MLS Cup Playoffs Picks: LA Galaxy favored vs. Nashville SC

Karl Rasmussen
By , Updated on: Oct 23, 2022 08:00 PM
MLS Cup Playoffs Picks: LA Galaxy favored vs. Nashville SC
  • What: Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs
  • When: Saturday, October 15, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. EST
  • Where: Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California

The first round of the Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs is set to get underway this weekend. In round one, the LA Galaxy are slated to host Nashville SC at the Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Entering the MLS Cup Playoffs, neither the Galaxy (+1600) nor Nashville (+3300) are expected to be title contenders, but they'll both look to make deep playoff runs and defy the odds. This matchup will be the first of the Western Conference Playoff games to be played. Before we dive into their first-round matchup, make sure to check out our MLS betting guide, and in order to get the overall gist of betting on soccer, take a look at our soccer betting guide.

LA Galaxy vs. Nashville SC odds

BetOnlineSpreadMoney LineTotal
LA Galaxy-0.5 (-108)-108Over 2.5 (-102)
Nashville SC+0.5 (-118)+302Under 2.5 (-118)

Heading into the matchup, the Galaxy are favored to get the job done in regulation against Nashville. Los Angeles has (-108) odds to win within the 90 minutes of regulation, however, if the game goes to extra time, the bet will be a loss. The books don't consider Nashville likely to put up much of a fight against the Galaxy, coming in at (+302) odds to win in regulation. It's not anticipated to be a very high-scoring affair, with the Under of 2.5 goals coming in with (-118) odds.

LA Galaxy Preview

Los Angeles earned the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference after finishing the 34-game regular season with a record of 14 wins, 8 draws, and 12 losses. The team ended the year with 50 points, largely thanks to their prolific offense. The Galaxy registered 58 goals this season, good for third in the West. Their defense was not on the same level, unfortunately. Los Angeles conceded 51 goals, which is tied for the most among Western Conference Playoffs teams. They ended the season on a strong note, however, with three wins in their last four matches.

The Galaxy are carried offensively by former Manchester United standout Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez. Chicharito has been excellent in his age-34 season. The Mexican has scored 18 goals and assisted two, helping to secure LA's spot in the MLS Cup Playoffs. LA also has talented players, including former Barcelona product Riqui Puig, who is just 23 years old. Puig has had three goals and two assists in 10 matches since joining the club during the summer. The Galaxy's second-leading scorer is Dejan Joveljic, who has 11 goals and three assists this season. The return to the 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs will be the Galaxy's first time back since 2019 when they lost in the Conference Semi-finals.

LA Galaxy To beat Nashville SC

Nashville SC Preview

Nashville enters the fray as significant underdogs on the road against the Galaxy, but this is a team with the quality to stage an upset. Nashville registered the same amount of points (50) as the Galaxy in the regular season but ended the season as the fifth seed meaning they were denied home-field advantage. While that severely hampers their chances of pulling off an upset, there's reason to believe they'll make it a good game.

Nashville won 13 games, tied 11, and lost 10 during the regular season. They scored 52 goals, which ranks in the middle of the pack among Western Conference Playoff teams. It was their defense that put them above the edge, however. Nashville conceded just 41 times during the regular season, which is the third-fewest among playoff teams in the West. With a defense headlined by USMNT regulars Walker Zimmermann and Shaq Moore, the team is well-equipped to keep opponents off the scoresheet.

They allowed opponents to score just 1.2 goals per game against them this season, one of the best rates in the league. That's not to say they don't have a capable offense, too. In fact, they have MLS Golden Boot winner Hany Mukhtar in their attacking ranks. Mukhtar, 27, netted 23 goals and 7 assists in 33 games this year, finishing as the league's highest scorer. He'll certainly present problems for the LA Galaxy defense, and while he failed to score in either of Nashville's final two regular season games, that'll just make him more eager to get back on the scoresheet on Saturday.

Nashville SC To beat LA Galaxy

The Pick

We're going to go back to the favorites in this matchup. There's simply too much quality across the pitch for LA Galaxy to reasonably lose this game on their home field. Whether or not they can close the game out in regulation remains to be seen, but the Galaxy, with the likes of Puig, Chicharito, Joveljic, and more, should have enough firepower to overcome a talented defensive side in Nashville.

The two sides faced off twice in the regular season, with one game ending in a draw and the other swinging in favor of LA. With Nashville still yet to win, we're not going to back them in this one. The two picks we're willing to put some money on here would be the Los Angeles Galaxy Money line at (-108) and the Total of Under 2.5 goals at (-118). Neither of their regular-season matchups eclipsed the 2.5 goal total, so we're expecting another similar display on Saturday.

LA Galaxy To beat Nashville SC
LA Galaxy vs. Nashville SC Under 2.5 Total Goals

Before diving into the action with the MLS Cup Playoff bets, look over our best sportsbook reviews to find the best betting side to fit your needs.

Meet the author

Karl Rasmussen

Karl Rasmussen leverages his journalism degree and passion for sports in his expert coverage of Major League Soccer (MLS) and fantasy leagues. Hailing from Denmark but a longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Karl brings an international perspective to his analysis...

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