For the 108th time in history, the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup will crown a champion on Wednesday night when Inter Miami hosts the Houston Dynamo.
The oldest knockout competition in American soccer will have more international eyes on it than ever before, as the soccer world hopes to see Lionel Messi go for his second trophy in just a few months with Inter Miami. Whether or not he goes, Inter Miami will hope to have enough firepower to come out on top.
But the visitors are no pushovers and will be ready to give them a fight no matter who lines up across from them. Houston sit fourth in the MLS Western Conference, and Mexican international midfielder Hector Herrera brings some star power of his own to proceedings.
It should be an enthralling final and we are here to break down the best betting angles in our Inter Miami vs. Houston Dynamo picks and predictions for the US Open Cup final on Wednesday, September 27.
Inter Miami vs Houston Dynamo best odds
|Inter Miami||Houston Dynamo|
|Over 2.5 (-188)||Total||Under 2.5 (+128)|
Odds courtesy of TonyBet on September 26, 2023.
Inter Miami vs Houston Dynamo picks and predictions
Inter Miami fans will be nervous about the status of Lionel Messi heading into the final. Their hopes he would be fit enough to start were dashed on Tuesday morning when the Argentinian superstar was absent from the final training session ahead of Wednesday’s cup final.
But regardless of his availability, there are a few factors in play that make it unlikely Houston walks away with a trophy. Combine that with what should be a low-scoring affair, and you have the recipe for a best bet that more than doubles your stake at Tonybet.
One vastly underrated aspect of American professional soccer is the travel involved. And at this point in the season, the impact it has on players is more pronounced.
The reason we bring this up is because Wednesday night’s match will be the Houston Dynamo's second away fixture in a five-day span. Their 2-1 defeat at Sporting Kansas City over the weekend saw them concede inside of 10 minutes, and then give up a second later in the half despite Sporting being down to 10 men.
That’s nothing new for Houston, though. They’ve taken only four wins in all competitions—two of which came during their Open Cup run—compared to nine defeats and four draws away from home this season, and that record is even worse in fixtures where they’ve had to travel repeatedly on short rest.
In April, Houston suffered a 1-0 defeat at Minnesota and followed it up three days later with a 1-1 draw at Dallas. A two-game spell in early June saw them lose by a combined 9-2 to Vancouver and St. Louis City, after having played just a few days prior in Austin. Even when they’ve had to travel for a match just days after a home match, they’ve done quite poorly as well.
Then there’s the matter of Houston’s struggles to score when they hit the road. Their three goals against Real Salt Lake nearly a month ago were a massive outlier, as their last seven matches away from home have featured just five Dynamo goals in total. They’ve failed to score in seven of their 17 away fixtures, and their 11 total away goals are tied for the third-fewest in MLS.
While Inter Miami played on Sunday and had one less day of rest, their trip to Orlando was a short one. They also showed once again they’re a different team than they were prior to Messi’s arrival, whether he’s in the lineup or not. They’re also unbeaten in five straight at home.
Whether Messi starts, comes off the bench, or isn’t involved at all, this is Inter Miami’s match to win. They’ve already survived one final—which came on the road, don’t forget—in the Leagues Cup, as well as two shootouts during this tournament.
The younger players won’t have the nerves they otherwise would and will have the home fans behind them this time. They’re playing well of late even without their star, and they’re going to have the fresher legs of the two teams.
Inter Miami is also going to have a rested Sergio Busquets, who didn’t participate in the match with Orlando this weekend. That’s bad news for Houston, whose tired legs will fade in the second half as they battle the rainy conditions, wet pitch, and the Miami humidity.
Inter Miami’s going to be mindful of allowing Houston space to operate, which combined with their struggles to score will keep the final tally to three or fewer goals. Combine the two, and Tonybet is going to return a strong payday on what should be yet another coronation for the Herons.
My best bet: Inter Miami moneyline + Under 3.5 (+215 at TonyBet)
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Inter Miami vs Houston Dynamo same-game parlay
Given this is a US Open Cup match and not an MLS fixture, your options are a bit limited for a same-game parlay. That said, we found a strong one at bet365.
We’re going to keep our combo play of Inter Miami to win in regulation and three or fewer goals to be scored. But we’re going to add the stipulation that those goals will all be scored by one side, with Houston failing to find the back of the net.
The addition of the third leg bumps our price to +320, offering a handsome return on our wager.
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Inter Miami vs Houston Dynamo side and Over/Under analysis
Martino said in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday that Messi trained after the media left, but no decision would be made on his availability until Wednesday. However, Jordi Alba is much less likely to participate and isn’t expected to take part.
Regardless, the public is fully backing Inter Miami to win the trophy in regulation. Their price on the 3-way line sits at -110 to -115 on average, but I expect there to be plenty of fluctuation all the way up until the kickoff. The line has been creeping closer to even money throughout the past few days, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see plus-odds on Thursday.
Those backing a bet will enjoy seeing lines as high as +285, while Houston’s money line is paying around +240. Houston is also getting close to +200 to lift the cup, whether in regulation or after penalties or extra time.
The total is also seeing plenty of money on the Over 2.5, with the Asian market of 3.0 being the closest to evenly split as you’ll get. This has been typical for Inter Miami matches, with five of their last eight matches featuring four or more goals.
But Houston’s away scoring struggles should be kept in mind here, as Inter will likely have to carry the total on their own. That’s why I’d lean Under here if I were playing the 2.5 total, which has a solid value of +150 on offer.
Inter Miami vs Houston Dynamo game info
|Location:||DRV PNK Stadium, Fort Lauderdale, FL|
|Date:||Wednesday, September 27, 2023|
|Time:||8:30 p.m. ET|
|Weather:||82 Fahrenheit with a 50% chance of rain.|
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Inter Miami vs Houston Dynamo key injuries
Inter Miami: Lionel Messi F (Questionable), Jordi Alba D (Doubtful)
Houston Dynamo: Tate Schmitt D (Out), Ifunanyachi Achara M (Out), Artur M (Probable).