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The price at -230 odds for an LAFC win — up from the neighborhood of -175 earlier this week — is about lowest you’ll see for an MLS favorite, but it’s justified.
Building a club from scratch is hard. Of the nine most recent expansion teams, only one — LAFC — won its opener. The only other two to take a point did so against each other when Orlando and NYCFC drew in 2015. That’s without allowing for the difficulty of opening on the road against the MLS Cup favorite.
A -230 price implies a 70% probability of an LAFC win. At worst, that’s accurate. Given the circumstances, it’s probably a little low.
You might also consider the under in this match. There were three goals or fewer in LAFC’s previous three openers. Austin might also consider a close loss a moral victory on debut, meaning less motivation to send numbers forward if it falls behind. I’m more confident on the moneyline.
After a seventh-placed finish in the Western Conference, Los Angeles FC were knocked out in the first round of the playoffs by the Seattle Sounders.
Since then, Bob Bradley‘s men have also suffered heartbreak on a continental level as they were defeated in the final of the CONCACAF Champions League in December.
The Black and Gold will now hope that those nearly moments serve as a springboard to accomplish greater success this term.
In the meantime, starting the season with a victory is the immediate target for Saturday’s hosts as they prepare to host their inexperienced visitors.
Austin FC will feature in a competitive game for the first time this weekend, less than three years after the club was founded in October 2018.
Josh Wolff is the man who has been given the job of navigating what is expected to be a very demanding period for the Texas-based club.
Saturday’s visitors have been actively involved in the transfer market as they aim to put together a squad that is capable of challenging at the top level.
They have shown that they are up for the task as their pre-season friendlies suggest, but it is now time to face the real deal.