San Jose Earthquakes vs Colorado Rapids Preview, Predictions, Betting Picks: Goals Galore?

Jeremy EbobisseThe San Jose Earthquakes go up against the Colorado Rapids, with both aiming to resume winning ways on Saturday (10.30pm ET). Can the hosts bounce back after two road defeats? Or will the visitors prove too hard to beat, much as they did when drawing at Inter Miami last weekend? This MLS game preview, with betting predictions and picks, should answer those questions.

Seven games in and it is probably fair to say that things have not gone too well for the Earthquakes, who right now, sit bottom of the Western Conference. They have collected just three points from a possible 21, which isn’t good enough. Last time out, they offered plenty offensively, as forward Jeremy Ebobisse scored for the second time in three games, but their backline once again proved too easy to pass, as they conceded four goals. Luchi Gonzalez’s men will be hoping to draw on their one victory, which came in their last home game, but they will need to tighten up at the back if they are to get something here.

Like the Earthquakes, the Rapids have also been a little open at the back, conceding no shortage of goals, but they have done a far better job of grinding out results, which means that they currently sit in a respectable ninth position in the Western Conference, just two points off the top four. Chris Armas’ men will go to PayPal Park having picked up four points from their last two games, beating LAFC on home soil, thanks to two late goals from summer signing Djordje Mihailovic. They picked up a decent point away against Inter Miami last time out. Off the back of those two results, the visitors ought to be feeling confident ahead of this clash.

San Jose leaking goals

The main takeaway from San Jose’s first seven Major League Soccer fixtures of the 2024 campaign is the fact that they are too open at the back. Saturday’s hosts remain without a clean sheet, and they have now conceded more goals than any other Western Conference team, shipping a total of 17, which means they have surrendered an average of 2.42 goals per game. That is the problem.

Offensively, the hosts can compete. They scored three away at Austin last time out, while they also netted three in their more recent home game. In Jeremy Ebobisse, they have a forward capable of notching no shortage of goals, while Cristian Espinoza, who scored 13 and assisted 10 last season, is a very dangerous player. The Argentine also has six goals and assists combined this term, so there is no doubt about it that this team can hurt opponents, which at least gives them a fighting chance of getting a result here.

Colorado Rapids the real deal on the road

Since losing to the Portland Timbers, despite dominating, in their first away game of the season, the Rapids have delivered some strong away-day performances. They beat Real Salt Lake, before drawing against both the Sounders and Inter Miami. Such results suggest that they are not an easy team to beat. Sure, they are yet to keep a clean sheet on the road, but they have kept themselves in games and have offered a clear threat offensively. This has been through Brazilian Rafael Navarro, who scored last time out, and Djordje Mihailovic, who is quickly becoming a talismanic figure. He has two goals and two assists this campaign.

It wouldn’t be at all surprising if the Rapids managed to get a result here. Not only are they unbeaten in their last three away games, but they have bettered their opponents in terms of both xG in two of those three, bettering all three of those opponents in terms of shots.

Away wins few and far between in this fixture

In recent years, this has not been a fixture that has been kind to away teams. None of the last four renewals have been won by the team playing on the road, while there’s been only one away win recorded in the last 24 renewals. Three of the last four renewals have gone the way of the hosts, with San Jose taking two of those.

Goals on the menu at PayPal Park

Given what we’ve seen from the two teams in recent weeks, ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ is hard to get away from in the USA betting from the American-friendly sportsbooks. After the hosts have shown a clear liking for high-scoring games, thanks largely to their inept backline, it is a little surprising to see such odds available.

As touched on in this preview above, the hosts have more than enough creativity and firepower to hurt teams, as they have done in each of their last four games, scoring a respectable total of seven goals during that time. However they really do lack solidity at the back, which is why they have conceded a rather worrying total of ten goals during that time. Perhaps unsurprisingly, each of those four games has contained at least three goals. In fact, three or more goals have been scored in six of San Jose’s seven MLS games this term.

For the visitors, the goals have typically flowed too. The Rapids come into this game off the back of seeing four goals go in last time out, while five goals were scored in their previous fixture. Moreover, three of their four away games have contained at least three goals, while they have both scored and conceded in four out of four on the road this season.

Everything would suggest that both teams can make plenty of offensive headway in this game and as both have found clean sheets hard to come by, scoring goals should be the aim for both. We can make it pay by siding with ‘Over 2.5 Goals’ at slightly generous-looking odds. So, for the betting picks and predictions, this San Jose Earthquakes vs Colorado Rapids MLS game preview goes for this one tip against the bookies: