MLS Soccer Betting: Columbus Crew vs Houston Dynamo
Saturday, March 7th, 2015By Ej Garr
MLS Odds: The Columbus Crew opens 2015 away from home, as they take on the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium opening weekend. Columbus comes into 2015 with a new team badge to represent the team colors, and a newly named MAPFRE Stadium which underwent a $40M facelift in the off-season.
Head Coach Gregg Berhalter is certainly known for his pressure-orientated attacking style, and he begins his second season in charge in Ohio. He brought the team to within 3 points of second place in the Eastern Conference behind New England.Catching them might have not done much regardless, as they met New England in the Eastern Conference semifinals and got destroyed 7 -3 on aggregate.
They return their starting keeper, Steve Clark, who played every minute of last year's regular season, and made a nice addition bringing over Kei Kamara. The 30-year old Sierra Leone National should be able to work well with the midfield trio of Federico Higuain, Tony Tchani and Wil Trapp. Since coach Berhalter has instilled his 4-2-3-1 system, the club has taken to it well. Last year, they were as defensively sound as can be, only surrendering 42 goals, one shy of the best in the Conference.
This was not an East vs West clash last year, as it is now with Houston realigning in the Western Conference. With the additions of the expansion teams Orlando City and NYCFC to the Eastern Conference, the Dynamo returns to the West after four years in the Eastern Conference. They spent their first five seasons in the West, making this their 10th season overall in MLS.
The first two seasons of the Dynamo history are prolific to say the least, winning 2 MLS Cups, both over New England in 2006 and 2007. They have been in the playoffs all but two seasons, with 2014 being the most recent, 2010 being the other. They gave up a team record 58 goals in 2014, their worst since giving up 49 in 2010.
We will see a new head coach in Houston, which is something we have never been able to say since Dominic Kinnear has been the only coach they have ever known. Kinnear moved back to San Jose, which was announced before the end of last year, and was replaced by Owen Coyle, who signed a 3-year deal just a day after the 2014 MLS Final.
This will be Coyle's sixth job as manager, after spending the last 11 years between Scotland and England. He last coached at Wigan in 2013, when he took over for Roberto Martinez who bolted for Everton. Things did not exactly go smoothly and Coyle ended his tenure with a 7W - 10L - 6D record.
Things might be turning around, with the Dynamo winning the Carolina Cup Challenge at the end of February preparing for the New Year. They also have hosted Columbus at home 10 times in their history, with Columbus only winning once in Texas.
Last 10 MLS Meetings:
Columbus has a lead of 3W - 2L and 5D, in the last 10 MLS meetings.
1x2 3-Way Lines:
Columbus Pk +145
Houston PK -170
Total O/U 2.5:
Quick Analysis & Prediction
Brad Davis is as dangerous as anyone in the league for the Dynamo, and Giles Barnes should understand the concept that coach Coyle is trying to get across with their England connection. The team decided to let Omar Cummings go, and Cummings still is unsigned anywhere.
The road team has not won a game in the series since 2011, and we mentioned that Columbus has not had success here with only 1 win in 10 attempts. This will be the only meeting between the two clubs this season, after they met three times last year as Eastern Conference foes.
All last year we caught MLS line setters giving away totals, and would you look at that? A +115 on the hopes of a 2 - 1 type of match here to cash the Over 2.5, and we are not one to shy away from expecting some goal scoring around the league, so let's pick up where we left off, and put a tag on the Over 2.5 with a delicious +115 to taste.