Win or go home.
The Philadelphia Union went 2-0-1 in pool play to advance in the MLS is Back tournament. Now, it’s on to the knockout round, which features 16 teams and a single-elimination bracket. And first up is the New England Revolution, which face the Union at 10:30 p.m. Saturday night on ESPN 2.
It’s a win or go home game.
So there’s plenty to play for, and plenty of reasons to watch, too.
Let’s take a look at some of the soccer wagers and storylines to get you ready for Saturday night’s game.
Philadelphia is a slight favorite in the first-round matchup
BetRivers Sportsbook, PlaySugarHouse and DraftKings Sportsbook have the Union as +150 in Saturday night’s showdown. The New England Revolution is +155, and a tie (full-time) is +260. FanDuel Sportsbook has slightly different odds, so bettors would be wise to shop around.
Soccer fans will notice a familiar face on New England’s sideline, as the Revolution are coached by former US National Team head coach Bruce Arena. Another storyline to watch is the health of New England midfielder Carles Gil. Gil missed the Revolution’s last game in the group stage with an injury, and his status for Saturday is still uncertain.
Philadelphia hopes to continue its strong defense from the group stage — the team only gave up two goals in three games — but will need to manufacture some offense to advance.
BetRivers offering 133 different bets on the Union’s knockout round game
If you’re interested in wagering on Saturday night’s game, there is no shortage of betting options. BetRivers and PlaySugarHouse have more than 130 different betting lines available for the first-round tournament game. Wagers include the game’s total (2.5), the exact score, each team’s goal total and a number of other choices as well.
FanDuel Sportsbook also has odds available on the game’s goal scorers. Union forward Kacper Przybylko is the favorite to be Philadelphia’s first goal scorer at +650. His odds decrease to +210 to score at any time in Saturday’s game. Teammate Sergio Santos is +700 to score first, with a goal at any point paying +240.
For New England, forward Adam Buska and midfielder Gustavo Bou have identical goal-scoring odds. The teammates are each +650 to score first, with anytime scoring odds of +210.
Odds are also available on a number of other players, so bettors might want to take a closer look. And DraftKings has some daily fantasy showdown contests for Saturday’s game, so soccer fans will have plenty of action.
Saturday’s winner will play again next Thursday
Maybe it’s not the NCAA Tournament’s Elite Eight, but the winner of Saturday night’s game will reach the quarterfinals of the MLS is Back tournament as one of the last eight teams. The winner will take on either Sporting KC or Vancouver Thursday night at 8 p.m. on ESPN.
Maybe the Philadelphia Union will find a way to advance. But the path ahead won’t be an easy one.
The tournament format provides no room for error.
It’s win or go home.