Pick Vancouver Over Sporting Kansas as the Whitecaps are Brimming with Confidence

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, August 11, 2015 4:34 PM GMT

Tuesday, Aug. 11, 2015 4:34 PM GMT

Oddsmakers have SKC obvious favorites here against Vancouver, but can the Whitecaps pull off the upset in the Midwest and are they worth a pick as fairly sized underdogs? 

Odds Overview
Vancouver Whitecaps at Sporting Kansas City (MLS Live, TSN2, RDS2, KMCI-38) 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT)

This Week 24 Western Conference must-see fixture sees the 1st-place Vancouver Whitecaps (13-3-8, 34 GF-22 GA) traveling to 3rd-place Sporting Kansas City (10-7-4, 33 GF-22 GA) at Sporting Park in Kansas City on Saturday night in a game which could be challenging for the conference leaders with it on the Road and SKC chasing the Whitecaps, although Vancouver has played three more games (24) than Sporting Kansas city (21) heading in here. Odds makers here have made host Sporting Kansas City +105 favorites, the visiting Whitecaps +250 Underdogs and the Draw at +240 (bet365). The Total Goals in this weekend fixture is 2½, with the Over juiced at +105 and Under priced at a high -134 (bet365). Some Props wagers for this game from the a city renowned for its tasty Ribs: Both Teams To Score: ‘Yes’ -117, ‘No’ -102 (BetVictor); To Win To Nil: Sporting Kansas City +275, Whitecaps +450 (Sky Bet); and, Draw No Bet: Sporting Kansas City -200, Whitecaps +150 (bet365).

 

Vancouver Whitecaps FC
The Vancouver Whitecaps (7-2-4 Road, 14 GF-9 GA) have proven to be the best Road team in the MLS so far this season and their 3-0 pasting of the Seattle Sounders last Road game really showed where things are in the MLS right now. The Whitecaps (7 Road Wins and 21 points from those victories) is now more 3 Wins more than every other team in the league now. And we all know elite teams learn to win on the Road, so getting those MLS Cup Futures bets in on Vancouver (10/1 to win MLS Cup, BetVictor) right about now seems Wise with the odds still in double digits (and down from 12/1). On Offense Vancouver is led by 23-year-old Uruguayan striker Octavio Rivero (9 goals), Matias Laba (4 goals), Kekuta Manneh (4 goals), Chilean MF Pedro Morales (4 goals), Darien Mattocks (3 goals)—on loan from Spanish La Liga’s Málaga and a very nice addition to the Whitecaps roster who was named MLS Newcomer of the Year—Cristian Techera (2 goals) and Gershon Koffie (1 goal). In goal, All-Star GK David Ousted—who was named MLS Player of the Month for June—is a huge reason that this Vancouver team is currently is now atop the Western Conference and easily the best Road team in the MLS. This makes betting against them away from Home a hard thing to do, opening up the potential to either back Vancouver as an underdog or contemplate a Draw, depending on the opponent and situation, of course, and here against SKC, it’s really a tough call with the hosts actually a little desperate and not wanting the Whitecaps to get any psychological edge on them as the Regular Season begins to wind down. On Saturday, the Whitecaps train rolled on with an impressive 3-0 rout over Real Salt Lake at BC Place in Vancouver.

 

Sporting Kansas City
In their last game of soccer, The Team Formerly Known as The Kansas City Wizards (3-3-4 Road, 14 GF-15 GA) defeated Toronto FC, 3-1 on Saturday night in Toronto as Jacob Peterson, Krisztián Németh and Benny Feilhaber scored for the American guests and victors. On Wednesday (August 12), SKC hosts Real Salt Lake in the US Open Cup—a good opportunity to bet on SKC although they should be high-priced—so this club could be a little tired. On Offense, Sporting Kansas City is led by Németh (8 goals), Feilhaber (8 goals), Dom Dwyer (7 goals), Ike Opara (2 goals), Kevin Ellis (2 goals), Roger Espinoza (1 goal) and the very valuable Graham  Zusi (1 goal) who returned after suffering concussion. And, with GK Rime Melia, this team is tied for allowing an MLS-low 22 Goals (tied with these Whitecaps, of course), but it’s important to remember the league-low 21 games Sporting Kansas City has played when weighing any statistical realities or looks at the league table right now. SKC could win the West, but may have to win this one to do so.

 

Current Form, Series Trends, Conclusions
Lifetime in MLS action, Sporting Kansas City holds a 3-2-1 edge (10 GF-8 GA) and SKC is 1-1-0 (3 GF-2 GA) here against Vancouver, including a 1-1 Draw in 2013, the last meeting here at Sporting Park. The last time these two met this season, was in Week 5 at BC Place where SKC won 1-0, so maybe Vancouver is looking for some payback here. Of note, the L3 in this series have all gone Under the Total (VAN 0-1 SKC, VAN 2-0 SKC, SKS 1-1 VAN), and with these two teams having two of the best Defenses and each allowing a league-low 22 goals, backing the Under is the what the handicap calls for in this one. And it seems taking a chance on Vancouver (Current Form—WLLDWWW) to knock off Sporting Kansas City (Current Form—LWWWLDW) with the nice plus seems worth a shot with our soccer picks, as this team is absolutely brimming with confidence now.

Predicted Final Score:  Sporting Kansas City 0 Vancouver Whitecaps 1
MLS Picks:  Under 2½ -133, Whitecaps +250 (bet365)

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