MLS Cup Playoffs Picks: Red Bulls favored vs. FC Cincinnati

Karl Rasmussen
By , Updated on: Oct 12, 2022 08:00 PM
MLS Cup Playoffs Picks: Red Bulls favored vs. FC Cincinnati
  • What: Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs
  • When: Saturday, October 15, 2022, at 12:00 p.m. EST 
  • Where: Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey

The Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs are set to get underway this weekend, and the New York Red Bulls and FC Cincinnati are slated for a first-round matchup. The Eastern Conference Playoff matchup will be the first of six Round One matchups in the 2022 MLS Cup, which comes on the heels of the 34-game regular season. Both the Red Bulls (+1400) and FC Cincinnati (+2800) are considered significant long shots to win the MLS Cup in 2022, but both enjoyed strong regular seasons, which they will be looking to extend with a win in the first round.

Before we dive into the action, make sure to check out our soccer betting guide, as well as tips and tricks from our MLS betting guide.

New York Red Bulls vs. FC Cincinnati Odds

BetOnlineSpreadMoney LineTotal
New York RB-0.5 (-105)-105O2.5 (+102)
FC Cincinnati+0.5 (-115)+285U2.5 (-122)

Heading into the first-round matchup, the New York Red Bulls are considered favorites to win the match. At (-105), the sportsbooks expect that the Red Bulls can get the job done in the first 90 minutes of regulation. FC Cincinnati and a draw come in neck-and-neck at (+285) and (+280) respectively, meaning that the books aren't anticipating an upset, or a 90-minute draw. The books are also anticipating a relatively low-scoring game with the total set at 2.5 goals, with plus-odds on the over.

New York Red Bulls Preview

This will be the 13th consecutive season that the New York Red Bulls will feature in the MLS Cup Playoffs. That ties the Seattle Sounders for the longest such streak in MLS history. They have plenty of experience in high-leverage situations such as this one, which will come in handy against a rather inexperienced FC Cincinnati side. The Red Bulls have home-field advantage, too, though that hasn't always been a big help for them throughout the season.

At Red Bull Arena in 2022, the Red Bulls have 6W, 6L, and 5D. The Red Bulls finished the regular season as the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference. In total, they registered 15 wins, 8 draws, and 11 losses. Offensively, the Red Bulls were in the top half of the league, scoring 51 goals in 34 games, but it was their defense that set them apart.

Their 41 goals conceded were the second-fewest in the Eastern Conference. The Red Bulls are led in scoring by Lewis Morgan, who scored 14 goals during the regular season. He also provided three assists, giving him a goal+assist total of 17, which was more than double the next-highest player on the team, Patryk Klimala (8). Klimala and Luquinhos each have scored five goals, which is tied for second on the squad.

New York Red Bulls To beat FC Cincinnati

FC Cincinnati Preview

FC Cincinnati snuck into the 2022 MLS Cup by the skin of their teeth, earning 49 points on the season, which was enough to land them the fifth seed in the East. In all, the club won 12 games, tied 13, and lost nine. This marks the first time in club history that FC Cincinnati has reached the MLS Cup after having finished at the bottom of the conference in each of the last three years, the first three seasons of the club's existence.

Now in Year 4, FC Cincinnati appears to have turned a corner, thanks largely to its prolific attack. FC Cincinnati's 64 goals scored ranked fourth in the MLS this year, and second in the Eastern Conference. Their defense was less convincing, however. FC Cincinnati conceded 56 goals this season, which is tied for most with Inter Miami for the most among MLS Cup Playoff teams. Cincinnati has a wide variety of threats and goalscorers on offense. Their three-headed attacking monster is headlined by the likes of Brandon Vazquez, Brenner da Silva, and Luciano Acosta. Vazquez netted 18 goals in 2022 and provided eight assists, good for 26 G+A. Brenner matched Vazquez's 18 goals and added six assists of his own (24 G+A), while Acosta scored 10 goals and facilitated a team-high 13 assists (23 G+A).

These three can turn a game on its head at any moment and will look to keep their scoring-happy ways flowing into the first-round matchup against the Red Bulls. While FC Cincinnati are culprits of conceding far too many goals, their offense enables them to live with that and still pick up wins. That could very well end up being the case again on Saturday as they look to stage an upset at Red Bull Arena.

FC Cincinnati To beat New York Red Bulls

Our Pick

New York Red Bulls are considered favorites to get the job done in regulation, but only just. Their record at home this season makes them a risky pick even though they'll have the backing of their fans during Saturday's game. Because of that, we're going to stay away from the Red Bulls Money Line, and instead hone in on the total goals.

While New York Red Bulls aren't a high-scoring team, the same can't be said for FC Cincinnati, and we're expecting the quality of their attack to make some plays and change the game script to force New York to play a more offensive style. With that in mind, we're betting on Over 2.5 goals at (+102).

FC Cincinnati's high-scoring style should lead to plenty of chances on their end, and New York will want to ensure they are responding with some attacking runs of their own.

Before placing your bets, check out our top sportsbook reviews to find the best sports betting site to match your preferences.

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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