|Moneyline (Regular Time)|
|Insights Backheeled Insights proprietary algorithm combines a variety of factors, using machine learning to weigh variables. It is solely focused on MLS data.||47.6%||24.4%||27.9%|
|Over/Under (Regular Time)|
|O 2.5||U 2.5||BTTS|
|Insights Backheeled Insights proprietary algorithm combines a variety of factors, using machine learning to weigh variables. It is solely focused on MLS data.||53.9%||46.1%||56.3%|
What The Book Sees
The line suggests that CLB and CIN are roughly even in quality. So far in 2023, CIN have been ~3 xGD stronger.
What Insights Sees
The BI model projects CIN as a top 5 team and CLB a few spots lower in the top 10, though CLB has wider variance given uncertainty after losing Zelarayán.
What we reasonably expect...
Each team will try to impose their style onto the game. Columbus will want to make the game methodical, slowly progressing forward. In possession, they will try to provoke CIN to press individually and slip passes through lines. CIN, conversely, will want a more chaotic game that's played in transition. CIN want to find Lucho Acosta as often as possible.
The high-leverage variable will likely be…
Cucho Hernandez's ability to find passes in the pockets.
CLB will play their first league game without Zelarayán. Zelarayán was one of the league's best chance creators, but he was also willing to take the ball in tough spots and be an outlet under pressure. That outlet player is particularly important for Columbus, who like to intentionally progress through lines, and particularly important against CIN, who cover ground across the field and get tight in the middle and defensive thirds. Much of the duties will fall to Matan, who is now the lone attacking midfielder, but he'll likely be tracked well by CIN's Nwobodo and Moreno.
The variable will be Cucho dropping from the higher front two. If he get lose the CB and arrive in the blind areas of Nwobodo and Moreno, he will be able to face an exposed back three with runners in every channel.