The Philadelphia Union will aim to lock up an MLS playoff spot on Sunday when they play host to FC Cincinnati.
The Philadelphia Union will aim to lock up a playoff spot on Sunday when they play host to FC Cincinnati. While the Union is well-positioned to reach the playoffs, they can make things official with a positive result. The Union won 2-1 in Cincinnati earlier this month and will hope for a similar result on Halloween night.
According to BetUS, Philadelphia is a heavy favorite on Sunday, with the betting odds of -350 compared to Cincinnati’s odds of +950. The draw is currently priced at +485. The betting odds at BetOnline are pretty similar, with the Union priced at -340, Cincy at +940, and the draw at +500.
As for those interested in totals betting, there is also an over/under of three total goals being scored in the game.
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As mentioned, Philadelphia is on the verge of clinching a playoff spot. They enter the weekend third in the Eastern Conference standings with 50 points. At the moment, there are six teams within seven points of the Union, but a win in either of their final two games of the season will secure a playoff spot for Philadelphia while also giving them a chance to climb as high as second in the standings.
Meanwhile, Cincinnati can be found at the other end of the standings. The Orange and Blue have just four wins in 32 matches this season, giving them just 20 points. With just two games left in the season, FC Cincinnati has already guaranteed itself the fewest points in MLS in 2021.
Bad to Worse
Cincinnati will head into the team’s final two games on a ten-game losing streak and just one win over the last 13 matches. The club has fired both its coach and GM late in the season, although neither move has been able to spark a change in the team’s performance. Also, the Orange and Blue haven’t won a game on the road since the end of June.
Specifically, the team’s defensive record has been a disaster lately, with Cincinnati giving up 15 goals in its last three matches. They’ve now allowed 70 goals in 32 games, which is the worst defensive record in the league. The only silver lining is the Orange and Blue have scored seven goals over their last three games, so they are finding a little more success on the attack late in the year.
Running Out of Time
While the Union is in good shape for a playoff spot, Philadelphia’s form late in the season has been less than ideal. The Union is coming off a 2-2 draw with Toronto, which is in second-to-last place, giving Philly just one win and two draws in four games since beating Cincinnati earlier this month. Despite having one of the best defensive records in MLS behind goalie Andre Blake, the Union has conceded seven goals over four games.
On the bright side, Philadelphia’s attack has become a little more reliable late in the year. They’ve scored 12 goals in their last six games and have scored multiple goals in five of those six matches. Kacper Przybylko has become the team’s go-to scorer, including the only goal in Philly’s 1-0 win over Nashville last weekend.
State the Obvious
Obviously, the betting lines in this game are lopsided, and now is not the time to go against the grain. Even if Philadelphia hasn’t been unstoppable down the stretch, the Union should have no problem beating a team that’s lost 10 in a row and has nothing on the line. Even if there isn’t much upside, bet on the Union to beat Cincinnati on Sunday.
At the same time, the Union’s defense has been lacking enough to make a clean sheet unlikely. Keep in mind that Cincinnati has started to hit its stride in the attacking third of the field. If you are going to bet online, bet on more than three total goals being scored in this game.