LA Galaxy vs Vancouver Whitecaps Picks, Preview, Predictions: Bet on Goals

Greg VanneyLA Galaxy go in search of a third successive win on Sunday (8pm ET). They take on the Vancouver Whitecaps in front of a home crowd at Dignity Health Sports Park. Things haven’t been going too well for the visitors, so for the home side this must be viewed as a solid opportunity to put more valuable points on the board.

Galaxy come into this fixture off the back of two wins. They trounced Portland 4-1 at this venue, before following up with a solid 1-0 win against Real Salt Lake. Prior to that, things had appeared to be going a bit sour but the return to home soil, where they’ve been strong for most of the campaign, sparked Galaxy back into life. They ought to come into this game feeling upbeat.

Vancouver possesses an unbeaten run double the length of Galaxy’s, but they come here without a win in nearly a month having tied three games on the bounce. Offensively, they continue to carry a threat, scoring twice in each of their last two. They have shown little resistance at the back, which is a big part of why they are struggling to get their noses in front.

Troubles away from home

The visitors probably won’t be feeling too confident ahead of this travelling fixture, despite being currently unbeaten in four. They have played eight games away from the comforts of home this season and are yet to pick up a win, losing four and tying four. The Whitecaps have avoided defeat in each of their last three, scoring two goals in each of those games, but a lack of defensive solidity has stopped them getting the job done. At the end of the day, Sunday’s visitors are conceding far too many goals on their travels, shipping an average of 2.12. Only two teams in the west have conceded more travelling goals than Vancouver.

For Galaxy, things have gone well this term, but most of their relative success can be put down to strong home form. Sunday’s hosts have won seven out of nine at Dignity Health Sports Park, scoring a pleasing 17 goals in the process. While Vancouver have one of the worst defensive records on the road in the Western Conference, LA Galaxy have one of the best attacking records. Only Seattle have scored more home goals than Greg Vanney’s men.

Familiar foes

This won’t be the first meeting between the pair this season, nor will it be the second. Earlier in the campaign, Galaxy returned home from Canada with a 2-1 win, though Vancouver returned the favor less than a month later at the same venue, winning 2-1. That’s now three renewals of this fixture in a row to contain three or more goals.

Goals on the cards?

Galaxy haven’t struggled to get going offensively at home this season, scoring an average of 1.88 goals on their own patch, though they haven’t exactly been masters of keeping the opposition at bay, conceding at least once in seven out of nine. They have also kept just one clean sheet in their last ten matches (home and away).

If we add in Vancouver’s fondness for goal-filled games on the road, it’s not at all hard to envisage the goals flowing at Dignity Health Sports Park on Sunday. Both teams have found the net in seven of the Whitecap’s nine travelling fixtures this season, while three or more goals have been scored in eight of those nine, with the net being hit four times in five of those nine.

Profit by betting on goals

Bettors can make this one pay by siding with over 2.5 goals. As we can see by the analysis so far in this preview, there has been no shortage of high-scoring games for Vancouver on the road, while the pair have already played out two matches where the goals flowed.

If we dig a little deeper and look at the expected goals numbers, then a bet on goals becomes even harder to avoid. Galaxy’s recent home matches have produced xG totals of 2.4, 3.9, 2.8, 3.3 and 3.0, while the average at Dignity Health Sports Park this season is 3.31.

When Vancouver gets down to business away from their beloved BC Place, an average of 2.88 expected goals are produced. Such numbers certainly don’t point towards a game where the goals are hard to come by. So, for our betting predictions, we rely on just the one compelling pick: