Orlando City vs Philadelphia Union Picks, Betting Predictions & Full Preview: Home in on the Moneyline

Ercan KaraAfter back-to-back games without a win, Orlando City goes in search of all three points on Saturday (7.30pm ET), but to do so they’ll have to get the better of a very strong Philadelphia Union side. Can either team come out on top at Exploria Stadium?

Inconsistent is the best way to describe Orlando City in recent times, but Saturday’s hosts may just have got it together in recent weeks. Sure, they have not won in two, tying against both the Rapids and the Five Stripes, but they’re now unbeaten in three Major League Soccer fixtures, and the fact that they come here off the back of consecutive away-day ties is promising. Back on home soil, where they were recently victorious against Inter Miami, Óscar Pareja’s men should be feeling confident.

Philly’s recent efforts are hard to question. They beat the New England Revolution last time out, while they’ve now won three MLS games on the spin, getting the better of both D.C. United and Inter Miami. During that time, they’ve enjoyed themselves offensively, as they’ve notched an impressive total of 11 goals, scoring two or more in each of their last three. They are also now unbeaten in four league games and have lost just one of their last 11 domestic fixtures. Such form is why Jim Curtin’s men currently top the Eastern Conference.

In, out, in, out

At home, the Orlando boys have been drifting in and out, in and out in terms of form. They’ve won five, lost five of their ten games at Exploria Stadium. Results wise, it seems that either they’re on it or they’re not. However, that’s not strictly true. Let’s look at their last five at home for example. Of those five, they’ve lost two and won three, but it’s not as though they were hugely outplayed when losing. In fact, they’ve either tied their opponents or bettered them in terms of expected goals in each of those five games, averaging 1.78 xG for and 1.12 xG against. Such number are far from bad. Moreover, they suggest that the men in purple are moving in the right direction.

Digging deep

If you want to know why Philly are doing so well in the east, then just look at their home form. They’ve won six and tied five, losing zero at home, and it is with that form that they’ve built their success this season. However, you can’t just do it all at one location, and Curtin’s men certainly haven’t, as they’ve picked up some valuable away-day points to compliment what is the second-best home record in the division.

In fact, only the Red Bulls have collected more traveling points than the Union, who’ve certainly dug their heels in away from home, winning four, tying four and losing just two. A solid rear guard has helped them to avoid defeat on a regular basis. No team has conceded fewer goals on the road than Philly in the Eastern Conference this term.

Not easy to call

There are few secrets between Orlando City and the Philadelphia Union. The pair have locked horns several times during the last few years. Playing six times in either MLS or the US Open Cup since late 2019. Saturday’s hosts have won two of those fixtures, while the Union have won one, leaving three out of the six ending all-square. When the teams met at this venue just two months ago in the cup, it was Orlando who sneaked ahead, winning by two goals to one. Interestingly, in each of the last six competitive renewals of this fixture, both teams have scored at least once, while three or more goals have been scored in five of those six.

OCSC vs Philly: Where’s the bet?

Given their position in the table, there will no doubt be support for the visitors at odds of around +170, but if we dig a little deeper into their recent away efforts, then such a price because less than attractive, so much so that the +150 available on the home win becomes attractive.

Now, siding with the hosts won’t be for everyone, but as mentioned in this preview above, they’ve played well at home in recent times, even when they’ve not got the result. Their numbers are good, while they’re scoring with regularity. That is not something that the visitors can say, as they’ve scored in only two of their last four away games. They’ve conceded in three of those four.

More importantly, if we look at the expected goals numbers, they’ve not done too well, conceding figures of 0.9, 1.5, 1.8 and 2.8. At the other end, they’ve produced numbers of 1.3, 0.2, 0.6 and 0.7. While they have a recent average expected goal difference of -0.84 on the road in their last four, the hosts an average expected goal difference of +0.66. For my money, that’s enough to side with the hosts, who’ve beaten some decent sides at home of late, and this preview is betting that with an Exploria Stadium crowd behind them, they can do it again here.

Kara can do it again

If you want side with an individual player, then it’s hard to make a case for anyone other than Ercan Kara, who has scored seven Major League Soccer goals this term, scoring three in Orlando’s last three at Exploria Stadium. The Austrian is averaging 0.52 goals per 90 minutes, as well as 0.48 expected goals, while he tends to be more comfortable in his team’s own backyard with five of his seven MLS goals coming in front of a home crowd.

So these are the being predictions and picks for this OCSC vs Philly MLS game preview:

  • Orlando to win on the moneyline @ best odds of +150 with BetOnline.
  • Ercan Kara to score at any time @ +185 with EveryGame.