Major League Soccer returns this weekend and the fixture calendar has given us an intriguing tie at the DRV PNK Stadium. Owner David Beckham and his current Inter Miami side host Beckham’s former team, LA Galaxy in this opening clash on Sunday (3pm ET; TV: Live on ABC & ESPN).
Beckham spent five productive seasons at Galaxy as a player and will therefore have mixed feelings across the 90 minutes on Sunday afternoon. From our perspective, this could be an entertaining game with some potential for betting value across a number of markets.
The match result betting shows Inter Miami as favorites to claim the win at odds of -120 with most leading American sportsbooks. The draw is the next option on the list at a general +275, while victory for LA Galaxy can be backed at an industry best of +310.
First games of any new campaign can be harder to call and, if we look at results from last season, the teams were evenly matched. Inter Miami made their MLS debut in 2020 and claimed 24 points from 23 games in the Eastern Conference. That haul was enough to take the franchise into the postseason but they fell at the first hurdle, losing to Nashville in the Play-in Round.
Over in the Western Conference, LA Galaxy gained 22 points from their 22 games. They also finished in tenth place but the format of the division meant that they didn’t progress beyond the regular season.
Based on those simple statistics, the teams may just be more evenly matched than the moneyline odds suggest.
Inter Miami will be hoping for a more productive season from their key striker Gonzalo Higuain. The former Real Madrid centre forward signed from Juventus in September but missed a penalty and became involved in a brawl on his debut. Things didn’t get much better as Higuain scored just once in his first nine MLS games.
Despite those issues, Higuain is a favorite in all individual goal scoring markets and he is as short as +100 (evens) to find the net at any time in 90 minutes. There are some more tempting picks in that market and one player to watch could be Miami’s Lewis Morgan. The Scot contributed five important goals from midfield in 2020 and is available at +250 for an anytime goal.
For LA Galaxy, the key man could be Mexican international Javier Hernandez. Like Higuain, the former Manchester United and Real Madrid star hasn’t exactly been prolific since heading to the US in 2020. However, he should be more productive and more settled this season and odds of +190 for an anytime goal are of interest.
Elsewhere, Both Teams to Score is on offer for this match at odds of -175 at most bookies. We have seen that there are some prolific strikers in either camp but there are no current goal stats to consider and that price looks a little too short.
There should be better value in the Total Goals betting where over 2.5 offers best industry odds of -154. However, by pushing that a little higher to over 3.5, we can lift that to a more interesting +160.
As always we will finish with some Correct Score suggestions and we have a feeling that Sunday’s game could finish in a high-scoring draw. A 2-2 final scoreline would be the preference with a small stake at +1100.
Alternatively, a 2-1 home win for Inter Miami is listed at a general +700 while the same outcome in favor of LA Galaxy can be found at +1300 in places.
Our Preview’s Inter Miami vs LA Galaxy Predictions & Betting Picks Verdict
While both teams finished in tenth place in their respective conferences, there have naturally been some changes in the playing rosters for 2021. Both teams have also changed their coach in the off season. At Inter Miami, David Beckham has brought in his former Manchester United and England teammate Gary Neville while Greg Vanney will be in the Galaxy dugout after six seasons with Toronto FC.
Miami also have some issues with roster compliance as the signing of Blaise Matuidi is under investigation at the time of writing. Neville has brushed the problems away in interviews but it must be an unwelcome distraction.
All of this suggests that the game should be more closely contested than the moneyline odds suggest. It is a new era for both teams and all the indicators suggest they will cancel each other out. The draw is the main tip but there should be plenty of goals and we’ll therefore go over 3.5.
A high-scoring encounter should allow Javier Hernandez to get on the mark for LA Galaxy ahead of a more productive campaign. At the same time, we’ll look to kick off our own MLS season with a decent profit. So these are our Inter Miami vs LA Galaxy predictions for this preview:
- The draw @ best odds of +270 with BetOnline or Bookmaker.
- Javier Hernandez to score at any time @ +190 with Intertops.
- Over 3.5 goals @ a best of +170 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.