Third hosts second on Sunday night (10.30pm ET) as two high flying teams in the Western Conference go head to head at Dignity Health Sports Park. LA Galaxy welcome Sporting Kansas City and the home side can leapfrog their opponents and go into second place with a win here.
After both teams have made positive starts to the new MLS campaign, the sportsbooks are finding it hard to split them with many quoting identical moneyline odds for Galaxy and Kansas. There should, therefore, be some decent value in this game if we can make some correct calls.
A number of sportsbooks have moneyline odds of +150 in place for LA Galaxy and SKC for Sunday’s encounter. At other outlets, Kansas are the narrow favorites but the moneyline market is exceptionally tight. Completing the betting in this section is the draw which is available at an industry best of +283.
Coach Peter Vermes’ Kansas side are two points and one place ahead of Sunday’s opponents but they have played two games more than Greg Vanney’s Galaxy unit. The form guide, meanwhile, is equally tight. LA have won three and lost two of their last five matches while Sporting KC have won three, drawn one and lost one over the same period of time.
It all points to a close game but the form guide also suggests that we should be looking for a winner. LA and Kansas have only played out two draws between them in 22 combined matches. With that in mind, let’s take a look at the players who can make a difference.
The man with the shortest odds in the first goalscorer market is Galaxy frontman Javier Hernandez who can currently be found at a general +333. The former Real Madrid and Manchester United forward is the MLS’ Golden Boot leader with a stunning return of 10 goals in 10 games. The only issue with that incredible run is the fact that the Mexican international is getting little support from his fellow strikers.
Ethan Zubak and Cameron Dunbar have each played nine games without finding the net this season.
For the away side, the man with the lowest odds is Kansas’ Johnny Russell who is quoted in most places at +600. The Scottish international striker has a good overall strike rate since signing for the franchise in 2018 but he has yet to open his account this season.
A better option may be Russell’s teammate Daniel Salloi. The Hungarian has seven goals in 12 games in 2021 and is listed at a best of +650.
From midfield, the most likely candidate could be Kansas’ Gianluca Busio. The 19-year-old has contributed two goals so far this season and is available at best odds of +1000 to find the net first.
Turning to other props and Both Teams to Score is listed at a predictably short -200. The two sides have scored 39 goals between them in 22 combined matches and both have conceded 15 at the wrong end of the pitch. Exciting offense is, therefore, met with suspect defenses at times.
BTTS looks way too short this time so let’s see if there’s some value in the total goals betting. Backing over the 2.5 line carries those same odds of -200 but, if we go one further and bet on over 3.5 goals, we get to +125.
Rounding things off is the correct score betting and we expect to see a positive result here. A 3-1 win for the narrow favorites Sporting Kansas is listed at a general +1400 while the same outcome in favor of LA Galaxy is available at a best of +1900.
LA Galaxy vs SKC Predictions & Betting Picks Verdict for this Preview
One interesting stat to come out of the form guide shows that LA Galaxy have had no draws in their ten MLS games to date. The teams are closely matched and a share of the points may seem like a solid pick but that fact suggests we should be looking for a winner.
One issue for Kansas is the likely absence of their key striker Alan Pulido through injury. The Mexican has six goals in 11 games this season and he will surely be missed.
In the Galaxy camp, the team is relying too much on Javier Hernandez but they are impressive when he’s on form. His fellow strikers may need to step up but we are looking to get behind the hosts here.
LA Galaxy to win is the tip in what we think should be a high scoring game. Add in over 3.5 goals as your first prop bet and we’re also looking for Gianluca Busio to continue his impressive start to the campaign. So these are our predictions for this MLS game preview:
- LA Galaxy to win @ best odds of +165 with Bovada. Next best is +160 with BetOnline.
- Over 3.5 goals @ +135 with Bovada.
- Gianluca Busio to score at any time in 90 minutes @ +275 with Bovada.
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.