MLS sides looking to put together a run of wins after regaining the winning thread last time out will do battle today, as the Colorado Rapids take on Nashville SC at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (9pm ET Saturday).
Read this Rapids vs Nashville predictions and preview article, with betting picks, to see how this soccer matchup is likely to unfold.
After setting the bar high last season, emerging late in the day to finish the regular season on top of the Western Conference, the Colorado Rapids have failed to kick on this time around. Sure, it is still early days, but the signs so far don’t exactly point towards another podium finish. Fortunately, they did get back to winning ways last time out, beating the Seattle Sounders by a goal to nil at this venue, a victory that will have undoubtedly filled today’s hosts with some much-needed confidence following their recent defeat in Kansas City. The Rapids have won two of their last three, but they’ve lost three of their last five in all competitions.
The MLS season didn’t start too well for Nashville, who like the Rapids thrived in the west last campaign, as they won only one of their opening four fixtures, though things have picked up for Gary Smith’s men since. They come into this matchup unbeaten in three in all competitions, two of which they have won, and after winning on the road to progress to the quarter finals of the US Open Cup. Today’s visitors ought to turn up at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in high spirits.
Happy at home
The season hasn’t gone amazingly well for the Rapids, and they don’t exactly come into this fixture in flying form, but if we judge them purely on their efforts in front of a home crowd, then Robin Fraser’s men are hard to criticize. No team in the Western Conference has picked up as many points at home as the Colorado Rapids have this season, while no team has won more home games.
Today’s hosts have won five and tied two of their seven games at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, scoring 11 goals and conceding just one in the process. Such numbers really are impressive. They have got the firepower to hurt teams, but crucially, they’re able to get on the front foot thanks to sturdy foundations, that have so far proved incredibly hard to breach at this venue.
Not only have the Rapids conceded just a single goal at home this term, keeping a remarkable six clean sheets, but they’ve kept teams nice a quiet in terms of chances too, surrendering an average of 0.84 expected goals per 90 minutes. OK, such an average tells us that they have been slightly fortunate to concede just once in seven games, but it also shows that they have not been giving a great deal away. As anybody who has watched much Major League Soccer knows, an ability to keep teams quiet goes a long way in this league.
Nashville SC aren’t the worst travelers in the Western Conference, but they are far from the best. Often sturdy and useful from a defensive point of view, the visitors sometimes fail to pack a punch when venturing away from the comforts of GEODIS Park. Thanks to the construction of their new home not being complete until after the season got underway, Smith’s men have traveled away from home lots this season, with nine of their 13 fixtures being played on the road.
Of those nine, they have won three, tied two and lost four. In recent weeks, they have been a bit more consistent on their travels, but it has been consistency of the wrong kind, as they are now without a win in three away matches, two of which they’ve lost. A recent lack of goals has proved costly, with the visitors scoring in none of their last two away matches.
Where’s the Colorado Rapids vs Nashville SC bet with the USA sportsbooks?
Given what we’ve seen from the Rapids at home and the boys from Music City on the road, it’s easy to feel that there’s some juice in the home win at odds +105. While Colorado have taken an average of 2.43 points per game at home, the second highest in the division, the visitors have claimed an average of just 1.22 points on the road.
Smith’s men also have an average expected goal difference of -0.14 on their travels, while Fraser’s men have an average expected goal difference of +0.98, again the second best in the west. These facts are hard to ignore, as is the fact that for the one home goal the Rapids have conceded, the men in yellow have conceded 11 away from home.
All in all, there is nothing to suggest that the hosts will make harder work of securing maximum points than the current betting odds with the major online stateside sportsbooks would have us believe. So if you’re looking for something of a one-and-done situation this weekend, support the Colorado Rapids to come out on top.
Diego to do it again
In an attacking sense, one man has stood tallest of them all for the Colorado Rapids this season, and that is Diego Rubio, who has notched six times. Against a Nashville SC side without a clean sheet in four on the road, the Chilean forward looks a decent bet to bag again too.
The 29-year-old currently averages 0.57 goals per 90 minutes, as well as an impressive 0.59 expected goals, not to mention a very healthy average of 3.34 shots per game, so he’s the man for the job if you’re looking for a player prop ahead of this one. So these are the betting picks and Colorado Rapids vs Nashville SC predictions for this preview: