Mark O'Haire
3 months ago - 7 minute read

MARK O’HAIRE – GOAL-CHASING IN THE AMERICAS

With the international break upon us, football betting analyst Mark O’Haire is heading across the Atlantic for two goals-based selections from Brazil and the USA.

Last weekend our Sunday selections from Scandinavia hit the post. Late goals in Norway ensured Mjonalden’s match with Molde broke the Over 2.75 Goals barrier but it wasn’t quite so fruitful in Sweden. Despite lowly GIF Sundsvall dominating proceedings against Gothenburg, the strugglers failed to get on the scoresheet, sinking our Over 2.5 Goals shout.

With the majority of major leagues around these shores taking the weekend off during the international break, I’ve spread the net further afield to find two value-laden goals bets in the Americas. Major League Soccer and the Brasileiro are our base this time around.

GOAL RUSH AS RAPIDS HOST SEATTLE

The regular Major League Soccer season is beginning the final furlong with the majority of teams having no fewer than six games to play. Play-off berths can still be guaranteed and Seattle Sounders will be hoping to take a step closer to the end-of-season action with a positive performance in the early hours of Sunday morning at Colorado Rapids.

The Rapids have already been eliminated from postseason contention with their disastrous start to blame. Colorado collected just two points from their first 11 outings, a run of results that saw Anthony Hudson depart. Conor Casey inherited the interim head coach role before the club appointed Robin Fraser in late August as results and performances improved.

Colorado have returned W8-D4-L6 since Hudson was relieved of his duties. Whilst positive steps have undoubtedly been made in the following four months, Saturday night’s hosts are still struggling to keep their sheets clean. Defensively, the Rapids have kept just four shutouts across the campaign with 18 of their 28 opponents notching at least twice.

The Rapids have improved massively since the appointment of head coach Robin Fraser.

2016 champions Seattle started 2019 in fine fettle, but the Sounders have since found consistency hard to find. Brian Schmetzer’s boys have bagged back-to-back victories for only the third time since April as they bid to secure their place in the upper echelons of the Western Conference. However, the bulk of their notable efforts have come on home soil.

The visitors have registered just four triumphs on their travels this term with backline woes also to blame for Seattle’s lack of progression. Indeed, despite the duos contrasting fortunes in 2019, the pair have been reliable operators in the final third with each failing to score in just four of their 28 tussles. Understandably, it’s led to a catalogue of high-scoring contests.

Collectively, Colorado and Seattle have seen 39/56 (69%) of their MLS matches feature both sides scoring with 37 (66%) of those encounters producing Over 2.5 Goals profit. if we dig a little deeper, we can see that their combined home/away games have crossed the Over 2.5 Goals figure in 21/28 (75%) matches as 12 (43%) delivered at least four goals.

It means the 1.70 available on Over 2.75 Goals absolutely has to be snapped up when the two teams cross swords this weekend.

BRAZILLIAN SEASIDE SHOWDOWN TO FEATURE GOALS

Over in Brazil, Santos are chasing only their third Brasileiro title since 1968 and are second on goal difference from league leaders Flamengo. Jorge Sampaoli’s side surrendered top spot following a three-match winless streak earlier in August, although the Alvinegro snapped that unexpected run with a crucial 1-0 victory at Chapecoense last weekend.

Back at their Vila Belmiro base on Sunday night, Santos should be trusted to put on a performance. The hosts are short-priced favourites to enhance their W6-D2-L0 return under Sampaoli, with no top-flight side impressing more on home soil. The Alvinegro top the shots, shots on-target and Expected Goals (xG) standings in front of their adoring home fans.

However, the hosts might not have it all their own way. Atletico PR have suffered six defeats in nine games as guests already this season, a run of results that’s marooned the Furacao da Baixada in mid-table. Nevertheless, Tiago Nunes’s troops tend to go down swinging and it’s worth supporting a goal-heavy game here rather than opposing the enterprising guests.

Jorge Sampaoli’s Santos side have been dominant on home turf this season!

No Brasileiro club averages more efforts at goal, or strikes on-target on their travels, with Atletico PR notching in all bar three of their overall 17 league matches. The Curitiba proved their potential in the final-third when going down 3-2 at table-topping Flamengo in late May, adding further credence to an argument for supporting Over 2.5 Goals here at 1.95.

The Over 2.5 Goals barrier has been breached in 12 (71%) of the two teams’ combined 17 home/away fixtures already this term with both sides scoring 11 (66%) times. Six (35%) of those showdowns delivered Over 3.5 Goals as the duo have collectively scored in all bar two games, whilst accumulating only five clean sheets in the same sample.

Recommended Bets

  • Over 2.75 Goals in Colorado Rapids v Seattle Sounders 4 units @ 1.70
  • Over 2.50 Goals in Santos v Atletico PR 2 units @ 1.95