New York Red Bulls will look to continue moving in the right direction on Sunday evening, as they host high-flyers Orlando City at Red Bull Arena (7pm ET). Will the hosts be able to close the gap between themselves and their opponents, which currently stands at seven points?
Read on for USAbetting’s NY Red Bulls vs OCSC predictions and full preview with ultimate betting picks.
Red Bulls resurgent
Following two bad results, losing against both this Orlando side and Inter Miami, the Red Bulls have got their act together of late. Just two days after they lost agonizingly against David Beckham’s expansion side, Chris Armas’ men won away at Atlanta, while they followed up by securing a very pleasing away-day draw against Toronto, who currently lead the way in the east, thanks to an outstanding equaliser teenage sensation Caden Clark, who at the age of just 17, became the third youngest scorer in MLS this term. After two encouraging results, NYRB will be looking to get some revenge on an Orlando side that continues to look strong.
Orlando ticking along
Unlike Sunday’s hosts, there has been no need for Orlando to bounce back of late, as they have not fallen out of form for a while. The Lions are unbeaten since losing to Inter Miami in late August. They have since won six and drawn five. What has been impressive about Orlando’s recent unbeaten run is how often they’ve restricted their opponents. Óscar Pareja’s men have conceded just one goal or less in each of their last 11 matches.
Home maybe not where the heart is?
Red Bulls come into this game in decent form but the way things have gone for them at this venue of late is something of a worry. They did recently get the better of Montreal Impact in front of a home crowd, though given the way things have gone for the Canadian side, that’s not exactly anything to shout about. Aside from their win against what is very much a wounded animal, NYRB haven’t won at home since August, losing to Inter Miami, Cincinnati, Philadelphia and DC United in the process. Such form doesn’t exactly bode well ahead of a game against in-form opposition.
Lions strong on the road
While the Red Bulls have regularly floundered at home in recent times, Orlando are now unbeaten in their last five travelling fixtures. They may have won only two of those five, but they’ve been incredibly hard to get at. The Lions go to Red Bull Arena off the back of consecutive away clean sheets, which should leave them feeling confident given that their hosts have scored in just two of their last five at home.
Recent result a good indicator?
Fortunately, we have got some relevant recent form to look over ahead of this one. This pair clashed in Florida just two weeks ago. Orlando won by three goals to one. Was their victory deserved? In short, yes. The Lions dominated proceedings, not only in terms of possession but in terms of shots on target and expected goals. The match ended with Orlando having created an extra 1.3 expected goals than their opponents, which shows that from a chance creation point of view, that they were worthy victors.
Where’s the bet?
For several reasons, the visitors are hard to oppose in the betting. Critically, from an odds point of view, they seem too big. OCSC’s recent away record trumps the home record of the Red Bulls, while it was the Florida side that were relatively comfortable winners when the pair met just two weeks ago.
If we dig a little deeper, the underlying numbers, especially in the defensive areas, also support the notion that Orlando are worthy of a shorter price. The visitors have surrendered an average of just 0.88 expected goals per 90 in their last five on the road. Now, Red Bulls have performed similarly according to expected goals, averaging 0.94 in their last five at home. However, their last line of defence has been worse, while such a similarity doesn’t exactly add up to such a disparity in betting odds, even with the home advantage factored in.
At the end of the day, we’re talking about a strong visiting side, one that is very tough not only to beat but score against, going up against a home side that has struggled to get results on their own patch of late. As for our NYRB vs Orlando predictions, at slightly generous odds of +140 with the United States’ sports betting firms, ‘Orlando City Draw No Bet’ appeals.
Attractive player prop
For those interested in player props, Chris Mueller looks an excellent bet to continue his scoring form. The attacker found the net against New York City in the week, while his overall stats are impressive. Scorer of eight goals this term, the 23-year-old is not only averaging 1.14 shots on target per 90 but is averaging 0.40 expected goals per 90. Few players in MLS can match that. Against a Red Bulls’ back-line that has given up eight goals in their last five at home, the Orlando man is worth a punt as an anytime scorer. So these are our final betting picks for this preview: