Orlando City vs. Atlanta United – MLS, July 30, 2021

By Ben Morris in MLS
| July 29, 2021 6:11 am PDT

Fresh from suffering a 5-0 thrashing at the hands of New York City, Orlando will aim to get back on track when Atlanta United visits Exploria Stadium on Friday, July 30.

Although the Lions have taken a turn for the worse recently, they still find themselves third in the Eastern Conference – 11 points clear of tenth-place Atlanta.

Before we get to my Orlando City vs. Atlanta United prediction, let’s take a look at the odds for Friday’s showdown and assess both sides’ recent form.

Orlando City vs. Atlanta United Odds

Orlando City to Win1.83
The Draw3.80
Atlanta United to Win3.80
Over 2.5 Goals1.83
Under 2.5 Goals1.90
Both Teams to Score1.80

As expected, Orlando City (1.83) is the favorite to win this one. Atlanta (3.80) has only managed to pick up two wins from 15 MLS games this year, so the visitors aren’t likely to leave Florida with all three points.

That said, the Five Stripes have registered a whopping eight draws this season. With the Lions enduring a sticky patch of their own, the draw (3.80) is definitely worth considering here.

Anyway, that’s what the online sportsbooks make of this matchup. Let’s take a closer look at the teams before settling on a prediction for Orlando City vs. Atlanta United.

What Has Happened to Orlando?

Oscar Pareja’s men started the season in outstanding form, losing just one of their opening ten matches. They chalked up a hugely impressive run of six wins in eight games during that period and also achieved five shutouts.

However, they have only managed to win one of their previous five outings – conceding 12 goals along the way.

Following defeats to RBNY and Chicago, the Lions drew with Toronto before beating Philly. But last time out, they suffered a humiliating 5-0 loss to NYCFC.

Only three teams in the East have picked up fewer points than the Lions across the past five games. Thankfully for them, one of those teams is Atlanta.

  • Orlando’s Key Player – Nani: The former Manchester United star has been immense in 2021, racking up seven goals and four assists in 12 appearances. If Nani is at his best on Friday, Atlanta could struggle to deal with his threat.

Will Atlanta Return to Winning Ways?

Believe it or not, Atlanta’s last victory came all the way back on May 15. Since then, they have recorded six draws and four losses – scoring just eight goals in the process.

It is hardly surprising that Gabriel Heinze was relieved of his duties as head coach earlier in the month, although the team’s performances haven’t changed. The Five Stripes have only taken one point from a possible six since Heinze’s departure.

Interim head coach Rob Valentino will surely be desperate to end the club’s ten-game winless run. But without a regular goalscorer, Atlanta will continue to struggle.

With a measly 14 goals to their name, the Five Stripes are the second-lowest scorers in the East. Granted, they have one of the stronger defensive records in the conference. But goals win you games.

  • Atlanta’s Key Player – Josef Martinez: The 2018 Golden Boot winner has only featured in nine of Atlanta’s 15 MLS matches this year, scoring twice. If he can rediscover his best form, ATL UTD will start turning draws into wins.

My Orlando vs. Atlanta Betting Pick

Pick
  • Under 2.5 Goals
    1.90

In all honesty, this game could go either way. Nobody expected Orlando to lose 5-0 to New York City last weekend, so it feels like anything can happen on Friday night.

For that reason, I recommend taking advantage of the under 2.5 goals market. Nine of Atlanta’s 15 MLS games have produced less than three goals this season, so we are set for a low-scoring encounter at Exploria Stadium.

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