Austin FC vs. Sporting Kansas City Prediction, Preview, and Odds - 11/3/21
Sporting Kansas City will try to keep its bid for the top seed in the Western Conference alive when it travels to Austin FC on Wednesday night. Kansas City is currently tied with Seattle and Colorado at the top of the table heading into the final week of the regular season. It has been a disastrous season for Austin, as it sits in last place in the Western Conference.
SKC looking to get a tie for first
Kansas City comes into this match hoping to leave with three points, which would ensure at least a tie for first place in the Western Conference heading into Sunday’s matches. Seattle and Colorado are both tied with Kansas City for first place, but the Rapids have played one more match. The Sounders face Los Angeles on Monday night before wrapping up the season on Sunday night. Kansas City has won three of its last five matches, beating the Galaxy, Sounders and Dynamo. The two losses came against Vancouver and Minnesota. Kansas City took a 1-0 lead against Minnesota in its most recent fixture when Khiry Shelton scored eight minutes into the match.
Minnesota would respond with a pair of first-half goals and it held the 2-1 lead the rest of the way. Kansas City could have moved three points clear of Seattle in the standings, but now it needs to win its final two matches to ensure the top spot in the conference. A pair of wins would set the club’s record for most points in a season (64). Kansas City has scored 25 goals on the road this year, which ranks second in the MLS in road goals per match (1.6). This is going to mark their first-ever trip to Austin.
Austin would like to finish strong
Austin FC has one last chance to end the home portion of its disappointing season on a high note. The inaugural year for this team has not gone how it would have hoped, as it currently sits in last place in the Western Conference with two matches to play. Manager Josh Wolff, who was a player on the 2004 Kansas City team that won the Western Conference, will try to prepare his team for Wednesday’s tilt. The Verde and Black have lost four of their last six matches, including a 2-1 loss at Dallas on Saturday. They opened the match with a Diego Fagundez goal in the 36th minute, but Dallas immediately responded with an equalizer two minutes later.
Austin hampered itself 13 minutes into the second half when Hector Jimenez picked up a red card. Dallas capitalized on its man advantage, scoring the game-winning goal with 10 minutes left in regulation. Austin has only scored 32 goals this season, which is the lowest number of any team in the MLS. The Verde and Black have been much better at home, though, particularly in recent weeks. They have scored multiple goals in three of their last four matches at home. Four of Austin’s last five matches have been decided by one goal, so it has been able to play competitive contests of late.
Spread (Sporting KC +123)
Austin FC has shown some impressive resolve down the stretch, but I think the energy is going to run out after its disappointing loss to Dallas on Saturday. The Verde and Black picked up a
controversial red card and could not hold onto the draw, suffering yet another loss. They are wrapping up an awful inaugural season in the MLS and I just don’t see them having enough motivation to keep pace with a highly motivated Kansas City team. This is an important match for the visitors, as they have a chance to be the top seed in the Western Conference. They have not lost consecutive matches all year and I do not think that will change on Wednesday.
Total (Over 2.5)
Austin FC has been the lowest-scoring team in the MLS this season, so the total of 2.5 makes sense. However, the club has been much better on their home field, where they have scored multiple goals in three of their last four matches. I think there is some value on the over in this match due to the recent form, especially since it heavily contradicts season-long data that the bookmakers are using. Sporting Kansas City should have no trouble finding the net multiple times against Austin on Wednesday night, so the over looks like a solid play in this match.
Austin FC will come within one match of wrapping up its disappointing inaugural campaign when it hosts Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday night.