Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire returns to share his favourite tips from the weekend with a pair of plays from MLS and Allsvenskan this weekend.
Betting masterclass with @MarkOHaire 🎧
— Matchbook Betting Exchange (@TeamMatchbook) July 5, 2023
HOUSTON HOLD PLENTY OF APPEAL
The battle for the MLS play-offs is beginning to heat up Stateside, especially in the tightly-contested Western Conference, where six sides are separated by only four points straddling the dotted line. Two of those teams go head-to-head on Saturday night in Texas as Houston Dynamo host Sporting Kansas City.
Houston head into the encounter on the back of successive away defeats, failing to score on each occasion. However, Dynamo have been at their best at their Shell Energy Stadium base this term, boasting an exceptional W7-D1-L1 return in front of their home supporters.
Ben Olsen’s boys have taken top honours in their past three fixtures in Houston, whilst El Naranja have only failed to secure maximum points once when facing fellow Western Conference opposition – that was a narrow 1-0 reverse when second-placed Seattle arrived in mid-May. Dynamo, therefore, holds plenty of appeal as 2.10 favourites this weekend.
Kansas City made a rotten start to the campaign and were winless in 10 tussles (W0-D3-L7) before a much-improved W6-D3-L3 has brought the Wizards back to within reach of the play-off places. Though Peter Vermes’ posse have also relied on their home record and still look vulnerable travellers, having posted W1-D5-L5 on the road in 2023.
The Missouri men have managed just eight away goals, whilst also firing five blanks in their 11 games as guests, which could prove their undoing against a Houston Dynamo outfit that’s recorded clean sheets in six of nine showdowns at the Shell Energy Stadium.
I’m happy to support the hosts at odds-against quotes, with the pair displaying contrasting home/away form across a reasonable sample size this season.
OPPOSE ALLSVENSKAN GOALS
Three wins on the spin have propelled Malmo to the Allsvenskan summit. The Blue Ones can call upon a rock-solid W11-D1-L1 return across their first 13 league dates in 2023 to sit two points clear of the chasing pack as the west coast club bid for a third title in four years.
Henrik Rydstrom’s side have proven impenetrable at the back, picking up seven shutouts and conceding only 10 goals thus far – five of which arrived against fellow top-three teams, meaning Malmo have allowed just five goals in 11 encounters with Allsvenskan teams in fifth and below. Meanwhile, the table-toppers are also averaging 2.62 goals per-game.
It’s, therefore, no surprise to see Both Teams To Score ‘No’ proving particularly popular in Malmo matches, and that’s a trend that’s been followed prolifically by mid-table Mjallby. Anders Torstensson’s away team are pragmatic by nature, aiming to utilise set-pieces and the counter-attack, emphasising remaining solid down the middle.
Only rock-bottom Varbergs (8) have scored fewer goals than Mjallby’s meagre tally of 10, but only the top two can call upon a better goals-against record than the Hallevik outfit through 13 rounds of action.
Torstensson’s troops have earned shutouts on six occasions, including in half of their six away days.
So whilst the pre-match prices suggest a handsome home victory, Mjallby could prove to be stubborn opponents, and a lower-scoring contest could therefore be on the cards.
With that in mind, backing a Both Teams To Score ‘No’ repeat at 1.75 stands out, especially considering it’s paid out in a whopping 19/26 (74%) of the duos’ combined Allsvenskan outings.
- Houston Dynamo -0.50 Asian Handicap in Houston Dynamo vs Sporting Kanas City – 1 unit @ 2.10
- Both Teams To Score ‘No’ in Malmo vs Mjallby – 1 unit @ 2.75
Subscribe to the Matchbook Betting Podcast here
Subscribe to the Matchbook YouTube channel here