USL Championship Conference Semifinals – Predictions and Best Bets (November 13, 2021)

| November 11, 2021 12:14 am PDT

The 2021 USL Championship Conference Semifinals take place this Saturday, November 13, following the huge drama in the previous round.

The Rowdies crushed FC Tulsa 6-2 to book their spot in the last eight, Rio Grande Valley claimed a dramatic penalty-shootout victory over Phoenix, while Oakland upset the odds to see off El Paso.

Birmingham didn’t even have to kick a ball in order to advance. Tom Soehn’s side was handed a bye because of positive COVID-19 cases in the Pittsburgh Riverhounds camp.

Anyway, all that is in the past now. Let’s turn our attention to the conference semifinals and check out the weekend’s schedule.

  • Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Birmingham Legion
  • Louisville City vs. Charlotte Independence
  • San Antonio vs. Rio Grande Valley
  • Orange County vs. Oakland Roots

The top two from both the Atlantic and Central Division remain in the competition. In the East, Tampa Bay hosts Birmingham before Charlotte visits Louisville.

Over in the West, San Antonio and Rio Grande Valley meet for an all-Texas clash. Orange County and Oakland then go head-to-head in an all-California showdown.

Below, I provide my predictions for the USL Championship Conference Semifinals before sharing my best USLC bets for this weekend.

Tampa Bay Rowdies to Beat Birmingham Legion

Last weekend, the Rowdies punched their ticket to the conference semifinals in style. They thrashed FC Tulsa 6-2 at Al Lang Stadium, with Leo Fernandes bagging a brace.

Neill Collins’ men picked up more wins and more points than any other side during the regular season, underlining their dominance. They have also conceded the fewest number of goals this year.

Birmingham’s clash with Pittsburg was canceled after coronavirus cases were detected within the Riverhounds’ team. That means Soehn’s side hasn’t played a competitive match for a fortnight.

Since Alabama outfit finished 11 points behind Tampa Bay in the overall standings, I’m backing the Rowdies to flex their muscles and dispatch Birmingham on Saturday.

Louisville City to Beat Charlotte Independence

Miami FC pushed Louisville all the way in the previous round. The Florida club even enjoyed the majority of possession in Kentucky, but the Boys in Purple managed to get the job done.

Danny Cruz’s men sealed a 1-0 victory last time out, with Jorge Gonzelez scoring the game’s only goal on 74 minutes. They will be hoping for an easier ride on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Charlotte made light work of Memphis 901 last weekend. The Jacks clinched a 3-1 win to book their place in the conference semifinals, racking up 18 shots in the process.

I think the home-field advantage will have a big say in the outcome of this clash. The two sides are relatively evenly matched, but I can see LouCity coming out on top.

San Antonio to Beat Rio Grande Valley

Despite seeing just 29% of the ball, San Antonio claimed a 2-0 victory over San Diego last weekend. That said, the Loyal only managed to register a single shot on target.

Alen Marcina’s men have lost just one of their past eight games. It is also worth noting that they head into the conference semifinals on the back of three consecutive clean sheets.

The Toros weren’t supposed to beat Phoenix in the conference quarterfinals. However, they pushed the Rising all the way to extra time before securing a shock penalty-shootout triumph.

It is important to remember that RGVFC finished five points behind San Antonio in the Mountain Division. For that reason, I’m backing Marcina’s side to claim the Texas bragging rights on Saturday.

Orange County to Beat Oakland Roots

Orange County finished 11 points clear of Oakland in the Pacific Division. The club from Irvine picked up 15 regular-season wins, while the Roots recorded 11 victories.

The Roots stunned everyone by beating El Paso last time out. Despite seeing just 37% possession and facing 20 shots, Jordan Ferrell’s side registered a memorable 1-0 win.

Orange County also secured something of a surprise victory in the conference quarterfinals. Rob Kiernan was sent off before half-time, but Richard Chaplow’s men managed to beat the Switchbacks.

Chaplow’s boys head into the last eight on a six-match winning streak, having already beaten Oakland last month. With that in mind, I’m confident that Orange County will advance on Saturday.

My Top Picks for the USLC Conference Semifinals

That’s it for my USLC predictions – but I’m not finished just yet! It’s time to check out my best bets for the USL Championship Conference Semifinals.

If you like the look of my USLC picks, or you want to lay down your own wagers, be sure to use only the best soccer betting sites.

  • Tampa Bay Rowdies vs. Birmingham Legion – Tampa Bay Rowdies to Win (1.62)
  • Louisville City vs. Charlotte Independence – Both Teams to Score (1.50)
  • San Antonio vs. Rio Grande Valley – Over 2.5 Goals (1.80)
  • Orange County vs. Oakland Roots – Orange County to Win (2.00)

I’m backing Tampa Bay to beat Birmingham. The Rowdies have been the best team in the Championship this year, so I expect them to reach the last four.

Since Louisville and Charlotte were the top scorers in their respective divisions, I’m confident that both teams will get on the scoresheet in that semifinal.

Following Rio Grande Valley’s six-goal thriller in the previous round, backing the over 2.5 goals market for the Toros’ clash with San Antonio makes perfect sense to me.

Finally, I expect Orange County to get the better of Oakland Roots. After all, Chaplow’s men have won each of their last six games – keeping five clean sheets in the process.

Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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