Race to the Bottom in Saturday’s Austin vs Dallas Clash
The last place in Major League Soccer’s Western Conference could be decided on Saturday night when FC Dallas plays host to Austin FC in a battle of Lone Star State rivals. The winner of this match will also be the winner of this year’s Copa Tejas. FC Dallas has won the two previous meetings against Austin FC earlier this season, although that will not guarantee victory in their third meeting of 2021.
According to BetUS, FC Dallas is a heavy favorite on Saturday with a -115 Moneyline compared to Austin’s Moneyline of +300. There is also a Moneyline of +270 for a draw. Oddsmakers have also placed an over/under of three total goals being scored in this game.
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Always Something on the Line
Outside of bragging rights, there is a lot on the line for both teams despite both teams being eliminated from playoff contention. With three matches left to play, Austin is last in the Western Conference but just one point behind FC Dallas, with only two games left. Oddly enough, the Houston Dynamo is just one point ahead of Dallas in the fight to avoid last place in the Western Conference.
As mentioned, this match will also have ramifications in the Copa Tejas. Houston and Dallas are currently tied at eight points in the cup, with Austin sitting at six points. With this being the final match of Copa Tejas in 2021, the winner will win the cup, although FC Dallas would finish first with a draw against Austin on Saturday.
Austin FC can’t help but be a little disappointed at the club’s inaugural season. While Verde wasn’t expected to be the best team in the league right away, they would prefer to avoid finishing last in the Western Conference. The good news is that Austin knocked off Houston 2-1 earlier in the week, giving Verde a chance to climb out of last place.
Austin FC has three wins in the club’s last six matches with that win over the Dynamo, so there is some positive momentum late in the season. The problem is that Verde has been shut out in its three losses during that stretch. Meanwhile, Austin FC has conceded ten goals since the club’s last clean sheet in the five matches.
FC Dallas can finish last in the Western Conference because the Toros are winless in their last ten matches since a 5-3 win over Austin in late August. Dallas continues to be one of the worst defensive teams in the league, allowing 21 goals in its last ten matches. On the season, the Toros have now allowed 54 goals in 32 games.
On the bright side, the Toros have an attack that can keep them competitive in games despite their lackluster defending. Despite going winless in 10 straight, FC Dallas has scored 14 goals during that stretch, not including the five goals they put past Austin in their most recent win. Unfortunately, leading scorer Ricardo Pepi has been scoreless in his last two games since returning from the international break, while Jesus Ferreira has just one goal and one assist in his previous five matches.
Run Up the Score
In the two previous matches between these teams, a total of 10 goals has been scored. That should make it a safe bet that more than three total goals will be scored in this game.
Meanwhile, this might be a good opportunity for bettors to try their luck with underdog Austin. As mentioned, Austin has three wins in six matches while Dallas has gone winless in 10 straight. With Austin FC listed as a heavy underdog, there is a lot of value in picking Austin to come away with the win.