Cautiously Handicapped MLS Match Calls to Pick the Draw +275 Between Columbus Crew & FC Dallas

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, September 1, 2015 7:18 PM GMT

Kei Kamara & the Columbus Crew welcome FC Dallas to Mapfre Stadium on Sunday for this MLS Week 27 inter-conference betting affair between 2 teams currently in 3rd. place in their respective divisions. 

Odds Overview
FC Dallas at Columbus Crew [Sunday Sept. 6, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT] (MLS Live, Fox Sports 1 USA, Fox Deportes, Fox Sports GO (USA); Sky Sports 2/HD, Sky GO Extra, Sky Go UK (UK): Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, Ohio is the site of this MLS Week 27 inter-conference match on Sunday between the Eastern Conference’s 3rd-place team, the host Columbus Crew (11-8-8, 45 GF-44 GA) and the Western Conference’s 3rd-place club, FC Dallas (12-5-8, 35 GF-30 GA) in a game more important to the visitors from the Lone Star State sitting just 3 points above 6th place (38 points). Oddsmakers here have made host Columbus -117 favorites here with FC Dallas priced at +280 and the Draw set at +260 (William Hill). The Total Goals here has been set at 2½ with the Over priced at -137 and the Under at +114 (BetVictor). Some other Props odds for this fixture from the capital of the Buckeye State: Both Teams To Score: Yes -162, No +120 (Betfred); To Win To Nil: Crew +260, FC Dallas +700 (Paddy Power); and, Draw No Bet: Crew -275, FC Dallas +200 (bet365).

 

FC Dallas
FC Dallas (3-3-6 Away, 12 GF-18 GA) has only been able to score 12 goals on the Road in 12 games so far this season, so expect this one to be tight with FC Dallas trying to slow the pace as outscoring teams on the Road isn’t exactly their forte. In their last game on Saturday in Week 26 play, FC Dallas defeated Real Salt Lake 2-0 at Home in Frisco at Toyota Stadium as Tesho Akindele scored on a PK in the 2nd Half to give the hosts the lead and then Fabian Castillo added a second as the hosts earned the victory and the precious 3 points against RSL in a Western Conference affair GK Jesse Gonzalez recorded a Clean Sheet and FC Dallas (41 points) now sits just 5 points out of first place (LA Galaxy, 46 points), although the Team Formerly Known As The Dallas Burn have only played 25 games to date, whereas the Galaxy have played 28. But FC Dallas (11/1 to win MLS Cup, 888sport) also sits just 3 points away from 6th place (the Playoff cut-off mark), so games from here on in for this club will be huge, starting with this difficult one in Columbus. On the attack FC Dallas is led by Fabian Castillo (9 goals), Blas Pérez (5 goals), Mauro Diaz (5 goals), Michael Barrios (4 goals), Testro Akindele (4 goals), David Teixeira (2 goals), Ryan Hollinshead (2 goals) and Kellyn Acosta (2 goals) and this team will need to be somewhat aggressive when possessing the ball on the attack while trying to avoid any quick Crew breaks on the counter-attack as keeping Defense a priority will likely be the route Head Coach Óscar Pareja goes here on Sunday night.

 

Columbus Crew SC
In their last game, the Columbus Crew (8-4-2 Home, 32 GF-20 GA) defeated first-year NYCFC, 2-1 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx as the visitors earned the 3 points on a Justin Meram 2nd Half goal at the 83-minute mark. Federico Higuain gave Columbus a 1-0 lead, before Andrew Jacobson tied the match 19 minutes later at the 29-minute mark, 1-1. Crew Head Coach Gregg Berhalter and Columbus are now 3-1-0 in their L4 outings, but this Home game against improved FC Dallas could prove to be a challenge. Columbus features Steve Clark as its GK and star Kei Kamara (18 goals) is the star of the attack and is presently one of the most dynamic and valuable players in the MLS. Thirty-year-old Sierra Leonean Kamura is joined by Ethan Finlay (8 goals), Higuain (7 goals), Tony Tchani (5 goals) and Meram (4 goals) and are a much better team here at Home at Mapfre Stadium in Columbus (+12 GD) than they are on the Road (-11 GD) this season and the Crew have historically been really stingy of late at Home against FC Dallas. That reality is one reason why this should be tight, with FC Dallas (3/1 to win Western Conference, 888sport) needing the game a little more and possibly forcing a Defensive battle.

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Current Form, Series Trends, Conclusions
This will be the first meeting this season between these two clubs and FC Dallas (Current Form—WWWLLLW) is 1-0-3 over its L4 games overall in MLS play. Columbus Crew (Current Form—DLWDWWW) is an unbeaten 3-1-0 in its L4 so these teams have been going in different directions of late with the Crew earning 10 points in its L4 and FC Dallas getting just 3 points in their last game, that 2-0 win over RLS in suburban Dallas-Ft. Worth. Lifetime in this series, the Crew are 17-11-15 against FC Dallas in MLS play (60 GF-58 GA) while the Crew are an unimpressive 9-6-8 (28 GF-29 GA) versus FC Dallas here at Home although Columbus has absolutely dominated FC Dallas over the L8, going an unbeaten 5-3-0. Columbus is 4-2-0 in its L6 against FC Dallas (8 GF-2 GA) here at Mapfre Stadium in Columbus with 4 Clean Sheets, but with FC Dallas needing to hold its ground in the West, expect a game Defensive performance here in a match where the Draw is a strong possibility if FC Dallas (15/1 to win MLS Cup, 888sport) can score a goal and somehow keep the always dangerous Kamura in check. Even though the Crew (15/1 to win MLS Cup, 888sport) are hot and have had the recent relevant success in this series and FC Dallas are a little cold and below average on the Road, the difference between the West is a factor as is the fact FC Dallas needs to at least try to come away with a point here with so many good teams in its conference nipping at their heels (4th-place Sporting Kansas City, 40 points; 5th-place Portland Timbers, 40 points; 6th-place Seattle Sounders, 38 points; 7th-place San Jose Earthquakes, 38 points). Some caution should be exercised if betting this match with so many conflicting realities.

 

Predicted Final Score: Columbus Crew 1 FC Dallas 1

Major League Soccer Picks: Draw +275 at Bet365

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