Third hosts first in the Eastern Conference as Columbus Crew take on league leaders Philadelphia Union in a game that will have a crucial bearing on the MLS postseason (3.30pm ET Sunday).
Caleb Porter’s Columbus may be sitting in third but, as they come into Sunday’s clash, there is a nine-point gap between themselves and Philadelphia so this is something of a must-win for the home side.
Union are in a strong run but this top three clash looks close to call as far as the markets are concerned so there should be some value from the moneyline pick through to the props.
Match Odds with Sportsbooks
Odds of +100 and above are available on all three possible moneyline outcomes for this clash as Columbus Crew go in as marginal favorites with the USA bookies’ websites. Crew can be claimed at average odds of around +120 while Union are out as high as +200 in places.
Completing the ML market is the draw which is quoted at a best of +280 and a share of the points will have lots of backers. The table certainly backs up those betting lines but the form guide actually suggests otherwise. Over the course of their last five matches, Crew have lost three games while drawing one and claiming a solitary win over NYC FC. In contrast, Philadelphia Union have been far more potent with four wins and a draw at DC United.
Interestingly, DC inflicted Columbus’ most recent defeat and that’s a good effort for a side in trouble at the bottom of the Eastern Conference.
The form guide also suggests a tight contest but it is edging towards Union so let’s now move on and take a look at the props before confirming our Columbus Crew vs Philadelphia Union predictions’ verdict for this preview.
Columbus vs Philadelphia Prop Bets
USMNT international striker Gyasi Zardes is the favorite to open the scoring and, while his record for the national side is a modest one, he’s far more prolific in a Columbus Crew shirt. Zardes’ tally stands at 44 goals in 82 matches and he is an obvious first option here.
Union’s first representative in this opening goalscorer market is the Jamaican international Cory Burke who has been less productive in Major League Soccer but will always offer a threat up front.
Burke is a shorter option but our preference would be for the more consistent Union man Kacper Przybylko who can be picked up at a general +500. Like Zardes, Przybylko is averaging around a goal every other game and he looks to be the most dangerous player in the away locker room.
Moving through our regular prop bets and Both Teams to Score looks short this time at a general -175. The stats are encouraging, however, with Union registering 13 goals in their last five matches while Crew have found the net on seven occasions across the same period. More encouraging is the fact that BTTS would have dropped in eight of those ten combined games so it could be a safer option against some higher prices.
The Overs and Unders goal betting will also attract some interest based on those free scoring stats. Over 2.5 goals is looking modest at figures that dip below +100 but we feel that you can go Over the 3.5 line for better odds of +160 in places.
As for our final Correct Score suggestions, USAbetting is looking at a tight away win and, if we were to take a small wager here, a 2-1 victory for Philadelphia Union is available at best industry odds of +1200. That’s a serious tempter while the same scoreline in favor of Columbus Crew can be found at +1100.
Our Betting Preview’s Columbus Crew vs Philadelphia Union Predictions & Picks Verdict
The MLS standings may point to a close game but the form guide is tipped heavily in favor of Philadelphia this weekend. Nine points separate these two teams in the Eastern Conference and that’s largely due to the swing in recent games. Anything can happen but, when assessing your moneyline options, the important point to remember is that Union have picked up 13 points from a possible 15 while Crew have just four points for the same period.
The first pick, therefore, is for the away win which we feel offers good value as the outside bet. Philadelphia have a number of scoring options in their camp but we expected Kacper Przybylko to be on offer at shorter prices so we have another value pick in the first goalscorer betting.
Finally, Both Teams to Score is much shorter but, based on those very favorable stats, it should be the more likely bet of these three. Overall, we expect the three points to go back to Philadelphia on Sunday night, so our Columbus Crew vs Philadelphia Union predictions against the sports betting firms for this MLS game preview, looks like this:
- Philadelphia Union to win on the moneyline @ best odds of +216 with Bookmaker or BetOnline.
- Kacper Przybylko to score the first goal @ +500 (5/1) with Intertops.
- Expect Both Teams to Score @ -170 with Bovada. It is -182 with Intertops.
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.