Real Salt Lake vs. Nashville SC – MLS, May 15, 2021

By Ben Morris in MLS
| May 14, 2021 7:45 am PDT

Nashville is one of only two teams in the Eastern Conference that has yet to taste defeat in 2021. The Boys in Gold put their unbeaten record on the line against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday, May 15.

Let’s not forget that RSL has made a positive start to the season, too. Although they lost to San Jose last weekend, Freddy Juarez’s men won their first two games – beating Minnesota United and Sporting KC.

In this betting preview for Saturday’s match, I discuss the MLS odds, take a close look at both sides, and finish by sharing my Real Salt Lake vs. Nashville SC prediction and pick.

Let’s start with the RSL vs. Nashville odds.

Real Salt Lake vs. Nashville SC Odds

Real Salt Lake to Win2.45
The Draw3.20
Nashville SC to Win2.85

In my eyes, Nashville’s underdog status for this fixture is a testament to RSL’s impressive start to the campaign. Having taken six points from a possible nine, the Utah club is in a promising position.

But let’s not forget that Nashville is unbeaten this year. Following three draws, Gary Smith’s men overcame New England last weekend – securing their second consecutive clean sheet.

Betting against RSL could be where the value is here.

Assessing RSL’s Early-Season Form

If we’re being completely honest, nobody expected RSL to beat Minnesota, did they? And let’s face it, SKC was the heavy favorite to beat Juarez’s side the following weekend.

However, a brace from Anderson Julio against the Loons and a Rubio Rubin double against the Wizards saw the Claret & Cobalt come away from their opening two matches with maximum points.

When Rubio netted his third goal in two games last weekend, RSL looked set to claim a third win on the spin. But two late goals from Chris Wondolowski meant the Utah outfit tasted defeat for the first time in 2021 – losing 2-1 to the Earthquakes.

RSL only managed to register five victories in 22 matches last year, so Juarez’s men have almost achieved half as many wins in just three games this season.

Of course, there is a long way to go this year. But the early signs look promising for RSL.

Nashville Team News and Analysis

The Boys in Gold built their maiden-season success on hard work and defensive solidity – and they have wasted no time in rediscovering those traits this year.

Smith’s men kicked off their 2021 campaign with three straight draws, holding Cincinnati, Montreal, and Inter Miami. They scored four goals during that period, with Jhonder Cadiz netting twice.

Nashville scored exactly two goals for the third time in four matches last weekend, with CJ Sapong and Alex Muyl bagging their first goals for the club. Although they saw less of the ball than New England, the hosts beat the Revs 2-0.

Smith will no doubt be pleased that his team is scoring more frequently than it did last year, but he will probably be happier about his side’s defensive efforts in the past couple of games.

Heading into Week 5 on the back of two straight shutouts, Nashville will be extremely difficult to beat on Saturday.

My RSL vs. Nashville Betting Pick

  • Nashville to Win

Nashville is enjoying a seemingly unstoppable unbeaten streak at the moment. Just three of the 27 MLS teams have yet to taste defeat this year, and I expect Nashville to remain in that elite group this weekend.

Sure, RSL has also made a bright start to the season. But having lost to San Jose last time out, I can see Juarez’s side struggling to cope with Smith’s well-organized team.

The away win is my Real Salt Lake vs. Nashville betting pick.