Atlanta United will be out for revenge on Saturday when they play host to Inter Miami in a key MLS fixture. MLS odds have the three-way moneyline as a borderline toss-up between the two teams winning with the draw priced at about +280, and the total listed at 3.5 goals.
The last meeting between these sides took place in late July, when Atlanta were privy to Lionel Messi’s first start in the Leagues Cup. Just 90 minutes later, they walked off 4-0 losers as they conceded three times before halftime. Now they hope to avoid getting swept in the third meeting of the year.
Messi’s back from international duty, and Miami’s 3-2 win over Sporting KC last week keeps them unbeaten since he joined the club. It also keeps them on track to somehow sneak into the playoffs, as they now sit just six points clear of qualification.
Both teams have plenty to play for, but find out which one has the better chance to win in our MLS picks and predictions for Atlanta United vs. Inter Miami on September 16.
Atlanta United vs Inter Miami best odds
Atlanta United vs Inter Miami picks and predictions
The rivalry between Atlanta United and Inter Miami has been a one-sided one — but I don’t mean for one club. Rather, the home team has dominated proceedings. In their 11 meetings across all competitions, the road team has taken a win just one time, when Inter Miami won 2-1 back in the second-ever meeting in 2020.
In the other 10 matches, there have been just three draws. But the home team has won each of the last six matches, with the away side failing to score in three of those.
That trend includes the two prior meetings this season, both played in Miami. The 4-0 Leagues Cup victory was preceded by a 2-1 win in May, with two second-half goals from Josef Martinez being enough to see off the visitors.
But while that trend is compelling, it’s important to remember that all but one of those meetings came before Messi, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba joined Inter Miami. And in that 4-0 win, the gulf in class between Miami’s attack and Atlanta’s defense was heavily exposed.
Atlanta was at full strength, with USMNT defender Miles Robinson on the back line and Georgios Giakoumakis leading the line. But it mattered little, as Messi combined with Robert Taylor to cause them all sorts of issues.
Their three-man back line proved little resistance, and perhaps that’s why they’ve reverted back to a 4-2-3-1 formation since the end of their Leagues Cup run. It’s enabled them to play much better of late, getting a win at Seattle and a 4-0 win over Nashville at home. However, their defense has once again begun leaking goals. They drew 2-2 at Dallas last weekend, just a few days after Cincinnati came into Mercedes-Benz stadium and left 2-1 winners.
That’s what I’m expecting Inter Miami to do on Saturday. Forget about the trend here. Yes, I know Atlanta is very good at home, with 27 points from a possible 42 in front of their fans. They’ve also massively outperformed their expected goal tally, scoring 32 goals despite having just 23.2 xG.
But they also don’t defend well whether at home or away. Only two teams in the entire league have conceded more than their 17 goals allowed at home. And overall, Atlanta ranks third-worst in MLS in post-shot xG compared to goals allowed, having conceded nearly 10 more than expected.
Inter Miami ranks in the Top 10 in that metric, with Drake Callender’s terrific form earning him a recent call-up to the USMNT. He held LAFC to just one goal, kept a clean sheet away to NYRB, and has come up big against some of the top clubs in the league over the past two months.
So give me Messi, Busquets, Alba, Martinez, and Callender to carry the day on Saturday. TonyBet has Inter Miami priced at +150 to win on the 3-way line, and that’s where our best bet lies as the pink and black continue their charge up the table.
My best bet: Inter Miami moneyline (+150 at TonyBet)
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Atlanta United vs Inter Miami same-game parlay
Our same-game parlay for Saturday’s match takes us to DraftKings, where we are able to get a price of +400 for our three-leg parlay.
This rivalry has been one for goals, as both teams have plenty of attacking quality combined with Atlanta’s style lending itself to higher-scoring affairs. The 4-0 match in Leagues Cup marked the fourth time in the last five meetings that we’ve seen three or more goals scored.
In addition, Atlanta’s last three MLS matches have each reached that mark, while Inter Miami’s last two outings have had four or more goals.
For the third piece of our parlay, we’re taking Atlanta to attempt five or more corner kicks. Atlanta ranks ninth in MLS in shots attempted, but bottom-half of the table in the average distance per shot. That’s led to them attempting 142 this season, ninth-most in the league.
They attempted eight against Inter Miami in the 4-0 loss, one of eight straight matches in all competitions in which they’ve attempted five or more. Look for that to happen yet again as we enjoy a solid return on our investment.
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Atlanta United vs Inter Miami side and Over/Under analysis
The 3-way line reflects the uncertainty of Messi’s availability, with Atlanta slightly favored to win at home with a price on average of +135. However, all signs point to him being available after missing Argentina’s match with Bolivia with an injury concern.
Messi trained both on Thursday and again on Friday morning, and while manager Tata Martino said on Friday that they were going to “wait until the end of training to make a decision”, he’s expected to be available even if it’s off the bench. Martino said Messi “is fine” and he knows how important this match is to their hopes of making the playoffs.
Even so, Miami showed they can win without him, as they did last week in the win over Sporting KC, and Busquets and Alba provide plenty of threat whether or not he’s available from the start. That’s why we’re backing them to get the win.
As for the total, we discussed being on the Over 2.5 in our SGP but at -200 I wouldn’t bet it outright. I also wouldn’t bet the Under, as there’s little value despite the price of +166. MLS totals tend to skew over when you have high-level attackers against lesser defenders, and you have that on both sides in this match.
The Over 3.5 is priced around +125 and is worth a look, but I think I’d rather go for the Miami team total where you can get Over 1.5 at even money. If Messi doesn’t start, you should be able to get this at plus-odds a few minutes into the match as well.
Atlanta United vs Inter Miami game info
|Location:||Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Atlanta, GA|
|Date:||Saturday, September 16, 2023|
|Time:||5:00 p.m. ET|
|Weather:||Given the chance of rain, the roof will likely be closed.|
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Atlanta United vs Inter Miami key injuries
Atlanta United: Jamal Thiare F (Out), Osvaldo Alonso M (Out).
Inter Miami: Corentin Jean F (Out), Franco Negri D (Out), Gregore M (Out), Lionel Messi (Probable).