The MLS Cup playoffs continue this week with the conference semi-finals and Wednesday’s encounter sees Sporting KC take on Minnesota Utd at Children’s Mercy Park (9pm ET; TV: Live on FS1).
Kansas are hot favorites to progress to this weekend’s conference final and they have a strong home record against their opponents but there are reasons why Minnesota can be more than hopeful of gaining a positive result.
Aside from the moneyline pick, we have our usual range of props on the line so let’s see what the American-friendly sportsbooks make of this clash before deciding on our Sporting KC vs Minnesota predictions and concluding picks.
SKC vs MNUFC Moneyline Betting Odds
Kansas lead the way in the result betting with Peter Vermes’ men available at a general -160 to win in 90 minutes. The draw is the next option on this list at +300 while a win for Minnesota can be claimed at an industry best of +400.
SKC have a perfect record against MNUFC on their home ground with six straight wins at Children’s Mercy Park. Head to head results this season also point to the home win but the form guide is slightly tipped in favor of the visitors and, like other tipsters this week, we feel that this game could well go into overtime. Before confirming a moneyline pick, let’s take a look at the players who can swing this tie.
Prop Bet Thoughts & Predictions
Minnesota have enjoyed a change in fortunes in recent weeks and much of their success has been down to some shrewd trading. Striker Kei Kamara was previously with Kansas and tied for the Golden Boot in 2015 while with Columbus Crew. He has looked sharp although coach Adrian Heath preferred Robin Lod last time out. Both Kamara and Lod could be strong contenders in the first goalscorer market.
For Sporting Kansas, much could depend on the fitness of Alan Pulido, the Mexican striker who scored six goals in his first 12 MLS matches before injuring his knee. Pulido was believed to be targeting this week for his comeback but there is no news from the Kansas camp as yet.
If Pulido is missing, the reliable Johnny Russell could be the hosts’ best option in the individual goalscorer markets.
Our regular range of prop bets includes Both Teams to Score which is available for Wednesday at a general -175. Those are short odds but the sides are returning an average of just under two goals per game over their last ten combined fixtures.
Those stats also look to be encouraging for anyone taking a bet in the Total Goals markets. Over 2.5 goals remains short at an average of around -175 but, if we go one higher and stake Over the 3.5 line, those odds lift to a general +150.
For correct score followers, our focus is on a high scoring draw on 90 minutes and there is the potential for another dramatic penalty shootout. A 2-2 final scoreline is listed at an industry best of +1300 and that would be our preference for a small wager. Alternatively, a 2-1 win for Sporting KC is quoted at +700 while the same final score in favor of Minnesota is available at +1600 in places.
Our Preview’s SKC vs MNUFC Predictions & Betting Picks Verdict
Alan Pulito’s potential availability could have a bearing on the final outcome although Kansas haven’t exactly been short of goals in his absence. Vermes’ men have scored 12 in their last five but goals haven’t been the problem in recent weeks. At the wrong end of the pitch, Sporting KC have conceded five in the same period and, while they have recorded some shutouts, three goals for San Jose last time out will certainly offer Minnesota some hope.
Issues in Kansas’ defense are among the reasons why this MLS Cup conference semi-final preview from USAbetting is looking to the draw and the visitors have the fire power that can exploit any shortcomings at the back. Adrian Heath’s men have scored ten goals in their last four soccer games and that run includes two straight wins via a 3-0 scoreline. Those two shutouts could also be significant but the away side’s defense will be faced with a far greater test at Children’s Mercy Park on Wednesday.
As we’ve been hinting throughout this SKC vs MNUFC preview, one of the betting picks will be the draw in 90 minutes. If it goes to penalties, it’s something of a lottery but we will have collected by that point. Our options for first goal scorer are extensive and we would be looking to Pulito if he makes the Kansas starting XI.
With team selection in doubt, we’ll switch to two of our regular prop bets. Both Teams to Score is a shorter pick but, as we have seen from those combined scoring stats, it should have a high chance of landing. The same thought process is behind the Over 3.5 goals final pick and this time we climb above the evens for better value.
Remember, all of these selections are for the result in 90 minutes (normal time) and exclude any possible overtime. So these are our Sporting Kansas City vs Minnesota Utd predictions and picks for this preview:
- Back the draw on the moneyline @ best odds of +323 with Bookmaker.
- Go with both teams to score (BTTS) @ -165 with Bovada. It is -175 with Intertops.
- Take over 3.5 goals @ +155 with Bovada. It is +140 with Intertops.
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.