FC Cincinnati vs. NYCFC Prediction, Preview and Odds - 9/18/21
New York City FC will be trying to hold off multiple teams for fourth place in the Eastern Conference when it travels to FC Cincinnati on Saturday night. NYCFC is one point ahead of D.C. United and Montreal in the standings. Cincinnati has been one of the worst teams in the MLS, sitting in next-to-last in the Eastern Conference.
NYCFC needs to get back on the winning track
NYCFC has not picked up a win in its last three matches. The club lost two consecutive matches before playing to a 3-3 draw against Dallas on Tuesday. They allowed a goal four minutes into the contest before scoring 16 minutes later to tie the match. NYCFC took a 2-1 lead 12 minutes after halftime, but Dallas immediately equalized six minutes later. The home side scored four minutes after that, but Dallas was able to tally a draw with a goal in the 73rd minute. Talles Magno scored his first career goal for NYCFC, heading home the team’s third goal of the match.
NYCFC is currently in fourth place in the Eastern Conference, trailing Orlando City by three points. However, there are several teams right on the heels of New York City. D.C. United and Montreal are both one point back, while Atlanta United is two points behind. NYCFC has been lighting up the scoreboard all year, sitting only behind New England for the most goals in the MLS. The Pigeons did not make the playoffs during their first season at the MLS level (2015), but they have made the postseason every year since then. They have won 10 of their 23 matches this season.
Cincinnati may be playing for pride
FC Cincinnati has been one of the worst teams in the country this season. It is sitting only ahead of Toronto at the bottom of the Eastern Conference table and is three points back of Chicago for 12th place. The postseason is not a realistic option, as Atlanta is 13 points ahead of them for the final playoff spot. Cincinnati did take care of business against Toronto in its last match at home, picking up a 2-0 win. It was unable to build on that performance at all, dropping a 4-0 final at Atlanta United on Wednesday. Atlanta scored five minutes into the match and never let up.
Cincinnati only had 39% of possession and had just three shots on goal. It has been a rough start to the franchise for the Orange and Blues. They finished 12th during their first season and then dropped to 14th last year. They are now in 13th place and things are looking bleak for coach Jaap Stam. Cincinnati has lost its last five meetings against NYCFC, losing four of those five matches by at least three goals. They lost a 5-0 final to New York City in April, which was their second-worst setback in franchise history.
Pick: (NYCFC -118)
There has not been a more lopsided series in the MLS than NYCFC’s dominance against Cincinnati. Not only has it won all five matches, but it has won four of those contests in blowout fashion. NYCFC absolutely dominated when they played earlier this season. This is a great chance for bettors to take the road team at a very cheap price. I think there is a serious motivational mismatch, as NYCFC is trying to maintain its playoff position. Cincinnati is one of the worst teams in the MLS and does not have much to play for. I do not expect a strong home crowd.
Total (Over 3)
I do not necessarily love either side of the total, but I cannot take the under in this matchup. NYCFC is capable of hanging three or more goals on its own, as we have seen multiple times in the past when these teams square off. Cincinnati is capable of netting a goal, which would make this a pretty solid bet. Either way, NYCFC should score at least two goals, so the over is a solid option. The Pigeons scored three goals in their match against Dallas earlier this week and Cincinnati is an even weaker team.