Fifth Place at Stake
Finishing atop the MLS Eastern/Western Conference grants home-court advantage and an extra week off. However, it’s no guarantee when it comes to winning the title. Just ask the New England Revolution, who last season won the East with a 19-point advantage but couldn’t meet expectations in the playoffs.
This season, Bruce Arena’s team has struggled more than expected that’s why they come in as the betting online underdogs for Saturday’s game against Orlando City. The Lions have been struggling as well but they’ve had more ups than downs.
Whoever wins will take fifth place in the Eastern Conference. In other words, you can expect fireworks.
Orlando City: Two Sides to Every Story
Last Sunday, Orlando City lost 2-1 to DC United, the team sitting in the Eastern Conference last place. Believe it or not, the Lions were up 1-0 when the clock hit the 90-minutes mark. Then, the defense collapsed, and the Black-and-Red scored twice in five minutes.
Three days before losing to DC United, Orlando crushed the New York Red Bulls 5-1 in the U.S. Open Cup Semifinals. Cesar Araujo was named Man of the Match after scoring two goals. Mauricio Pereyra, Facundo Torres and Benji Michel also scored. The Lions will face the Sacramento Republic in the Grand Finale.
There you’ve it. The Lions have failed to find consistency. In fact, regarding MLS, they’ve four straight games without winning. Only one of those games was at home, but still. Speaking of Orlando playing at home, Oscar Pareja’s team owns a 5-0-6 record at Exploria Stadium.
Aware that they needed a little help, the front office went out and came back with Peruvian international Wilder Cartagena. He joins the Lions on loan through the end of the 2022 season with an option to extend an additional year through 2023. He’s expected to have an instant impact.
As mentioned before, the home side controls the soccer lines thanks to a +120 price. As I always say, a home team offering a plus price will always be a tempting deal. Orlando isn’t an exception.
New England Revolution Going Through Rough Patch
After ay rocky start, the New England Revolution managed to build a 10-game non-losing streak, which ended after losing 4-2 to the reigning champions New York City FC. Now, they’re going through a rough patch once again with four consecutive games without winning.
Most recently, they drew 0-0 to Toronto FC. Considering the game was at home and the Canadian side sits in 13th place, that was a bad result for the Revs. Even so, they’re only three points behind Orlando City, meaning Saturday’s game is a six-pointer.
Not everything was bad, though. Goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic, who’s just nine games into his MLS career, earned his second Team of the Week nod. He finished with three saves, including a critical penalty stop in the 81st minute.
RT if you love Djordje Petrović. pic.twitter.com/eD0wQzKN2S
— New England Revolution (@NERevolution) July 31, 2022
Additionally, striker Giacomo Vrioni played his first home game. The Italian, who’s expected to become the next Adam Buksa, looks better each week. He hasn’t scored yet, but it’s a matter of time.
The visitors are offering a +200 price in the sportsbook to win straight up. Considering they finished with a clean sheet in two of their last four games on the road, that’s a very tempting deal. Plus, we can’t forget that the current league-MVP plays for them. Carles Gil has scored four goals and leads the team in assists with 11.
Orlando City vs New England Revolution Head-to-Head
- Previous Matches: 16
- Orlando City Victories: 3 (29 goals)
- New England Revolution Victories: 6 (36 goals)
- Draws: 7
These two already collided this season. The New England Revolution played host to Orlando City on June 16. The game ended 1-1, with Gil scoring for the Revs and Robin Jansson for the Lions. It was a physical game, so much that referee Ramy Touchan showed four yellow cards per side.
If there’s something you can expect from these two, it’s goals. The total has gone over in eight of their last 10 meetings. Plus, they’ve never drawn 0-0 when facing each other.
Orlando City vs New England Revolution Game Information
- Date: Saturday, August 6
- Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Exploria Stadium, Orlando
- Orlando City vs New England Revolution Live Stream: ESPN+
Orlando City vs New England Revolution Betting Lines
Orlando City vs New England Revolution Prediction
According to the standings, Orlando City is the better team, but I’m not so sure about that. Yes, the New England Revolution have struggled, but their chemistry is hard to match. Plus, Gustavo Bou, the team’s top scorer with seven goals, is expected to return after missing the last two games with a minor injury. Therefore, my soccer prediction is a highly entertaining draw, enough for the total to go over, again.