- What: Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs - Los Angeles Football Club vs. Austin Football Club
- When: Sunday, October 30, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. EST.
- Where: Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles, California
- How to Watch: ABC/ESPN3
The Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs have reached the conference finals stage, and only four teams remain in play for the championship. Out of the West, No. 1 seed Los Angeles FC will host No. 2 seed Austin FC in the conference finals clash in order to clinch an MLS Cup Finals berth. On the opposite side of the bracket, Philadelphia Union will host NYCFC.
The two Western Conference foes will do battle in Los Angeles at the Banc of California Stadium on Sunday, and before we dive into the action, make sure to check out our soccer betting tips as well as our MLS betting guide in order to get all the information, tips, and tricks you need.
LAFC vs. Austin FC Odds
|LAFC||-1.5 (+100)||-195||Over 3 (-115)|
|Austin FC||+1.5 (-120)||+510||Under 3 (-105)|
Early on, LAFC is heavily favored over Austin at (-195) to win the match in regulation. Austin comes in with (+510) odds to win in regulation, indicating the books have little faith they'll be able to get the job done, and certainly not without extra time. It figures to be a high-scoring game, with the Over of 3 goals set at (-115). Playing on their home turf certainly gives LAFC an advantage, and the books expect them to take care of business handily.
Why LAFC can win
LAFC was the No. 1 seed out of the West and they took care of their crosstown rivals LA Galaxy in a 3-2 victory in the semifinals. They'll look to follow it up with an equally convincing performance against Austin. For Los Angeles, the offense is the name of the game. LAFC scored 66 goals in the regular season which was the most among Western Conference teams. Led by the likes of Gareth Bale, Christian Arango, and Carlos Vela, LAFC has an experienced and dangerous group of attackers who can change any game at a moment's notice.
Arango scored 17 goals during the regular season, while Vela scored 12 and led the team with 10 assists. If those two can get some good looks on goal during the game against Austin, there's no reason to believe they won't beat the keeper and get LAFC on the board early.
LAFC also had one of the best defenses in the league during the regular season. They conceded 38 goals on the year, 1.12 per game, which was the second-best in the Western Conference. Their +28 goal differential was also significantly better than any other team in the conference, which showcases their dominance on both ends of the pitch. Austin surrendered 49 goals this year (1.44 per game), so there's reason to believe that LA's goalscorers will be able to put one past the defense of their opponents.
Why Austin FC can win
While LAFC is significantly favored over Austin, there's a strong case to be made for the underdogs to emerge victorious in Los Angeles on Sunday. While Austin needed a nervy penalty shootout to take down Real Salt Lake in the first round of the playoffs, they made quick work of in-state rivals FC Dallas in the semifinals, 2-1.
Austin scored 65 goals during the regular season, only trailing LAFC by one. It was their defense that was somewhat lackluster, as previously mentioned, with 49 goals conceded. During the regular season, when Austin won 16 games, tied eight, and lost 10, they actually swept LAFC in their two-game series. During the first game back in, Austin stunned LAFC 2-1 on the road. They backed up that performance with another dominant outing when the series turned to Texas, taking down LAFC 4-1.
With two big outings against LA in their most recent matchups, there's no reason to believe Austin can't turn this into a close game, or even steal the win. The stalwart LA defense hasn't been its usual dominant self lately, and LAFC actually ended the season on a relatively bad streak, despite a hot start. It may be the perfect opportunity for Austin to take on the Western Conference regular season champs, given that LAFC has lost or tied six of its last nine games, including the 4-1 defeat vs. Austin.
Austin will be leaning upon the likes of Sebastian Driussi, who paced the league with 25 goals in the regular season. During their last meeting, Driussi scored Austin's final goal of the game in the 59th minute. Also on the scoresheet for the club were Diego Fagundez and Maximiliano Urruti, who netted a brace. If those guys can crack the code of the LAFC defense again on Sunday, Austin may just stun the league and wind up in the MLS Cup Finals.
While LAFC is heavily favored, I have a feeling this one is going to play out in Austin's favor. They dominated their regular season matchups and enter the game in a stronger form. While the (+510) for Austin to win in regulation is enticing, there's a strong chance that if they do pull off the upset, it'll require extra time or even a penalty shootout. With that in mind, my pick for the game is Austin FC to advance at (+300) odds.
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