The opening weekend of the 2019 MLS season didn’t disappoint. In week two, DC United travel to New York City FC hoping to continue their impressive run stretching back to the end of last season. Want to inform your New York City FC vs. DC United prediction? Read on for some expert MLS betting insight.
New York City FC vs. DC United live odds
Home field advantage is a key factor in this matchup. DC may have impressed recently but that was mainly been at Audi Field. They travel to Yankee Stadium to face a consistent New York City FC side and have only been given around 25% chance of getting the win (the home side have been given over 50% chance).
There was an average of 3.06 goals in NYFC’s games last season and 3.23 in games featuring DC United so it’s no surprise to see the Over/Under pitched at 3 goals.
New York City FC vs. DC United: Key information
Date: Sunday, March 10
Time: 19:00 (UTC) kickoff
Venue: Yankee Stadium
New York City FC vs. DC United predicted lineups
New York City FC
4-2-3-1: Johnson (GK), Sweat, Callens, Chanot, Tinnerholm, Sands, Mitrita, Ofori, Ring, Lewis, MoralezDC United
4-2-3-1: Hamid (GK), Mora, Birnbaum, Brillant, Jara, Moreno, Canouse, Rodriguez, Acosta, Arriola, Rooney
What did we learn from the opening weekend?
While Atlanta will have been high on most people’s list for potential MLS Cup winners, their defeat on the road to DC United wasn’t the biggest shock. After opening at 3.11 to win (just over 30% chance), DC actually closed as favourites at 2.48 (39.1%) - showing that plenty of bettors saw value in a victory for the side led by former Premier League star Wayne Rooney.
In truth, DC United were good value for their win. The home side certainly created the better chances and although Atlanta dominated possession (57%), DC were much more efficient with the ball. It was only after they took a two-goal lead (thanks to a goalkeeping error from Brad Guzan) that they begin to sit back and allow Atlanta into the game.
In contrast to DC United, their opponents for this weekend’s fixturecan consider themselves lucky to come away with a point from their opening fixture. At first glance it looks like Domenec Torrent’s side let a 2-0 lead slip, but with xG figures of 1.90 for Orlando City and 1.17 for New York City, a case could be made for Orlando City deserving all three points.
Are the two teams moving in different directions?
Since joining the league in 2015, New York City have been on an upward trajectory. They finished eighth in the Eastern Conference in their debut season but then improved to second the following year before crashing out 7-0 on aggregate to Toronto FC in the Conference Semifinals. Although NYFC’s season ended at the same point last year as it did in 2017, they certainly looked a more complete team.
New York City FC may struggle to perform at the levels they have done over the past few seasons may give the travelling side more of a chance than they are being given.
However, the concern for the franchise (which has the same owners and Premier League champions Manchester City) will be trying to avoid decline. The departure of their superstar record goal scorer David Villa, and one of last season’s unsung heroes in Yangel Herrera, will certainly hit them hard.
DC United, on the other hand, could be on the way up in their traditional yoyo style. In the last nine MLS seasons, they have finished bottom of the Eastern Conference on three occasions, placing first once and runners-up once (they’ve also finished fourth three times and seventh once) with no discernable consistency.
Now DC will be looking to build on their strong finish to the season last year. Following the move to an actual home stadium in July, they only lost four of their final 20 games (a streak that included a ten game unbeaten run at the end of the season - winning seven and drawing three - to seal a surprising playoff berth).
The importance of home advantage is evidenced further when you consider that after moving to Audi Field, DC United won 40 of their 51-point total (an average of 2.0 points per game compared to 0.79 before they moved).
The hope is that being settled at Audi Field from the start of the season, along with more MLS experience and time with his teammates to enhance Wayne Rooney’s influence, will make DC real contenders to not only make the playoffs, but win the first MLS Cup in their history.
Are DC United underpriced?
At first glance, DC United’s odd may seem high. However, when you consider their success last season was heavily reliant on results at home (they only lost twice at home in 17 games - winning 13 and drawing the other two) then it’s easy to see why the market things NYFC will prevail.
However, the fact that New York City FC may struggle to perform at the levels they have done over the past few seasons may give the travelling side more of a chance than they are being given and the +0.5 and 1 Handicap on DC United could offer some value at 1.869*.
DC produced an impressive shut out against a potent Atlanta side in the opening round of fixtures. With a lack of firepower in offence for the home team, they could be on for a successive clean sheet. Therefore, Under 3 goals at 1.934* may certainly appeal to bettors.