With the playoffs just two months away, it’s all to play for as the New York Red Bulls host Inter Miami on Saturday evening.
While both teams currently sit below the playoff line, the Red Bulls have played two more matches than Inter Miami and sit 11 points clear. Still, they’re three points back of Chicago and Montreal for the final playoff spot in the East, but will be buoyed by their home form in which they’ve lost just once in their last eight matches.
For Inter Miami, making the playoffs is going to be an incredible feat. With 12 matches remaining, they must make up a 14-point deficit. Having two matches in hand will help, but a loss on Saturday would put them even further behind when you consider the schedule remaining in front of them.
Both teams have plenty to play for, and we break down the betting angles in our New York Red Bulls vs Inter Miami picks and predictions for Saturday, August 26.
New York Red Bulls vs Inter Miami best odds
New York Red Bulls vs Inter Miami picks and predictions
You’ll have to forgive Inter Miami if they looked like they might have partied too hard on Wednesday night. Their performance against FC Cincinnati for the first 70 or so minutes left much to be desired.
But to blame it on partying wouldn’t be fair. Sure, they probably enjoyed themselves after winning the Leagues Cup. But the temperature faced by all players on Wednesday night would drain anybody – moreso, a team that had just won a tournament a few days prior and was being led by a pair of players in their mid-30s.
Somehow, Messi was able to will his team across the finish line, as they came back from a late 2-0 deficit to force extra time and eventually win on penalties. But 120 minutes in that heat is going to take its toll on anybody, and I expect that to be the case on Saturday.
That said, I’m not willing to trust New York to come out with a result. This team has been wholly inconsistent all season long, struggling to score goals as they’ve got the third-lowest tally in the Eastern Conference.
The Red Bulls have managed more than eight goals fewer than expected with just 23 on 31.2 xG so far. However, they’ve been better at home than away. They’ve been a bit unlucky, having an xG against of 9.2 but conceding 13 times, but they’ve also scored 17 times at home versus just six away.
A big part of their inconsistency has been an inability to put together a full 90 minutes. But what they have done is perform really well for a half – and that’s where our best bet comes into play.
The last seven home games for Red Bulls have seen them outscore their opponent in at least one of the two halves. And in Miami’s four matches away from home since Messi joined, they’ve been outscored in either half on three occasions.
The Red Bulls defend well, and both Nashville and FC Cincinnati have shown the blueprint on how to slow down Inter Miami. They’ll be aided by the fatigue and travel of their opponents, and whether they overwhelm them early and lead at the break, or they take advantage of fresher legs in the second half, bank on them to win either half.
My best bet: Red Bulls to win either half (-125 at bet365)
New York Red Bulls vs Inter Miami same-game parlay
Red Bulls to win either half
Lucas Luquinhas o0.5 shots on goal
Both teams to score - Yes
Under 5 goals
Our same-game parlay at bet365 is built around a few strong plays that should yield a solid profit. If the Red Bulls are to get a result in either half as expected, then Lucas Luquinhas will likely be involved.
He ranks third on the team in shots per contest with 1.6 in league play, and he’s among the league leaders in earning fouls. With forward Cory Burke expected to remain out, Luquinhas will need to step up and should put an effort on goal.
Miami’s shown they’ve got too much talent and too much fight to be shut out, and obviously New York will have to score for our main bet to come through. That’s why we’re taking both teams to score, an event that’s taken place in seven of NYRB’s last 11 matches and in all four of Inter Miami’s away matches since Messi joined.
That said, I don’t expect a high-scoring affair here. This match feels like a 2-1 result, but I’ve been burned enough by Messi and Miami to realize a 2-2 or 3-1 is very possible.
Therefore, we’ll play it safe and take the Under 5 goals, with Miami’s fatigue and New York’s inability to finish keeping the tally lower than perhaps it otherwise would be.
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New York Red Bulls vs Inter Miami side and Over/Under analysis
While the fatigue factor is real for Inter Miami, it doesn’t mean I’m willing to bet on New York to win.
The Red Bulls are favored on the 3-way line due to the reasons we’ve discussed, which takes away any of the value we’d hope to find. They’re paying anywhere from +135 to +160, while Miami are as high as +180.
But the draw offers value. At +260 at FanDuel, there’s a solid return for a line that opened at +225.
While sharing the spoils wouldn’t be ideal for either side, it’s a positive result for Red Bulls, and Miami’s drawn in three of their last four on the road since Messi joined, needing penalties to advance each time.
As for the total, stop me if you’ve heard this before – the Over 2.5 for an Inter Miami game is juiced up. You’ll get -140 or worse to play the standard Over, with the Under being priced at just +110 and offering little value.
Your best bet here may be to take the Asian total of 2.75, which you can get at -120 at DraftKings. That said, New York’s seen two or fewer goals scored in four of their last five matches, and the Under 2.5 is 10-8 in their matches at home in all competitions.
If Messi and Busquets come off the bench in this one, the Under 2.75 could present value.
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New York Red Bulls vs Inter Miami game info
|Location:||Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ|
|Date:||Saturday, August 26, 2023|
|Time:||7:30 p.m. ET|
|Weather:||80 degrees, 63% humidity, PoP 5%, winds of five mph|
New York Red Bulls vs Inter Miami key injuries
New York Red Bulls: Cory Burke F (Doubtful), Dylan Nealis D (Out), Lewis Morgan F (Out).
Inter Miami: Corentin Jean F (Out), Franco Negri D (Out), Nicolas Stefanelli M (Out).