MLS Soccer Picks for 1st Meeting Between Columbus Crew & NYCFC

Kevin Stott

Monday, August 17, 2015 1:51 PM GMT

These two clubs have never met before, so what’s the best way to approach this game and are there any perceived betting edges in what appears to be a back-and-forth type game?
 

Odds Overview
NYCFC at Columbus Crew [Wednesday,19 at 7:30 ET/4:30 p.m. PT] (MLS Live, YES Network, TWCSC-OHIO (USA) First-year MLS participant NYCFC (7-6-11, 34 GF-37 GA) travels to Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, Ohio to play the Columbus Crew (9-7-8, 38 GF-39 GA) in MLS Week 25 action on Wednesday night. MLS odds makers here have made host Columbus -133 favorites here with NYCFC priced at +320 and the Draw set at +280 (bet365). The Total Goals here ranges between 2½ and 3 and will likely be found at 3 neat matchday with the higher juice on the Under. A 2½ Total with high juice on the Over can be found at some places in the United Kingdom, offshore an online (-187, bet365). Some Props odds for this fixture from The Buckeye State: Both Teams To Score: Yes -187, No +155 (BetVictor); To Win To Nil: Crew +260, NYCFC +800 (Ladbrokes); and, Draw No Bet: Crew -250, NYCFC +210 (BetVictor).

 

New York City Football Club
NYCFC (3-2-6 Road, 9 GF-13 GA) won in Week 24 action (Aug. 13) against Eastern Conference leaders DC United at Yankee Stadium, 3-1, but City (27 points) still remains in 8th place in the East, just 1 point back of the 6th-place Montreal Impact (28 points), although NYCFC has played 3 less games (24) than has the Impact (21), so for this first-year club to make the postseason, winning a game or two on the Road like this down the stretch, or maybe even earning a Draw, will make the difference whether or not Head Coach Jason Kreis and NYCFC can bump someone out of one of the East playoff slots. NYCFC is led by Spanish sensation David Villa (14 goals), Tommy McNamara (5 goals), Patrick Mullins (4 goals), Mehdi Ballouchy (3 goals) and Mix Diskerud (3 goals). Besides Villa as a Designated Player, NYCFC also features former English Premier League legend Frank Lampard (Chelsea, Manchester City) as well as former Italian Serie A legend Andrea Pirlo (Juventus) and NYCFC (16/1 to win MLS Cup, BetVictor) has draw some Futures attention to win the MLS Cup with the club’s odds dipping from 33/1 last week to the 16/1 they’re at currently.

 

Columbus Crew SC
The Columbus Crew (7-3-2 Home, 27 GF-16 GA) have been below average on the Road (-12 GD) and above average here at Home (+11) where they have just 2 Losses and should find a way to top NYCFC here midweek. With Steve Clark at GK and star Kei Kamara (17 goals), Ethan Finlay (7 goals), Federico Higuain (6 goals) and Tony Tchani (4 goals), the Crew have a balanced enough team to maybe win a game in the postseason, but with the Western Conference so strong—as usual—expecting the Crew to capture the MLS Cup this season (16/1, BetVictor) is probably wishful thinking but the imbalance and popularity and human nature in sport betting is revealed when one sees that the third-place Crew have the same soccer odds now as the 8th-place and first-year NYCFC does. Only in the MLS. In its last game (Aug. 9), Columbus defeated the Colorado Rapids, 2-1 in Commerce City, so, the Crew will have had a healthy 9-day rest heading into this one.

 

Current Form, Series Trends, Conclusions
This will be the first meeting ever between NYCFC (Current Form—LWDLWLLW) and the Columbus Crew (Current Form—LWWDLW), so there are no series Trends to draw from in the handicap. But given the strength of the Crew at Home and the reality that NYCFC is a first-year franchise playing for the first time in Mapfre Stadium with just 3 Wins in 11 Road matches means that siding with the hosts here is the more logical soccer pick. And, as far as the Total, this comes down to art as there is no Science to be gleaned, and with Kamura, Finlay, Villa, Lampard, Pirlo and McNamara all possibly out there, there will just be too many great passes and too many quality scoring chances for the game to stay under a 2½ Total. This could evolve into an entertaining shootout, and look for Kamura to get a score or two for the Crew.


Predicted Final Score:  Columbus Crew 3 NYCFC 2

Mayor League Soccer Picks: Crew -125, Over 2½ -187 at Bet365, Both Teams To Score -187 at BetVictor

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