FC Dallas looks to extend its lead in the Western Conference on Saturday when it travels to state rival Houston in MLS action on Saturday night. The Dynamo, clearly not as good a squad, are nevertheless favored on the soccer odds for the first match of this year’s Texas Derby. Let’s check which team is offering a better betting value for Dallas at Houston game while throwing away some predictions.
Dallas at Houston Preview, MLS Lines & Expert Pick
They hate us. We hate them.
— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) 16 de julio de 2018
- When: Saturday, 9 PM ET
- Where: BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston
- TV: ESPN
- Stream: ESPN+
- MLS Lines: Houston Dynamo -116 / FC Dallas +285 / Draw +310 (Total 3)
Why Bet on Houston?
The Dynamo had scored at least two goals in three straight games but were held to a scoreless draw vs. the Colorado Rapids on Saturday. Goalkeepers Tim Howard of Colorado and Joe Willis of Houston recorded their fourth and third shutouts, respectively, of the season, but were seldom tested. Howard made just two saves and Willis turned away three shots. The Dynamo posted their second draw in its past three games.
With a congested schedule facing his team, Dynamo coach Wilmer Cabrera shook up his first-choice selections. Many regular starting players were left on the bench, which opened up the opportunity for role players to have an impact. They didn’t.
Starting a five-man back line against one of the deepest sitting teams in MLS showed that Cabrera didn’t have a lot of confidence in his role/bench players. Memo Rodriguez was one of the Dynamo players that weren’t content to sit back and defend – especially in the first half. He was often looking to push up and try and create something either for himself with a shot from range or for others.
“When you go away and get the zero in the back and you’re solid, I think it’s important for the mentality of this group, understanding that we have a game on Wednesday, Saturday, Wednesday, Saturday,” Cabrera said after. “It’s a good beginning of these five games in two weeks, but we now have to focus on the next game.”
Houston indeed will be on short rest for this match as they hosted Sporting Kansas City in the quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday.
The rivalry between the Houston Dynamo and FC Dallas, known as the Texas Derby, was established in 2006 with the addition of the Dynamo to MLS. Since then, the winner of the season series receives “El Capitán,” a replica 18th-century mountain howitzer cannon. Last year, the Dynamo retained El Capitán as the holder after teams split regular season series 0-0-3.
Why Bet on FC Dallas?
FC Dallas holds a three-point lead over LAFC in the Western Conference. It didn’t play this week in the U.S. Open Cup.
FC Dallas is off a 3-1 win over the Chicago Fire on Saturday. Kellyn Acosta scored his first goal of the season shortly after coming on as a substitute. Acosta entered the game in the 69th minute, one minute before Chicago defender Drew Conner picked up his second yellow card to force the Fire to play shorthanded the rest of the way.
Dallas dominated the opening 45 minutes, keeping possession for 65 percent of the half and outshooting Chicago 10-1. Dallas clinched the victory, which kept it atop the Western Conference, on Reto Ziegler’s penalty kick in the 81st minute. It was Ziegler’s third goal of the season. Dallas is now 7-0-4 at home this year.
It’s been two years since El Capitan resided in Dallas in the Texas Derby. Since the Dynamo took the goal differential tie-breaker in 2016, they retained El Capitán in 2017’s stalemate. FCD has won El Capitan five times in 12 seasons since the rivalry started but have only lost one match to the Dynamo since the start of 2013. The players understand the significance of earning the bragging rights of being the best team in the state of Texas.
Oscar Pareja became the head coach of FC Dallas in 2014 and won El Capitan in his first two seasons in charge. Pareja said he wants his players to feel comfortable in Houston and to understand how big of a game it is for the team.
“A team that we have been successful against, when we went there to Houston and there has been a good battle,” Pareja said. “I think it is important for us to understand that we’re going to make our boys and our team feel that they can go there and be the protagonists of the game.”
FC Dallas has been successful against teams playing on short rest in the past, and it will look to keep it that way this weekend.
Maxi Urruti is currently on a seven-game scoreless streak, and he will look to snap it against Houston. When Urruti scores, his team is 28-1-10 throughout his career. Phillippe Senderos has been a consistent starter for the Dynamo this season and has a history with Ziegler in the past. The two played against each other in the English Premier League in another rivalry, the North London Derby.
Expert MLS Betting Prediction
They drew all there matches last year, so let’s expect another.