Austin FC vs. Colorado Rapids Prediction, Preview, and Odds - 7/31/21
Colorado will have three points on its mind when it travels to Austin FC on Saturday night. The Rapids had a four-match unbeaten streak snapped in a disappointing 3-0 loss in their last outing. Austin FC has been shut out in its last two matches and is currently sitting in dead last in the Western Conference.
Colorado gets shut out by Real Salt Lake
Colorado had its momentum halted in a 3-0 loss to Real Salt Lake last Saturday. It was coming off a 2-0 win over Dallas and had not dropped a match since June 23. The Rapids are still very well positioned in the Western Conference, sitting in fourth place in the standings. They are just one point back of the Galaxy and one point ahead of LAFC, so this is an important match. Colorado will have revenge on its mind in this one. Austin FC’s first regular-season victory in club history came against Colorado with three second-half goals in its second regular-season game.
The Rapids allowed Austin to put seven shots on target in that contest. They are now coming off their worst outing of the season, allowing two goals in the first 30 minutes. One of those goals was an own goal from goalkeeper William Yarbrough. Colorado’s defense has given up three goals in each of its last two road matches. The Rapids have been good at bouncing back this season, not dropping consecutive matches all year. Striker Diego Rubio is set to make his 50th start for Colorado. Jack Price has a team-high five assists and should also be in the starting 11.
Austin FC continues to struggle
Austin FC has had its ups and downs as the newest MLS expansion team, but it has been mainly downs of late. The club has been shut out in its last two matches, losing to LAFC and Seattle. It had picked up an impressive 4-1 win over Portland prior to those losses, marking the best performance in franchise history. A loss on Saturday night would tie the longest losing skid in the club’s short tenure at three games. Austin FC is now at the very bottom of the Western Conference table and is seven points out of a playoff position.
The loss to Seattle was particularly disappointing, as the Sounders had mainly reserve players on the pitch. Austin has not played very well at home this year, only winning one of its four matches. It has also failed to score a single goal in the other three matches. If Austin has any confidence heading into Saturday, it is likely due to the aforementioned win over Colorado in the second regular-season game. Austin erased a 1-0 deficit with three second-half goals. It has had more possession and more shots than its opponents in each of its four games during this homestand, but it has been unable to convert. Austin has a bevy of players dealing with injuries right now.
Spread (Colorado +235)
Colorado has been as resilient as any team in the MLS this season, which is why it has not dropped consecutive matches at any point. The Rapids seemingly have all the positive factors on their side heading into this match. They have the revenge factor and have been the much better team. Austin FC is unlikely to have a positive morale after dropping its last two matches. It does not have a realistic shot at making the playoffs, while Colorado is in a good position. The Rapids have their key players available, so I will gladly take them as sizeable underdogs.
Total (Under 2.5)
The under continues to be the only viable betting option when Austin FC steps onto the pitch. It has been shut out in consecutive matches, even though it has controlled possession and shots. Colorado has not scored more than two goals in a contest since the end of May. Austin enters this match tied with Inter Miami for the fewest goals scored all season (10). It has not shown the ability to convert in the final third of the pitch. This should be a low-scoring game that results in a full three points for Colorado