Both Teams Chasing Playoff Spot as Inter Miami Visit NYRB
With both teams sitting on the outside of the playoff picture, three points will be imperative for both teams on Saturday night when the New York Red Bulls host Inter Miami CF. Both teams are running out of time and opportunity to make up ground in the Eastern Conference standings.
This game is also a little personal for Inter Miami CF, which was embarrassed at home by the Red Bulls 4-0 last month.
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Betting Odds & Betting Lines
According to BetUS, the Red Bulls are heavy favorites at -140 after dominating the Herons last month. Meanwhile, Inter’s betting odds are set at +400 with a +280 for a draw. There is also an over/under of 2.5 total goals being scored in the game.
The Race is On
As mentioned, both teams are nearing a point of desperation as it relates to the playoffs, although the Red Bulls are in a slightly better position. NYRB is currently ninth in the standings, six points behind CF Montreal in seventh place for the final playoff spot. The good news is that the Red Bulls have a game in hand compared to most teams in the Eastern Conference, so this is their chance to make up some ground.
Of course, the same is true for Inter Miami, which is 11th in the Eastern Conference. With 32 points, the Herons are eight points behind Montreal for the last playoff spot and also have a game in hand. Including Saturday’s game, both teams have just seven games left in the regular MLS season, so time is running out, and three points for either side would be a massive boost for that club’s playoff chances.
The end of September and early part of October have been endlessly frustrating for Inter Miami. The Herons suffered two lopsided losses at the hands of NYRB and Nashville before a pair of 1-0 losses to Atlanta and Portland in their last two games. The prevailing theme has been a profound lack of offense, as Inter Miami has just four goals in the club’s last eight games, giving them the fewest goals in MLS this year.
Everything has dried up for Gonzalo Higuain, who is scoreless in his last three matches despite leading the Herons in both goals and assists. Miami doesn’t have another player who has scored more than four goals this year, so if Higuain doesn’t score, the Herons don’t have many other answers. They’ve also gone six straight matches without keeping a clean sheet, so if the Herons want a result, they’ll have to find the back of the net.
The Red Bulls are in the midst of an interesting run lately, going unbeaten in five straight matches, a stretch that began with that 4-0 win over Inter Miami. The catch is that New York has only scored four goals in its last four matches since the last time the Red Bulls saw Miami. Leading scorer Patryk Klimala has suddenly gone, and the Red Bulls don’t necessarily have the firepower to create and finish chances without him.
On the other hand, the NYRB defense has conceded the fifth-fewest goals in the league this season. That’s a surprising stat for a team that is still on the outside of the playoff picture this late in the season. On the other hand, they’ve kept three clean sheets in their last five matches, conceding just twice during that stretch, so they may not need much offense in this game.
Safe and Scoreless
With Miami struggling to score and the Red Bulls stout defensively, the under on 2.5 goals might be the safest bet in this match. Despite their own offensive woes lately, NYRB should be able to find the back of the net while playing at home, giving them three points.