Familiar foes will do battle on Sunday when the Houston Dynamo host Sporting Kansas City in an MLS Western Conference semifinal, and MLS odds indicate an intriguing fixture between two of the hottest teams in the West.
Since a loss to Charlotte in August, the Dynamo have been defeated in regulation just once in 16 fixtures across all competitions. During that time, they won the U.S. Open Cup over Inter Miami and claimed 22 of a possible 33 points in league play. They trailed in only one match in that entire span, with Mexican international Hector Herrera pulling the strings in midfield.
That one defeat came at the hands of the team they’ll face Sunday. Sporting KC started poorly, but Peter Vermes has turned things around and has his side playing well. Their last match was on November 5 so rust could be an issue, but that fixture saw them complete a sweep of the West’s top seed as they beat St Louis City 2-1.
The sixth all-time playoff meeting between these two sides has some great betting value, and I’ll help you locate it in my Houston Dynamo vs Sporting Kansas City betting picks for Sunday, November 26.
Houston Dynamo FC vs Sporting Kansas City best odds
Houston Dynamo FC vs Sporting Kansas City picks and predictions
Houston are clear favorites on the 3-way moneyline. Heading into the weekend, they’re priced at -125 or more to win in regulation and advance to the Western Conference final. And that makes sense. They’ve been racking up goals, with 34 scored during that 16-match run compared to just 13 conceded.
But while they were keeping clean sheets in bunches earlier in that stretch, Houston hasn’t kept any of their last six opponents off the scoresheet. Three of those six matches — including each of the last two against Real Salt Lake in the last round of the playoffs — ended in 1-1 stalemates.
Houston created plenty of chances against RSL but struggled to put many of them away. Of their 46 shots attempted over the three matches, they put just 15 on target and scored only four. That’s concerning for a side that ranks in the bottom third of the league in shot-creating actions per 90 minutes, and just fourth in goal-creating actions per 90.
Limiting those actions is one area where Sporting KC has thrived this season. Their 20.32 SCA per 90 ranks eighth fewest in the league, and they’ve conceded just five goals in their last five matches. That includes holding St. Louis to just one goal in each of their two playoff meetings, as they held the top offense in the West in check.
No team in the West has taken more points at home than the Dynamo, with 37 from a possible 51. But in the two meetings between these sides in Houston this season — one in league play and another in USOC action — Sporting held their own.
Their 2-2 draw in league play only came about because of a 90+8’ goal from Ivan Franco, stealing a point for the Dynamo in a match where Sporting held them at bay for long periods. But perhaps the most impressive result between these two was the 2-1 Sporting win in late September when the host had a man sent off after just 39 minutes. Instead of holding onto a 1-0 lead, Sporting added a second goal 12 minutes later and held on for a 2-1 win.
Houston have the home-field advantage, and that’s important in MLS... but it doesn’t guarantee success. Just ask St. Louis, who fell 4-1 at home to Sporting KC in the last round. The break has also given Sporting time for some key players to return, adding depth at a critical time.
I think Houston are rightly favored, but I also think the double chance for Kansas City is a great value. That’s why I’m taking it as my best bet for Sunday’s match. Sporting have shown an ability to get results away this season, especially of late, and these two teams tend to play tight matchups.
KC have taken a result from five of the last six meetings and from three of their last five visits to Houston. With how close I expect this match to be, I’ll gladly take -116 odds for two 3-way options over paying -125 for the favorite.
My best bet: Sporting Kansas City double chance (-116 at TonyBet)
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Houston Dynamo FC vs Sporting Kansas City same-game parlay
I'm going to take the Under 3.0 goals for this match. Playoff fixtures like these, where it’s a one-match scenario vs a best-of-three, tend to be cagier and lower scoring. Given Houston and Sporting are conceding the sixth and seventh fewest shots against, respectively, that is a strong recipe for an Under.
I'm also going to back Daniel Salloi to have at least two shots in this match. He’s taken three or more in four of his last five, and while he managed just one shot against Houston in the win, he did so as a sub in just 28 minutes. He’s going to be more involved with Erik Thommy — their top shooter — sidelined due to injury.
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Houston Dynamo FC vs Sporting Kansas City side and Over/Under analysis
For those wishing to capitalize on the 3-way line and pick a specific result for Sporting, the prices are very good. A draw is as high as +270, while a Sporting win in regulation can be had for +350 at bet365.
Kansas City have won five straight matches, although one of those came via penalty shootout after a 0-0 draw with San Jose to open their playoffs. They’ve also won three of their last four on the road.
Houston finished their regular season with a pair of wins, and haven’t lost in any of their last eight matches in regulation across all competitions. They needed penalties to defeat RSL after a 1-1 draw last time out, which followed another 1-1 draw in which they fell on spot kicks.
The total of 2.5 goals is fairly evenly split, with DraftKings offering -115 on the Over and -120 on the Under. Houston’s last two matches went Under, as have four of their last seven. All four of those Unders came in draws. Sporting’s been an Over machine, with seven of their last eight seeing at least three goals scored. The Over is also 11-2 in their last 13 matches.
Houston Dynamo FC vs Sporting Kansas City game info
|Shell Energy Stadium, Houston, TX
|Sunday, November 26, 2023
|7:00 p.m. ET
|55 degrees F, POP: 13%, 12 mph winds, Humidity: 52%
Houston Dynamo FC vs Sporting Kansas City key injuries
Houston Dynamo FC: Ifunanyachi Achara F (Out), Tate Schmitt D (Out).
Sporting Kansas City: Erik Thommy M (Out), Tim Leibold D (Out), Logan Ndenbe D (Out).
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