Nashville SC vs. Austin FC – MLS, May 23, 2021
Second-year side Nashville SC welcomes expansion club Austin FC to Nissan Stadium on Sunday, May 23, wrapping up MLS Week 6.
Although Gary Smith’s men have yet to taste defeat this season, they head into Week 6 with just seven points to their name, having registered one win and four draws in 2021.
Over in the West, it’s been a case of all or nothing for Austin so far. The newcomers have picked up two wins and three losses from their opening five matches and travel to Tennessee on the back of consecutive defeats.
In this betting preview, I share my Nashville SC vs. Austin FC prediction and betting pick. But before we get to that, let’s check out the odds for Sunday’s clash and take a closer look at the teams.
Nashville SC vs. Austin FC Odds
All the top online sportsbooks view Nashville (1.74) as the obvious home favorite to win this one, leaving Austin (4.85) as the traveling underdog.
At first glance, the draw bet (3.40) looks like excellent value. Not only have the Boys in Gold tied four of their five games this term, but they have also achieved three straight shutouts.
Can Nashville Remain Unbeaten?
With eight regular-season draws to their name, no team in the Eastern Conference tied more games than Nashville last year. We may only be five matches into the new campaign, but Smith’s men have already chalked up half as many draws as they did in 2020.
The Boys in Gold kicked off the season with back-to-back 2-2 ties against Cincinnati and Montreal before producing a goalless draw with Inter Miami. They finally picked up their first win of 2021, beating New England 2-0 in Week 4. But they were held to another goalless draw by Real Salt Lake last weekend.
With the East looking like a hugely competitive division at the moment, managing to go five games without a loss is an excellent achievement.
However, Smith will be eager for his team to start turning draws into wins. If the Boys in Gold continue to drop points, they will find it difficult to challenge for a top-seven finish.
Will Austin Return to Winning Ways?
Los Verdes have already shown MLS fans glimpses of what they can do, with impressive wins over Colorado and Minnesota coming after an opening-weekend loss to LAFC.
Josh Wolff’s men appeared to be heading for three straight wins in Week 4, only to concede two late goals and lose 2-1 to Sporting KC.
The newcomers gave a decent account of themselves against the Galaxy last weekend, too. Despite enjoying large spells of possession and creating multiple goalscoring opportunities, Austin went down 2-0 to Chicharito and co.
If the Texans want to enjoy a successful maiden campaign in Major League Soccer, they would be foolish not to take a leaf out of Nashville’s book. Smith’s men reached the playoffs in their debut season and gained plenty of admirers for their bold approach along the way.
My Nashville vs. Austin Betting Pick
I am well aware that a run of four straight draws doesn’t often happen in MLS or any league, for that matter. But having assessed both sides, the draw just feels like the best bet for Nashville vs. Austin.
Although guys like Cecilio Dominguez and Diego Fagundez are more than capable of causing the hosts problems on Sunday, Nashville’s defense has looked incredibly solid so far this season.
Nashville’s previous three games have produced a combined total of two goals. I expect another low-scoring encounter at Nissan Stadium.