LAFC vs Atlanta United FC Picks and Predictions: Bouanga Can't Be Stopped

LAFC fell short of capturing the CONCACAF League, but they get to bounce back against Atlanta FC who have one win in eight matches. Atlanta FC are conceding lots of goals, and our MLS picks believe Denis Bouanga will capitalize.

Last Updated: Jun 6, 2023 2:22 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Denis Bouanga LAFC MLS
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

After falling short of winning the CONCACAF Champions League on Sunday night, LAFC must shake off their disappointment when they host Atlanta United Wednesday night. 

Including their defeats in both legs of the final, LAFC lost their last MLS outing when they fell to their rivals in a 2-0 El Trafico defeat. They will hope to avoid a CCL hangover when they welcome an Atlanta side that has just one victory in their last eight outings — although they’ve gone unbeaten in four straight.

Will LAFC continue their dominance at home against Eastern Conference opponents, or can Atlanta figure out a way to win without their main striker? We break down that and more in our LAFC vs. Atlanta United betting picks for Wednesday, June 7. 

LAFC vs Atlanta United FC best odds

LAFC vs Atlanta United FC picks and predictions

There aren’t many players in Major League Soccer having a better season than LAFC forward Denis Bouanga. His 10 goals are tied for the most in league play this season, and through 20 matches in all competitions, he’s bagged 17 goals while assisting six others. 

He’s not afraid to let fly, either. His five attempts led LAFC in their defeat on Monday night, giving him 52 shot attempts in his last 13 starts. What's more impressive is the fact he’s led LAFC in shots attempted in each of those 13 outings. He’s also testing the keeper early, with four of his last five starts seeing him put an effort on goal in the first half. 

Atlanta aren't allowing a whole lot of shots against this season: in fact, only two teams — including LAFC — have conceded fewer efforts and only four have allowed fewer attempts on goal. That’s what makes it even scarier that they’ve conceded the second-most goals in MLS thus far, just one behind Charlotte’s woeful defense. 

Making matters worse, their goals against shouldn’t be that high. Opponents are scoring at a rate of +7.6 goals over expected, which is nearly twice as high as the next-worst rate. Whether it’s Brad Guzan or Quentin Westberg in goal, the result has been the same — lots of goals against, and lots of leads lost. 

All this is to say that Bouanga is set up to find the back of the net on Wednesday night. Even if his shot volume is a bit lower than of late, he’s going to get quality opportunities against a back line simply not stopping what they should. The side is going to want to forget about the loss to Club Leon and there’s no better way to do so than come out firing at home in front of your home fans, against one of the worst defenses in the league. 

With his price to score significantly better at FanDuel — where you can get it at -110 versus -135 at most other books — I expect it to get bet down closer to kickoff, making it a play that offers strong CLV. 

My best bet: Denis Bouanga to score (-110 at FanDuel)

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LAFC vs Atlanta United FC side analysis

LAFC have lost at home only once in their history to an Eastern Conference foe. Their only such match this season saw them destroy New England 4-0, and while I don’t see such a blowout happening on Wednesday, I do expect them to win. They’re favored to do so with a -160 price on the 3-way line, with an Atlanta win being the least-expected result.

LAFC are unbeaten in six at home in league play, with five victories by a combined 15-5 scoreline. They’ve kept two clean sheets this campaign in front of home supporters, and their 2-1 win over San Jose two weeks ago has them sitting in third in the conference despite having played four fewer matches than most of the other teams in the West.

Atlanta couldn't hold on to a win if it was glued to their hands. They’ve drawn three straight — all despite leading in the second half — and have dropped eight points in matches they’ve led after the break. Just one of their six victories in league play have come away from home, with four draws and three defeats. 

Atlanta can’t stop bleeding goals, with 18 conceded in their last seven away fixtures and 15 allowed in their last seven overall. While they’re putting up good numbers at the other end of the pitch, they’ll be without leading scorer Giorgos Giakoumakis due to yellow card accumulation. Those two factors are why LAFC will claim all three points Wednesday night. 

LAFC vs Atlanta United FC Over/Under analysis

It could be a night for the Over. The public favors such a result, with the line at -170 or more, and such a number would mark the ninth time in Atlanta’s last 10 matches that the Over has come through.

LAFC’s six home matches this season have seen them concede multiple goals just once, while they’ve scored two or more in five of six. That’s led to at least three goals in five of the six, as well.

Meanwhile, Atlanta’s porous defense and aggressive attack opens them up to high-scoring affairs, and their eight away fixtures have seen at least three goals on six occasions. That said, their last away fixture was a 1-1 draw with Orlando City last week.

Those looking to avoid the juice may want to keep an eye on the second half total — in fact, I nearly made it my best bet. You can get Over 1.5 goals after halftime at even money odds currently, and 21 of the 31 goals in Atlanta’s eight away fixtures have been scored after halftime. Add the fact that five of LAFC’s six home fixtures have featured multiple goals after the break, and you have a sneaky play with a solid price. 

LAFC vs Atlanta United FC game info

Location: BMO Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Date: Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Time: 10:30 p.m. ET
TV: Apple TV

LAFC vs Atlanta United FC key injuries

LAFC: Maxime Crepeau GK (Out), Tony Leone D (Out), Aaron Long D (Out).
Atlanta United FC: Giorgos Giakoumis F (Out), Caleb Wiley D (Doubtful), Osvaldo Alonso M (Out).

LAFC vs Atlanta United FC weather

Players and fans couldn’t ask for better conditions than what they’ll enjoy on Wednesday evening. Temperatures at kickoff will be in the mid 60s, with sunny skies and no rain in the forecast.  

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