Sporting Kansas City vs Austin FC Preview, Predictions, Betting Picks: Oppose SKC

Sebastian DriussiA struggling Sporting Kansas City side takes on a high-flying Austin FC team on Saturday (8.30pm ET). Can the hosts pick up their first win in four matches (in all competitions) at Children’s Mercy Park? Or will the visitors continue challenging at the top of the Western Conference by picking up another valuable win?

It wasn’t long ago that Sporting Kansas City were one of the top dogs in the west, but that’s no longer the case. In fact, that couldn’t be further from the truth this time around. The men from Children’s Mercy Park currently prop up the rest of the division as they sit in a lowly 14th place, and if recent form is anything to go by, improvement doesn’t seem to be forthcoming. Saturday’s hosts are without a win in four games in all competitions, while they’ve won only one of their last six MLS fixtures. Problems indeed.

Last time out, the Austin FC boys did something that they’ve not done much this season and that’s lose. In a gripping and thrilling encounter against the New York Red Bulls, Josh Wolff’s men came off second best, losing by four goals to three. Despite scoring twice inside the final 25 minutes to pull themselves right back into a game that had got away from them, Saturdays visitors couldn’t quite atone for some poor defending earlier in the fixture. Fortunately, they remain in second and are only four points off league leaders LAFC, while their away form of late has been strong, so they ought to be feeling confident, despite their recent defeat.

Horrible home form

The SKC boys have failed to make Children’s Mercy Park a fortress this season, there can be no getting away from that fact. They’ve won only three out of ten in front of home crowd, losing five of the other seven. Subsequently, they’re the worst team in the Western Conference when it comes to points accrued at home. The reason for this? A sheer lack of goals. No team in the west has scored fewer goals than Peter Vermes’ men, who have notched just eight times on home soil during the current campaign averaging a paltry 0.80 goals per 90 minutes. And the reason behind this alarming lack of goals is a relative lack of creativity. They average just 0.94 expected goals for per game at home, which is yet again, easily the lowest in the division.

Accelerating away from home

In stark contrast to the hosts at home, Austin have been in flying form away from home this season, picking up more away points than any other Western Conference team, collecting an impressive 23 from 12 games. Better still, they’re the top scorers on the road in the west, scoring a lofty average of 1.66 goals per game. If any team knows how to dig in and get results on their travels, then it really is Josh Wolff’s men, who in all honesty, appear to have a gilt-edged opportunity to pick up another road win.

All-square in the head-to-head

During Austin FC’s maiden MLS campaign in 2021, they faced SKC on no fewer than three occasions, winning one, tying one and losing one. When the teams last met, at this venue back in November 2021, it was Saturday’s hosts who emerged victorious, winning by three goals to one. Interestingly, none of the previous three renewals of this fixture have gone the way of the visitors. Can Wolff’s men maintain their 100% home record against SKC?

Austin all day

It’s difficult to spin this one in a way that makes the hosts look a good bet, and even at odds of +170, they look too short, which is rare for a home team, but such has been the level of their efforts.

The big difference between the pair is that Austin score lots of goals and have an attacking set-up that features a trio of hugely in-form players. Driussi, Fagunde and Urruti have scored 25 goals between them this term, which is considerably more than SKC’s entire team have scored combined.

In fact, the visitors have scored more goals on the road than the hosts have overall. They’re also superior in terms of expected goals, so it is not difficult to conclude that the away win is the way to go, especially at an early price that looks a little inflated and will almost certainly shrink by the time the pair lock horns on Saturday.

Sebastian to score again

If you’re considering going down the route of a player prop here, then Sebastian Driussi is impossible not to support at odds of +165. The Argentine is in fantastic form, scoring twice last time out, notching four in his last five. He has also scored in two of Austin’s last three on the road, while he averages 0.62 goals per 90 minutes this season. If anyone is going to have the desired impact for the travelers on Saturday, it will almost certainly be their main man.

So these are our SKC vs Austin FC predictions and picks for this MLS game betting preview:

  • Austin FC to win on the moneyline @ +155 with Bovada.
  • Sebastian Driussi to score at any time @ +165 with Bovada or EveryGame.