Pick LAFC in El Trafico

Jane Barrett
By , Updated on: Apr 12, 2023 08:00 PM
Pick LAFC in El Trafico
  • LA Galaxy v LAFC
  • Sunday, April 16, 16:30 EST
  • Dignity Health Sports Park

LAFC is the defending MLS Cup champion and after making a strong start to its title defense, is the best pick to win the first El Trafico of 2023.

Who do Bettors Favor?

Checking out the top-rated online sportsbooks, we can see that bettors favor LAFC in this Los Angeles clash on Sunday. The MLS Cup champion can be bet at as low as +130 in this game, while the home team is a +200 chance and the draw is considered the least likely outcome at +260.

Galaxy v LAFCBetOnlineMyBookie
LA Galaxy+200+200

Galaxy Searching for a Win

Due to its 3-0 loss in Houston over the weekend, LA Galaxy is one of the only two MLS teams that haven't yet won a match this season. This represents a significant decline from the beginning of last season and has caused manager Greg Vanney as he searches for a win.

Galaxy possesses an abundance of attacking talent, but it has failed to convert opportunities and pitch position into goals. In fact, it has managed only three goals in six games, a pitiful return for such a talented team, and Galaxy supporters are unlikely to stay patient for much longer.

Galaxy has the highest possession rate in the MLS at more than 58% yet has gained just three points and is 12th in the standings, eight points behind LAFC. So a game against its city rivals provides Vanney and his team with a great chance to close the gap.

LAFC Looking Good

In the early stages of the season, LAFC has faced a challenging schedule, but the Black and Gold have continued to produce positive results and to challenge on multiple fronts.

The team has already advanced to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League and is in third place in the Western Conference with a game in hand, two points behind the leader Seattle Sounders. Aside from two goalless MLS games in March, there has been very little to worry head coach Steve Cherundolo as his team continues to look good in its title defense.

In fact, going into this weekend, LAFC has won three consecutive games by a score of 3-0. It beat Vancouver 3-0 both at home and on the road in the Champions League, and last weekend defeated Austin 3-0 in MLS play.

The additional games could eventually affect the defending champions, but there are currently no indications of fatigue, and the team goes into this eagerly awaited game in high confidence.

OSB MLS Betting Head-to-Head

LAFC joined MLS in 2018, and this matchup quickly developed into one of the league's most intense rivalries. The head-to-head record shows that it has been both highly entertaining and closely matched.

The two teams met for the first time in the 2018 season and put on an exhibition for LA soccer fans, with LA Galaxy coming back from a 3-0 deficit to win 4-3 in injury time.

Two more games were played that season, and both ended in a tie. LAFC did not win a single regular season game against Galaxy in 2019, but it secured a historic playoff victory in October, when it led Galaxy 2-0 and 3-2 before ultimately winning 5-3.

Overall, Galaxy has the advantage with 7 victories to LAFC's 5, but LAFC has dominated recent meetings, defeating Galaxy 3-2 in the most recent regular season matchup, and again overcoming its city competition in the Western Conference semifinals last October.

OSB Betting Team News

The team news for LA Galaxy is positive, as only one player is listed as missing for this match. Jonathan Bond remains sidelined with a shoulder injury, so Jonathan Klinsmann will again fill in between the sticks. Javier Hernandez entered the game against Houston in the second half and assuming he has not suffered any recurrence of his recent hamstring injury, is likely to start this game.

John McCarthy will once again be LAFC's backup goalkeeper, replacing Maxime Crepeau, who continues to be sidelined with a broken leg. Christian Torres has missed four matches with an injured leg and is still unavailable, so Kwadwo Opoku will likely start on the left wing.

OSB MLS Betting Picks

LA Galaxy fans would dearly love this to be the game in which their team returns to form and finally gets that first win on the board. I can’t see it, however, despite the extra motivation of a city derby. Galaxy’s inability to convert possession into goals is an ongoing problem and will leave it vulnerable to an accomplished LAFC team that is clearly the best pick in this game.

Best Online Sportsbooks to Bet on MLS

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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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