NWSL Betting Preview: Can Gotham Keep Pace With A Reign Of Goals Saturday?

Written By Antonio Maza on August 21, 2021

After a couple of matches that happened in international tournaments being played in the United States involving four  NWSL clubs, the other six clubs will play the rest of the matchups of this week during Saturday and Sunday. That means a full weekend of NWSL odds to consider.

Saturday offers the North Carolina Courage trying to catch up the Portland Thorns on top of the table against the struggling FC Kansas City at 7 p.m. ET, then OL Reign facing NJ/NY Gotham FC at 10 p.m. ET. Both matches are streaming on Paramount+.

While you might be interested in the safer bet on the Courage winning against Kansas City for a few goals playing at home (in fact, you can do that) the focus here is on the later match of the day between the Tacoma-based team hosting Gotham.

A high goal affair in the making for NWSL odds

The last time the Freya Coombe-led team visited Tacoma, Farid Benstiti was still at the helm at OL Reign, trying to add Sarah Bouhaddi into the mix for goalkeeper. That match ended up 3-0 for the visitors in one of the worst performances for OL Reign since taking that name.

A few weeks later and those two teams are on different paths, particularly the home one. After Benstiti’s dismissal, Sam Laity made the team a more dangerous one, playing more direct football without taking the eyes on the prize of possession.

The goals have started to appear although the results have been a bit inconsistent. For Reign supporters, at least it’s not a dread anymore to watch the Lyon-owned squad.

A more stable core has emerged for OL. Eugénie Le Sommer and Jessica Fishlock take the responsibility up top to keep Bethany Balcer on her goalscoring streak. Surely new manager Laura Harvey will try to keep in good shape at home.

Since that aforementioned loss to Gotham, OL Reign has won all three home matches, with a +8 goal differential. For that reason, defensive tightness will be key against a Gotham squad with a lot of fire power in attack.

Can Gotham keep up on the scoreboard?

Actually, Gotham is still the “odd team” on this NWSL season. Defying logic, NJ/NY is actually scoring less than their xG (1.09 goals from 1.28 xG), with those numbers going up again after a bump a few weeks back.

It’s pretty impressive how they kept avoiding goals, with 0.69 conceded from 1.53 xG against. But lately, they’re conceding more goals than at the beginning of the season, with lower xG. Expect Gotham to align with what’s being shot by their opponents sooner rather than later.

Another important stat to check before this game is how both teams are more productive at scoring on their situations for this weekend. OL Reign has scored 11 of their 17 goals at home, while Gotham has scored eight of their 14 goals while playing away from Red Bull Arena.

So, despite what this match might look like from the outside, this game could be a high-scoring one. A bet on the over as high as 2.5 goals on this one doesn’t look out of place. Here are the lines for both of Saturday’s matches

SportsbookCourage to winDrawKansas City to win
BetMGM Sportsbook-350+350+725
BetRivers Sportsbook-375+375+850
DraftKings Sportsbook-285+400+750
Oregon Scoreboard-300+395+725
PointsBet Sportsbook-300+400+900
Unibet Sportsbook-375+375+850
SportsbookReign to winDrawGotham to win
BetRivers Sportsbook-112+200+300
DraftKings Sportsbook+100+230+300
Oregon Scoreboard+100+225+290
PointsBet Sportsbook-105+225+320
Unibet Sportsbook-112+200+300
Photo by Amanda Loman/Associated Press
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Antonio Maza

NWSL Analitica writer/owner, video and data analyst

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