These teams know each other well, having clashed in the MLS is Back Tournament recently but predicting the result between Inter Miami and Orlando City is no easy task (8pm ET Saturday).
Miami came off worse in that encounter but will the same be true for this MLS game? Read on for USAbetting’s Inter Miami CF vs Orlando City SC predictions, preview and concluding picks.
Having seen expansion sides such as Atlanta and LAFC hit the ground running in recent seasons, there was probably no shortage of optimism surrounding Inter Miami’s inaugural MLS campaign. Things haven’t gone to plan for the club owned partially by England and MLS legend David Beckham.
Prior to the lengthy break in play due to COVID-19, Inter Miami lost to both LAFC and DC, while they lost each of their three matches at the MLS Is Back Tournament, the first of which was against Saturday’s opponents. Having tasted defeat in each of their first five matches, The Herons are now the not-so-proud owners of the worst opening record of any expansion side.
Orlando on the up?
For many seasons, Orlando have been viewed as one of the lesser MLS teams. A side that has always had an individual sparkle thanks to creative players such as Kaka, Kjelstan and now Nani, they have never quite been strong enough overall to challenge at the top of the Western Conference, though could that all be about to change?
Before sporting action went into hibernation, Orlando had put just a single point on the board from their opening two matches, but since the MLS has returned, the Florida natives have sprung into action. They went all the way to the final of the MLS is Back Tournament, en route to which they saw off strong competition. It is early days, but if the recent efforts of Óscar Pareja’s men are anything to go by then the immediate future looks bright for The Lions.
The first match at the MLS is Back Tournament saw these two lock horns. Orlando came out on top by two goals to one, thanks to a stoppage time winner from their mercurial captain Nani. Overall, that game was a close one. The pair were separated by just a single goal, while Orlando only created 0.20 expected goals more than The Herons, who were only narrowly bettered in terms of both shots and shots on target. This suggests that there may not be too much between the pair on Saturday, though since that opening fixture, the teams have gone in different directions, so it will be interesting to see how much of a factor that is.
Fine margins for the hosts
As their record suggests, Inter Miami have struggled to get to grips with life in Major League Soccer, though it is not as if they’ve been receiving hammerings left, right and centre. Interestingly, though they have lost five out of five, Diego Alonso’s men are yet to lose by more than a single goal, so the margins are fine. An extra slice of luck here and there and things could look different.
If we look at the matches that have already gone, then it is not difficult to conclude that Miami are not the easiest side to beat. As mentioned already in this preview, they are yet to lose by more than one goal, while they have not conceded more than twice in a game. They also have an average shot supremacy of +1, which while not overly impressive, tells us that they have not being regularly bettered in that area.
Lack of end-product
The main issue for Miami at present is a lack of end-product. For all they are not being battered and are hanging in games, they are finding it tough to get the ball in the net when it matters most, as three goals in five matches suggests. In terms of creativity, they have not done amazingly well, but an average of 1.18 expected goals shows that they’ve produced enough to have scored more goals than they have.
What do the sportsbooks’ odds say?
The early betting lines ahead of the match suggests that Miami are the likelier team to get the three points, which further illustrates that they’re not actually as poor as results suggest. Those who fancy The Herons finally to put three points on the board can take +150 on the moneyline. The visitors are available at a slightly chunky +180.
Visitors too big?
At the current odds, for all Miami are not the easiest to beat, Orlando look slightly on the large side. After all, they are the team that has kicked on in recent times. They’re the side that showed the greater end-product when the pair met just over a month ago, while they are the team that has been scoring goals on a regular basis.
As things stand, Inter Miami boast averages of 0.6 goals per 90, 1.18 expected goals for per 90, as well as 3.6 shots on target per 90. In contrast, Orlando are averaging 1.44 goals per 90. Additionally, Pareja’s side came out of the MLS is Back Tournament averaging a pleasing 1.72 expected goals for per 90. Such numbers are hard to ignore.
As we saw when the pair met at the MLS is Back Tournament, there’s probably not going to be much in it, but Orlando’s extra potency in the final third makes them stand out as a viable betting option. Those looking to take some value ahead of the weekend action can do so by backing The Lions to make it two out of two against their Florida rivals. So this is the concluding Inter Miami vs Orlando City predictions, against the best online betting sites, for this preview: