Mark O'Haire - Cincinnati Stand Out & Oppose Aalesund

5 min

Football betting analyst Mark O’Haire returns to share his favourite fancies from the weekend with a pair of plays from MLS and Eliteserien this weekend.


Two very late goals allowed FC Cincinnati to snap a three-game winless streak by snatching a last-gasp 2-1 success at New York Red Bulls in midweek. Victory allowed Pat Noonan’s men to preserve their eight-point advantage at the summit of Major League Soccer ahead of the weekend card and Orange & Blue appeal again when welcoming Nashville to Ohio.

Cincinnati have proven almost flawless at their TQL Stadium base, boasting a phenomenal W10-D1-L0 return in front of their home supporters.

The only occasion Cinci have dropped points came when welcoming fellow high-flyers New England, and so the option to support the Orange & Blue on Saturday night at even-money (2.00) stands out.

Visitors Nashville fell to a 2-0 Wednesday night reverse at home to Philadelphia in a bad-tempered encounter that saw both full-backs Daniel Lovitz and Shaquell Moore dismissed, and subsequently suspended for Saturday’s showdown.

The Coyotes’ loss mean they’ll arrive at the TQL having been turned over in four of their most recent five MLS fixtures.

Gary Smith’s side have fired blanks in four of their last five, and have also suffered five league defeats in 11 away days this term, so a trip to the table-toppers is bound to test their credentials. Only struggling Toronto have averaged a lower Expected Goals (xG) figure on their travels with Nashville failing to score in five of those 11 games as guests.

In contrast, Cincinnati have endured few problems in front of goal on their own patch, whilst also boasting a formidable 64% xG ratio as hosts.

My numbers make the hosts firm odds-on favourites this weekend and so I’m keen to take the available evens on an 11th home triumph from 12 for the MLS leaders.


The Eliteserien has seen a reasonable downturn in goals per-game output this season. Last year Norway’s top-flight averaged 3.25 goals yet the 2023 edition has dropped to 2.88 goals. Nevertheless, the market is still expecting all-out shootouts across the board, though that might not be the case when low-scoring pair Aalesund and Odd cross swords on Sunday.

Neither team are averaging a goal per-game or more, with the duo collectively failing to find the net in a massive 13/27 (48%) league dates already.

In only four of those fixtures, the pair have plundered multiple goals, whilst Expected Goals (xG) returns highlight their impotent nature with neither boasting an xG output average that’s bigger than 1.02 per-game.

Despite both Aalesund and Odd clearly struggling in the final-third, the odds-makers have made Both Teams To Score the favourite of the two with the BTTS No option coming in at a chunky 2.10.

My tissue makes the latter a clear favourite at shorter than 1.80, and so I’m again very keen to get involved with the obvious outlier this weekend.

Our preferred play has paid out in 18/27 (67%) of combined Eliteserien encounters involving the two teams this term, and a repeat looks too big to ignore at odds-against.

Recommended Bets

  • FC Cincinnati -0.5 Asian in FC Cincinnati vs Nashville – 1 unit @ 2.00
  • Both Teams To Score ‘No’ in Aalesund vs Odd – 1 unit @ 2.10

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