Atlanta the MLS Pick in New York

Jane Barrett
By , Updated on: Apr 4, 2023 08:00 PM
Atlanta the MLS Pick in New York
  • NYCFC v Atlanta United
  • Saturday, April 08, 19:30 EST
  • Yankee Stadium

Atlanta United is off to a good start in 2023 and can upset the odds when it takes on NYCFC this weekend in the MLS Eastern Conference’s big game.

Who do Bettors Favor?

A check of the top-rated online sportsbooks online sportsbooks reveals that bettors are heavily favoring the home side for this clash. NYCFC is rated as -112 for victory over its Eastern Conference rivals, with the draw priced at roughly +275 and Atlanta rated as a +300 chance for the win.

NYCFC v AtlantaBetOnlineMyBookieBetUS

NYCFC Off to a Rocky Start

In the recent past, a new head coach at NYCFC typically brings a first-season decline, followed by a second-season improvement. After winning the MLS Cup in 2021, the New York team under new head coach Nick Cushing was unable to repeat that feat in 2022, losing in the Conference Finals.

That can hardly be described as a failure, but still, NYCFC fans will hope that 2023 sees their team return to the MLS Cup. Achieving that in what looks like a transition season may be tough, however. The departures of Maxi Morales, Sean Johnson, and Alex Callens have all had an impact, and the team's start to the new season has been rocky.

Back-to-back home victories against Miami and DC gave the fans something to cheer about, but those victories were wedged between four poor road performances in which City lost to Nashville and Houston and drew with Chicago and New England.

Atlanta Starting Strong

Four victories and a draw in six games have catapulted Atlanta to second place in the East, and at the same time, the team has scored 13 goals, including five in a resounding home victory against Portland.

However, there are still problems. The Atlanta defence was vulnerable last season, and it has already conceded nine goals this year. Six of these goals were conceded in a single game: a shocking 6-1 defeat in Columbus. It is worth noting that only five teams in the entire MLS have conceded more goals so far, and all five are in the bottom five of their respective Conferences.

The pairing of Luis Abram and Miles Robinson in the middle of the defense was supposed to be a meaningful fix for the team's defensive woes in 2022, but early indications indicate that more effort is still required if the team is to attain the elusive defensive solidity it needs to reach the next level.

MTS MLS Betting Head-to-Head

Atlanta United was the latter of these teams to join MLS, entering the league in 2017 and since then, according to the head-to-head record, these teams have played one another 13 times.

Although this has been a close fixture, with five wins for NYCFC and Atlanta winning four, both teams have enjoyed a spell on top.

Their first meeting, back in May 2017, ended with a 3-1 Atlanta win and the Five Stripes had the better of their next few matches, winning four out of the first six with two draws. Two of those victories were in the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals, after which Atlanta won MLS Cup glory.

In September 2019, NYCFC earned its first win over Atlanta and since then, has not suffered defeat to the team from Georgia. It also achieved some post-season revenge, by knocking Atlanta out of the playoffs at the first stage with a 2-0 win at Yankee Stadium back in 2021.

MLS Betting Team News

For NYCFC, the team news centers on the right-back position. Regular first-choice Tayvon Gray is missing with a leg injury and his stand-in Mitja Llenic was added to the injury list when he limped off in the 1-1 draw against New England last time out. That is likely to mean third-choice right-back Stephen Turnbull will be called in to start the game with Atlanta.

Atlanta will most likely be missing three players for this one. Defensive midfielder Osvaldo Alonso is a long-term absentee due to the ligament injury he suffered last April, while left-back Andrew Gutman will be unavailable with an adductor injury. More worryingly for head coach Gonzalo Pineda, central defender Luis Abram is described as questionable for this game following his international duty with Peru.

MTS MLS Betting Picks

NYCFC has looked good in its two games at Yankee Stadium, and Atlanta is enjoying a strong start to the 2023 season, so we could be tempted to go with the draw here. A measure of caution is required, however, as Atlanta’s games have produced plenty of games so far – at both ends of the pitch – and high-scoring games reduce the draw probability.

Given that the home team looks a little short in the match betting market here, it could pay to put your money on Atlanta to grab the win in New York this weekend.

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Meet the author

Jane Barrett

With over 15 years of experience, Jane Barrett is a respected journalist in the sports betting industry. Jane has lent her expertise to major outlets including Betfair, ESPN, and Sporting Life during her prolific career. As a leading writer covering the sports bettin...

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