Can the reigning champions make a winning start to the new season?
The MLS returns this weekend, with a matchup between two former MLS Cup winners. The 2021 champions, New York City FC, travel to California to face the 2014 champions, the LA Galaxy.
NYCFC will be hoping to begin the defense of their 2021 crown with a win in California. NYCFC have only been beaten by the Galaxy once, but the California outfit are entering 2022 with renewed optimism.
They missed out on the playoffs with an agonizing last minute goal in 2021, so a win against the defending champions could prove the catalyst for an impressive season for the Galaxy.
Let’s look ahead to this regular season matchup and see the best bets for the game. All of the odds and props for this game have been brought to you by BetMGM and are correct at the time of writing.
Los Angeles Galaxy vs New York City FC Odds and essential betting info
Game: Los Angeles Galaxy vs New York City FC
Competition: MLS Regular Season
Kick-off: 02/27/2022 5.00pm ET
Venue: Dignity Health Tennis Center
Moneyline odds: LA Galaxy (+115) | New York City FC (+195) | Tie (+260)
Over/under: 2.5 combined total goals | Over: -147 | Under: +105
The LA Galaxy had a heartbreaking end to the 2021 season. Greg Vanney’s side were within touching distance of an MLS playoff berth, but a last-minute goal for Real Salt Lake ensured the Galaxy would be watching the postseason from the couch.
However, in 2022, the Galaxy will be hoping for at least a playoff spot come the end of the season. And that starts with the game against NYCFC. The Galaxy are currently favoured at +115 for the victory, but they haven’t beaten NYCFC since 2015.
New York City FC
New York City FC enter this season as the defending champions. They toppled the New England Revolution, the Philadelphia Union, and the Portland Timbers to lift the first MLS Cup in NYCFC history in 2021. And they’ll be hoping that a winning start could propel them to a similar feat in 2022.
Despite their MLS Cup victory, NYCFC are not the favourites to win in California. Losing Jesus Medina and James Sands in the summer hasn’t helped, and this is reflected in the +195 odds.
We look at veterans as the key players for the LA Galaxy. Chicharito looks set to lead the line for the Galaxy, and he has proven to be a natural goalscorer no matter his age. The Mexican could definitely get on the scoresheet, and with his help, the Galaxy could score in both halves at +195. Besides Chicharito, the Galaxy hopes could rest with former FC Bayern Munich man, Douglas Costa.
On the New York City FC side, we have to focus on Valentin Castellanos. The Argentine finished 2021 as the MLS top goalscorer, and he looked destined to move away in the summer. But the man nicknamed ‘Taty’ is still with NYCFC. He is certainly going to have an impact on the game and we suggest NYCFC to have over 1.5 goals at +140 is a nice bet.
LA Galaxy vs NYCFC - Notable stats
- NYCFC have won four of five meetings against LA Galaxy in the MLS.
- NYCFC have scored over 1.5 goals in the last three meetings between the two sides.
- NYCFC have been first to score in four of the last five encounters.
- LA Galaxy have outscored NYCFC when these two have played in California by an 8-3 aggregate (All comps)
- The Galaxy were 8-5-4 (W-D-L) during the 2021 campaign at home.
Los Angeles Galaxy vs New York City FC - Last meeting - How the bets went
05/11/2019 | Dignity Health Tennis Center | Los Angeles Galaxy 0 vs 2 New York City FC | MLS Regular Season
New York City FC came out on top on the road when these sides met in May 2019. The Galaxy were actually +109 favourites for the game, while NYCFC cashed in with a victory as +224 underdogs on the road.
Season openers are very difficult to predict. On the one hand, we have NYCFC, the reigning champions, but are they going to suffer from a hangover after last season's success? Whereas the LA Galaxy are hoping to right the wrongs of 2021, and start their MLS campaign with a victory in front of the home crowd.
Overall, we think these two sides won’t be able to be separated. We think that this game ends in a draw, and both teams earn a point at odds of +260.
Michael McKean is an experienced writer with a portfolio that includes work on the subjects of sport, gambling, travel and finance. With a background rooted in journalism, Michael first ventured into the professional writing world based in Switzerland, where he wrote for a number of language and travel sites and magazines before moving into the world of sports writing and gambling sites.
As an avid soccer fan, who follows everything from the Scottish lower leagues to the European elites, he has earned himself a solid reputation as a reliable football betting tipster and predictor. Outside of work, Michael has always gotten involved with grassroutes football everywhere he has worked and lived - UK, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Brazil - and still isn’t shy when it comes to pulling the boots on himself. As well as soccer, he has also developed a love of North American sports, particularly ice hockey - a love which began in Switzerland and saw him venture across the pond to follow the NHL. Moving away from dry land, he’s also a keen longboard surfer and is happiest when writing with a view of the ocean.