LAFC favored to win El Trafico in MLS Opening Weekend

Updated February 24, 2023
Updated February 24, 2023By Dean Etheridge

The new MLS season gets underway this weekend and one match which stands out is El Trafico, with the LA Galaxy and Los Angeles FC facing off in the Rose Bowl. Already there is massive attention on this match with talk of fan boycotts, and now we have the disappointing news that Javier Hernandez will be missing for the Galaxy. How will it all play out when the action starts this Saturday? Let’s take a look with our MLS betting picks.

MLS Opening Weekend Picks Lafc Favored To Win El Trafico

Fading Galaxy now second best to cross city rivals 

LA Galaxy are the most successful team in MLS history, They have 5 MLS Cup wins to their name, and they are arguably the best known MLS franchise the world over. But the glory days are fast becoming a distant memory. The last of their five cup wins was in 2014, and now off field issues could be about to start distracting Gregg Vanney and his players.

To make matters worse, the Galaxy’s cross city rivals, Los Angeles FC won the MLS Cup last season.

For the Galaxy fans, it’s starting to replicate how Manchester United fans have felt over recent years. United fans had gotten used to winning, and now they’re not – and that’s bad. But what makes it feel ten times worse for the United fans, is their cross town rivals, Manchester City are the team that is now winning instead. And that’s exactly the scenario the Galaxy fans now find themselves in.

On one hand, this sets up the opening weekend match perfectly for Vanney. But that’s only if the Galaxy can win. If they do manage to beat the 2022 MLS Cup winners on Saturday, it might not totally lift all the doom and gloom surrounding the Galaxy, but it will give the team confidence. But on the other hand, if LAFC wins, get your tin hats on.  

Galaxy vs LA FC Betting

Officially a home match for the Galaxy, the fixture has been switched to the iconic Rose Bowl, and the top soccer betting sites are favoring the Galaxy’s rivals to win on the night. The Galaxy is +175, with the draw at +293, and Los Angeles FC at +140.

LA Galaxy vs Los Angeles FC OddsBetUSBetOnlineBovada

BetOnline also makes over 3 goals -118, and under -102. With two sides that like scoring goals, that could make overs look appealing. For more information on top soccer betting site BetOnline, please read our BetOnline sportsbook review.

Problems already mounting up for the Galaxy

As we’ve already mentioned, the Galaxy are without the injured Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez. A huge blow, as the Mexican is one of their star performers

And now there is also talk of a fans boycott, led by groups like the Galaxy Outlawz, who instead of going to the match, are organizing events for fans to watch on TV as a way of protest against the club’s President Chris Klein, and Technical Director Jovan Kirovski.

The fans are unhappy with how the duo have conducted business in recent years, and although they are adamant this is in no way directed at the coach and players, it remains to be seen how detrimental it might be to the players on the pitch. Unhappy supporters in a ground can transmit a bad vibe to the players. So it might work out better for the Galaxy should those guys stay away. 

Galaxy vs Los Angeles FC Head-to-head

Despite the Galaxy’s lack of success of late, they still retain the honors in the head-to-head. In the 17 matches between the two sides, the Galaxy has won seven, LAFC has won five, and there have been five draws. 

The most recent meeting between the two teams was the 2022 Western Conference playoff semi-final, won 3-2 by LAFC. This loss was confounded for the Galaxy when Steve Cherundolo’s team went on to win the MLS Cup. 

Betting to win the MLS Cup in 2023

It’s no surprise to see LAFC top the betting to win the MLS Cup in 2023. They are the defending champions, and in 2022, they were the best team in the league. Steve Cherundolo’s Los Angeles FC side is +450 to repeat their cup win, making them the favorites with the best MLS betting sites

Behind LAFC in the betting is Philadelphia (+650), NYCFC (+1200), and then the Galaxy at +1300. So for all the doom and gloom surrounding the Galaxy, the best sports betting sites still think they are in with a chance.

Our Pick

We are tempted on over 3 goals for a pick, but with the injury to Chicharito, we’re going to give this bet a miss. Both sides do like scoring, preferring an offensive playing style, to a defensive one. So we wouldn’t be surprised to see the bet come in. But Chicarito’s absence just tips the balance slightly, meaning we’re leaving this bet alone.

The Mexican striker’s absence also tips the balance in favor of the defending MLS Cup champions to start their season with a win. Losing one of their star players just about sums up the situation at the Galaxy of late. And it is also what is persuading us that a bet on Los Angeles FC has to be our pick for the opening weekend.

Los Angeles FCTo beat LA Galaxy
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LA Galaxy vs Los Angeles FC
Pasadena Rose Bowl,Pasadena,Los Angeles
Starting on
February 25, 2023
Ending on
February 25, 2023

About the Author

Dean Etheridge
Dean Etheridge

Dean Etheridge has over ten years of writing experience in the world of sports betting. Starting out as a hobby on his own soccer betting website, Dean has now seen his picks published across various affiliate sites along with The Sun and TalkSPORT where he writes regular Premier League and Champions League betting tips. Combining his extensive knowledge and experience with his British humor and wit, Dean has developed into a trusted voice within the sports betting industry. Although Dean's preferred areas of focus are the English Premier League and cricket, his extensive sports knowledge enables him to tackle nearly any sport. Gone are the days of traveling the world to witness events like FIFA World Cups and Ashes cricket, as Dean now prefers the comfort of his own home while enjoying sports.

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