The next episode of the Lionel Messi Show sees Inter Miami return home for the first time in almost three weeks as they host Nashville on Wednesday night in a rematch of the Leagues Cup final.
Inter Miami won in Messi’s first MLS match when they defeated the New York Red Bulls 2-0 on Saturday. They were able to gain ground on the playoff teams in front of them, and they know they can’t afford to drop points at home this week.
Nashville’s licking their wounds off a 4-0 thrashing from rivals Atlanta United, and now must yet again hit the road where they’ve been struggling mightily this season. They’ve lost five straight away from home in league play, and what was once a guaranteed playoff spot no longer appears certain.
Let’s break down the match and help you find the betting angles in our Inter Miami vs. Nashville picks and predictions for Wednesday, August 30.
Inter Miami vs Nashville SC best odds
Inter Miami vs Nashville SC picks and predictions
To say Nashville have been bad away from home is putting it lightly. Including their only true away match in Leagues Cup play, they’ve gone winless in their last seven away from GEODIS Park and have won just three times from 15 away matches across all competitions this season.
Then again, it’s difficult to get a result anywhere when you’re not scoring goals. In those 15 matches, Nashville have found the back of the net just 12 times — only two of which have come in the last six outings. In those six matches, their opponents have scored 12 times.
Atlanta put them to the sword at the weekend, exposing a back line that was without captain and USMNT defender Walker Zimmerman. He is doubtful against Miami with a hip injury, and the defense simply looked lost without him. They conceded 11 shots on goal, and 13 inside the penalty area.
At the other end of the pitch, Hany Mukhtar was held silent and Nashville managed just a solitary effort on goal from 13 shots. It was the second straight match where he was held off the scoresheet without either a goal or assist, following the defeat to Miami.
Speaking of Miami, it’s time to give their defense some credit. After getting torched for goals early in the Leagues Cup, Tata Martino has given the team a better sense of balance. The addition of Jordi Alba at left-back has also helped them better maintain possession while limiting chances going the other way.
Their clean sheet against New York on Saturday featured a bit of luck, as the Red Bulls missed multiple chances that should’ve at least tested the keeper. But the clean sheet was their third in Messi’s nine matches, and they’ve conceded just once against four other opponents, including Nashville.
While Nashville found a way to slow Messi and company down in the Leagues Cup final, they failed to create a single big chance at the other end despite 11 shots. Their only goal came from a corner kick, and without Zimmerman, their set-piece attack takes a huge hit.
Nashville have put just four shots on goal over their last three MLS away matches, and just 10 over the last five. That’s not something that can be ignored. This team is struggling to create chances without their rabid fans spurring them on and making things difficult for the opposition.
Miami know they can’t rely on penalties to bail them out, and a win is vital. Martino will set the team up a bit strong in defense and Messi will do his thing, which is why we’re taking Miami to win via clean sheet at a terrific price of +175.
My best bet: Inter Miami to win to nil (+175 at bet365)
Inter Miami vs Nashville SC same-game parlay
Our same-game parlay runs with the Inter Miami win via clean sheet while anticipating a performance somewhat similar to what Atlanta United enjoyed at the weekend.
Nashville has kept just two clean sheets away from home all season, and high-powered offenses have done well against them. FC Cincinnati scored three on them before the Leagues Cup — albeit aided by a pair of second-half red cards — before Atlanta put four in on Saturday.
In fact, Inter Miami scored a pair of goals at home against Nashville in the US Open Cup earlier this season, and that was without Messi, Sergio Busquets, or Alba in the lineup. Without Zimmerman, it’s going to be much tougher to slow that trio down and I’ll take Miami to get multiple goals in this contest.
The first one of those should come before halftime. Each of Nashville's last seven opponents away from home in MLS has found the back of the net inside the opening 45 minutes. Nashville has trailed at halftime in five of those seven matches, and we’re going to bet on that happening yet again to close out our SGP.
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Inter Miami vs Nashville SC side and Over/Under analysis
Nashville’s poor away form is a big reason Inter Miami are heavy favorites. The line opened with Inter Miami -115, but it’s been heavily bet after Nashville’s blowout defeat. Saturday night saw Inter Miami move from around -125 down to -175 overnight, and it’s now close to -200.
Nashville can be had on the 3-way line for as high as +500, with the draw paying up to +340. It’s difficult to take either one with how bad they’ve been and if Zimmerman is out, I’m not sure how you’d take them to get a result. This is in addition to the fact that Messi is expected to miss up to three matches in the coming weeks on international duty, and Nashville know they have to earn points fast to make the playoffs.
As for the total, it’s another Over juiced for an Inter Miami contest. You’ll pay -175 on average to get Over 2.5 goals, with the Asian total of 3.0 paying around -110.
I could see some value here. Inter Miami have been really good at home and have pushed totals Over, especially with allowing a goal here and there. But since we’re on them to keep a clean sheet, the Under is in play. In fact, I’m expecting a 2-0 or 3-0 win, so I might play a bit on the Under 2.5 at +140.
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Inter Miami vs Nashville SC game info
|Location:||Inter Miami CF Stadium, Miami, FL|
|Date:||Wednesday, August 30, 2023|
|Time:||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Weather:||87 degrees with heat index of 94, 34% POP, 12 mph winds|
Inter Miami vs Nashville SC key injuries
Inter Miami: Corentin Jean F (Out), Franco Negri D (Out), Jean Mota M (Out).
Nashville SC: Walker Zimmerman D (Doubtful), Nick DePuy D (Out).