzer’s selection. If you’re feeling bold, you might consider backing the Sounders and over 3.5 goals at +575, which could absolutely happen given how quickly these teams can find scoring chances—not feeling so bold? Take Seattle on a draw no bet at +155. You’ll still get plus money for a side that offers a lot of scoring options.
Looking to get a quick hit? Take Seattle to score the first goal of the first half. In all three matches in this tournament, LAFC has fallen behind within the first 10 minutes (and that’s been a staple of Bob Bradley’s teams going back to when he coached the U.S. National team). Seattle’s getting +170 to score the first goal in the first half, a solid gamble. If you want to get really aggressive, Seattle is +500 to hold the lead at the end of the 15th minute, and LAFC has been down 1-0 at that stage in two of three matches.
Finally, given his nose for goal in knockout-type matches, you might want to back Ruidiaz to score at any point in the game. He’s + 170 to do it at any point, and Seattle will get him chances.
Dan’s Score Prediction:
This should be a wide-open match with chances at both ends. Because of that, I have to go with both the experience and the team that’s got all of its strikers available on the pitch. Seattle has too many weapons for LAFC’s leaky defense, and without Vela around, LAFC hasn’t been able to outscore teams the way it has in the past.
Both teams should score and likely do so multiple times, and I think this is an ideal spot to go for a big number. Seattle is at +2200 to claim a 3-2 win in this match, and that’s what I will back them to do. STOP overpaying for odds! Favorites cost less and underdogs pay more at 5Dimes Sportsbook! It makes no sense to risk more than you have to! Sign up now to start reaping the benefits! You will be so glad you did!