Nashville SC vs. New York Red Bulls Prediction, Preview, and Odds - 11/7/21
One of the matches with the most playoff implications at stake will take place when Nashville SC hosts New York on Sunday during the final day of the regular season. The Red Bulls are currently clinging to the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but there are six teams fighting for the final three playoff spots. Nashville has locked up a playoff spot, but it has a chance to move into second place in the standings.
Red Bulls need at least a point to earn a playoff spot
New York needs to record at least one point to secure its spot in the playoffs. The Red Bulls are currently in seventh place with 47 points. Montreal is sitting in eighth with 46 points and will face sixth-place Orlando City (48 points) on Sunday. New York can guarantee a spot in the playoffs with a draw at Nashville. The Red Bulls have been in outstanding form, losing just once in their last 11 matches. They picked up wins over Montreal, Columbus, NYCFC, Miami and Cincinnati during the month of October. Their lone loss came in a 1-0 final at D.C. United on Oct. 27. They bounced back with the 1-0 win over Montreal to close out the month.
Their most recent outing came against Atlanta United on Wednesday, where the teams played to a scoreless draw. It was a tight match from both teams, as they are both jockeying for one of the final playoff spots in the Eastern Conference. New York dominated statistically, holding 57% of possession. It also out-shot Atlanta 15-2, including a 3-1 mark in shots on goal. The Red Bulls are not a strong attacking team, scoring just nine goals in their last 10 matches. Their defense has been outstanding, though, allowing just four goals in their last 11 contests.
Nashville is having a strong season
Nashville SC has been one of the top teams in the MLS throughout the season. It enters the final match day sitting in third place in the Eastern Conference table. Philadelphia also has 53 points, but it is currently ahead of them via the tiebreaker (wins). There is still a path to second place in the standings, though, but Nashville needs help from NYCFC. Nashville has already guaranteed at least one playoff match at home. It has only lost once in its last nine matches, but it was a crucial setback against Philadelphia on Oct. 23.
Nashville bounced back from that loss with a 6-3 win against Cincinnati last Wednesday. It followed up that victory with a 1-1 draw at Orlando on Sunday. Orlando took a 1-0 lead 18 minutes into the match, but Nashville was able to salvage a draw when Hany Mukhtar scored eight minutes after halftime. Nashville peppered the goal with seven shots, but it was only able to convert one into a score. Gary Smith’s team has played to draws in 17 of their 33 matches. Nashville has scored the fourth-most goals of any team in the MLS this year (54) and it is tied with New York for the fewest goals allowed (32).
Spread (Draw +200)
I do not trust Nashville to record three points in most matches it plays, so that is emphasized even more in this one. This is a critical contest for both teams, which means defensive intensity is going to be as high as possible. New York has been in outstanding form over the past month
and has only lost once in its last 11 matches. I trust the Red Bulls to put their best foot forward, as they need to secure at least a draw in order to make the playoffs. Nashville has been the king of draws this year, so the price is appealing in this match.
Total (Under 2)
This is going to be the first time I have ever backed an under two in an MLS match. I would not be surprised in the slightest if this one ends nil-nil. These are the two best defensive teams in the MLS, with both teams allowing just 32 goals this season. New York is fighting for a spot in the playoffs and will be thrilled to come away with a draw on Sunday. The Red Bulls are going to be focused on not allowing a goal in this match. Nashville is outstanding defensively as well and tends to come away with draws, so 0-0 or 1-1 look like the most likely outcomes.