At just over halfway through the season, DC United sits 6th in the table in the Eastern Conference, well within the hunt for an MLS Playoffs berth and well-positioned to make some serious noise throughout the rest of the season. Let’s take a look at how they’ve gotten to where they are as well as their outlook for the next few games, plus their season futures odds.
A Recap of 2021 Thus Far
Eighteen games into the 2021 campaign, DC touts one of the most potent offenses in the league having scored 27 goals in their 18 games, averaging 1.5 goals per game. This ranks 6th most in the MLS so far, and pairs well with their stout defense for an overall goal differential of +6, which is also tied for 6th best league-wide.
They also play a very balanced and disciplined style of soccer, which shows up most in their ability to avoid conceding penalty kicks. Through 18 games thus far, they have still not conceded a penalty kick to any opponent. On the offensive side, they have been able to capitalize on all 4 of their regulation penalty kicks. This type of mistake-free soccer lends itself well to deep playoff runs and the ability to win or draw games late in the season when it matters most.
Current Form and Upcoming Games
DC is playing some of its best soccer of the year right now, as it is undefeated in its last 5 games, with 3 wins and 2 draws against some quality opponents, including Columbus and Montreal, who trail DC by just 3 and 4 points, respectively, and are currently sitting 7th and 8th in the table in the Eastern Conference.
This is a great time for DC United to be heating up as they face off against two high-quality opponents in the next 10 days: Nashville S.C. and New England. Lines for the New England matchup have not yet been posted, but here is a breakdown of what you can bet for the home matchup with Nashville S.C. on Sunday, August 15: (via FanDuel).
- Nashville Win: +310
- Draw: +230
- DC United Win: -120
Upcoming Prop Bets
Props for the matchup include options to call the correct score, the total number of goals scored (exact number or over/under), and whether or not there will be a penalty kick for either side. Here are a few of our favorites that you can bet on right now, along with a quick analysis of each one.
Goal Related Props (via FanDuel)
If you want to get risky and call the exact correct score, there are plenty of options to choose from, some with crazy-long odds. For example – think DC will win 11-0? This line pays out a cool +25,000, where a $10 bet turns into $2,500. For the rest of us, the more common scorelines range from about +550 to +1700.
So far this season, both teams have averaged 1.5 goals per game (Nashville is 1 goal behind this pace through 18 games). With that in mind, this has the makings of a game between two disciplined and competitive teams that is likely to end up at some combination of 1-1, 2-1, or 2-2, so you are probably best off sticking to one of those options. Here are your odds: (via Fanduel)
- 1-1 Draw: +550
- 2-1 Nashville Wins: +1500
- 2-1 DC United Wins: +750
- 2-2 Draw: +1700
For a full list of score combinations and updated odds, check out the FanDuel app.
Team Props (via FanDuel)
Checking out the team props can give you some further clues as to what the oddsmakers expect might happen, and can help inform your thinking on other lines. For example, consider the “clean sheet” team prop. DC United to record a clean sheet is live at +320. Nashville to record a clean sheet is live at +124. This means that oddsmakers find it relatively very likely that Nashville will score a goal, and only slightly likely that DC United will score.
This runs somewhat counter to the game’s overall odds and some of the goal-related props mentioned in the previous sections. These discrepancies are certainly worth considering, and could even give rise to some interesting hedging opportunities once the game is underway, depending on how it is progressing.
Penalty Props (via FanDuel)
Finally, we come to the penalty props. The overall odds for a penalty to be awarded to either team is at +200. This is a pretty meager value when you consider that DC has not given up a penalty kick all year, and Nashville has only allowed one. The odds on either team to score on a penalty kick or to miss a penalty kick are similarly low-value, so we recommend steering clear of these types of lines unless you think you know something that the oddsmakers don’t.
Team Futures (Via DraftKings)
If betting on the rest of the season as a whole is more your style, you’re in luck – Draftkings has plenty of futures available on DC United and the rest of the MLS.
Interestingly, despite their place in the table and the playoff picture, DC has the longest odds to win the MLS Cup this December. They are currently live at +10,000, which ties them with Vancouver, Chicago, Montreal, and FC Cincinnati. There are generally two ways to view this. One is that DC has had a relatively easy schedule thus far, leading to an inflated place in the standings that isn’t truly indicative of their future performance. The other, more optimistic approach, is that bettors can get great value right now on a relatively hot team that has time to keep improving before the playoffs roll around. Either way, DC looks poised to surprise folks throughout the rest of the MLS season.