MLS Cup Conference Semi-Final Playoff: Seattle Sounders vs FC Dallas Preview, Betting Predictions, Picks

Ruidiaz: Sounders vs Dallas PredictionsSeattle Sounders welcome FC Dallas to CenturyLink Field today as the pair lock horns in the Western Conference Semi-finals (9.30pm ET Tuesday). Will it be the ultra-experienced post-season side that progresses? Or can the visitors cause an upset?

Read on for Seattle Sounders vs FC Dallas predictions, preview and betting picks from USAbetting.

Same old, same old for Sounders

The obvious starting point here is the fact that Seattle have made it to yet another conference semi-final. The current MLS Cup holders are no strangers to going deep into the post season and they always fancy themselves to get the job done in front of a home crowd at this late stage of the campaign. Not only did today’s hosts win the competition last season, but they were also in the final in 2017, while they lifted the trophy 12 months prior to that as well.

In addition, Seattle have made their way to five of the last eight Western Conference finals. Keeping this in mind and having reached three of the last four MLS Cup finals, the Sounders are very much the team to beat this term.

A fortress

In recent times, the Washington club have turned CenturyLink field into a fortress of sorts. The last time the men in green and blue tasted defeat on their own patch was back in September, when they were only narrowly touched off by Portland Timbers. Since then, Brian Schmetzer’s men have won six and drawn one on home soil. To end the regular season, they scored an impressive 20 goals in six matches at CenturyLink Field. They kept just one clean sheet during that time, though at no point did they allow their opponents to score once, which played a big part in them ending the regular season with the best defensive record in the west.

Visitors less familiar with this environment

Dallas have reached the playoffs in six of the last seven seasons, which is not a record to be sneezed at, though they have not made it to a final during that time. The last time that FC Dallas featured in an MLS Cup final was in 2010. They lost 2-1 to Colorado Rapids. More importantly, they have not reached the Western Conference final since 2015, meaning that they’ve failed to make it further than this stage in each of the last four campaigns. What went before doesn’t often hold much sway, though such a record doesn’t exactly bode well ahead of a match against serial MLS Cup finalists.

Patchy away record

While Seattle have made light work of racking up the wins at home of late, Dallas have floundered somewhat away from the comforts of Toyota Stadium. They did eventually overcome the Timbers in Portland last time out, a win that allowed them to book their place in the last four in the west, though prior to that extra-time victory, the Toros had won just once in six travelling fixtures, four of which they lost.

The problem for Luchi Gonzalez’s men on the road this term has, at least recently, been a lack of attacking power. They scored no more than a single goal in each of their last six regular-season away games. They failed to find the net in five of those six. That is a worrying statistic ahead of a match against a Seattle side that has been pretty effective at both ends of the pitch at this venue in recent times.

Stats show hosts superior

If we scratch beneath the surface and look beyond results, we can see that Seattle have done well at home, or at least they have done from a numbers perspective. Today’s hosts come into this fixture having averaged a very pleasing 2.15 expected goals for per 90 at home during the regular season, which essentially tells us that they have created enough in the way of scoring opportunities to score an average of 2.15 goals per home game. Their Raúl Ruidíaz is as low as 3/1 to score the first goal. At the other end, they have surrendered an average of just 0.97, leaving them with a healthy expected goals supremacy of +1.18. When it comes to shots, they’ve bettered their opponents on average too, registering 13 for per 90 and only 7.8 against. As for shots on target, Schmetzer’s men average 5 per home game, which isn’t outstanding, but it holds up well against an average of only 2.9 conceded.

In contrast, Dallas have struggled numerically on their travels, which isn’t surprising given their lack of positive results. Today’s visiting team averaged 1.33 expected goals for away from home during the regular season, but surrendered an average of 1.74, leaving themselves with a negative supremacy of -0.41. The shot data doesn’t exactly make for great reading either. Luchi’s side averaged 11.6 shots for, as well and 4 shots on target for, but gave up averages of 15.3 and 4.8.

Stick with the hosts

Everything points towards a win for the hosts, who are no strangers to making it further than this stage in the post season. On top of the above, which goes some way to condemning the visitors, the Sounders have been winning at half-time in four of their last six wins at home. Against LAFC in the previous round, they held the lead before going on to secure a 3-1 victory. A mere repeat of that performance against Dallas ought to see a side that has fast become prolific in terms of reaching MLS Cup finals land the spoils for bettors.

So for the Seattle Sounders vs FC Dallas predictions for this preview, we offer one of these two alternatives with the USA sports betting sites:

  1. Those looking to go straight in on the moneyline probably won’t be disappointed if they opt for a home win: Seattle are best @ best odds of -149 with Bookmaker or BetOnline.
  2. Those looking for a juicier price are advised to take ‘Seattle to Win HT/FT’ (at half-time & full-time) @ +155 with Bovada. It is +140 with Intertops.