Columbus Crew vs. Orlando City Odds & Predictions
Last Time Out:
Columbus lost 2-1 to Montreal; Orlando drew 0-0 with Atlanta.
Orlando beat Columbus 1-0 on July 13, 2019, at Exploria Stadium.
About the Matchup:
Two teams who were among the worst in the Eastern Conference in 2019 are now jockeying for playoff positioning in 2020. Columbus was expected to be in this position after the Crew added Lucas Zelarayan to an attack that already included Gyasi Zardes, and for much of the season, the Z train has lived up to expectations. But Columbus' star has faded a bit since its romp through the group stage in Florida, and the Crew have now failed to win in their past three matches.
On the other hand, Orlando parlayed its strong showing in the Florida tournament into a run where everything has come together. The Lions are riding a 10-match unbeaten streak and haven't lost at home all season. Can they keep their run going and pass the Crew in the standings?
There's no doubt about it: Columbus feels like it gave one away against Montreal. Truth be told, it's probably given two away, as the Crew has conceded a penalty in each of their past two games. Against Dallas, Columbus had to settle for a draw, while Montreal left with the win after the Crew couldn't find a second goal.
But the problems go beyond those penalties for the Crew's back line. Something has gone wrong with Caleb Porter's defense, and it's directly responsible for Columbus' recent struggles. In the Crew's first ten matches of the season, only Seattle and New York City managed to find the net, and if not for Columbus giving away a penalty at Seattle, Alexander Ring's goal for New York City would have been the only one the Crew conceded in their first ten matches.
But the defense has cracked, and Porter hasn't been able to put it back together. Over the past six matches, not only has Columbus gone just 2-2-2, but the Crew have allowed ten goals in the process, only shutting down offensively-challenged Nashville. Chicago, Toronto, Dallas, and Montreal have all hit the net at least twice, forcing Zardes and Zelarayan to do far more than they were expected to have to produce.
Scouting Orlando City:
Orlando's been a bit of a weird team as of late, as either the offense or the defense has shown up in each of the last ten matches, but never both. In their two most recent road matches, it's been the defense getting the job done, as the Lions' past two games away from home have ended in scoreless draws.
But at home, Orlando's offense has carried the day. In their past three home matches, the Lions have outscored their opponents 9-3, and they've done it by spreading their scoring around. Only Daryl Dike has scored more than once in a match during the unbeaten streak, and that happened in the very first game of the streak. Chris Mueller and Nani have been Orlando's most dangerous players, but if Columbus attempts to shut them down, the Lions have more than enough weapons elsewhere who can take advantage of space and make them pay.
Dan's Best Bets:
Orlando has played very well as of late, and Columbus is just not the same team it was when the season began. Something just seems off with the Crew, and I really don't like their chances going into a stadium where they've dropped two in a row against an Orlando side that wasn't as good as this one is.
So I'm going to back Orlando to win and to give it some real juice, I'll take the Lions to win and both to score at +275. Columbus still has the attack to punish Orlando, and the Lions have yet to shut out anyone this season in a match where they weren't shut out themselves.
I'll also take a shot on Orlando to score in both halves at +195. The Lions have been more of a first-half team this year, and I think they can get a lead early and dictate the tempo for the rest of the match. Columbus' confidence might be shaky, and that gives Orlando the perfect opportunity to strike early.
Columbus Crew vs. Orlando City Score Prediction 10/11/20