The Game Day Betting Tips

Orlando City vs. Nashville SC: Round One Best-of-3 Series Preview

It’s time to kick off the Round One Best-of-3 series between the No. 2 seed in the East, Orlando City SC, and No. 7 Nashville SC, a star-studded underdog led by plenty of familiar faces, including USMNT World Cup contributor Walker Zimmerman.

This is Will Schwartz from The Game Day with your breakdown on this exciting Round One Best-of-3 series, with plenty of upset potential for seven-seeded Nashville.

The two teams split the regular-season series, with the road team winning both matches, interestingly enough.

The action will get started in Orlando on Monday, Oct. 30 at 7 pm ET, then switch over to Nashville for Game 2 on Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 9 pm ET, and then, if necessary, the series will wrap up back in Orlando on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 5 pm ET.

Orlando City SC vs. Nashville SC MLS Cup Odds

MLS lines used for Orlando City SC and Nashville SC were current as of Tuesday, Oct. 24 at 2:15 pm EST on DraftKings Sportsbook.

  • To Win MLS Cup: Orlando City (+1000) • Nashville (+1800)

Orlando have pretty long odds for a two-seed, while even as a seven-seed, Nashville aren't too far behind. This relative closeness is another indicator of the potential competitiveness this series could bring despite the significant gap in seeding.

Orlando City vs. Nashville SC Best-of-Three Prediction

Orlando City Win Series 2-1

Orlando City are ripping into these playoffs in excellent form; they’ve won four consecutive matches, including a road match against none other than Nashville, and have lost precisely one MLS match since the beginning of August, going 8W-1L-2D down the stretch.

On the other side of the pitch, Nashville are limping in and were somewhat lucky to avoid the Wild Card round after securing just one win from their last six MLS contests.

That being said, the underdogs are coming in with plenty of star power: a pair of USMNT defenders in Zimmerman and Shaq Moore, as well as attacking midfielder Hany Mukhtar. The German is the defending Landon Donovan MLS MVP and Golden Boot presented by Audi winner via a 23-goal league campaign in 2022, and was a bit less prolific this year, but still recorded his third straight season of 15+ goals and 11+ assists.

Orlando are more of a well-rounded team than a star-driven one. Still, young Uruguayan international Facundo Torres has done well with 14 league goals, and Cesar Araujo has been a critical midfield cog.

Regarding home and road splits, Orlando have been pretty consistent regardless of location, but Nashville have played much better at home.

Maybe this is because an attack often travels well, while defenses can be fueled by a frivolous home crowd, and Orlando can seriously score with 55 league goals compared to 39 for Nashville. Conversely, Nashville allowed the fewest goals in MLS with 32.

While each club is making their fourth-consecutive Audi MLS Cup Playoffs appearance, neither have ever won MLS Cup or even made a final.

In fact, Nashville have never won a trophy after losing to Inter Miami and Lionel Messi in this year’s Leagues Cup final. Orlando won the US Open Cup last year, but were knocked out in the first round of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs.

Luckily, the Lions have a good chance to move on this year after a great regular season. Nashville don’t have the firepower, beyond Mukhtar, to get through this series, although I do expect some individual brilliance from him and a great crowd to help them to a shutout at home to force this series to three games.

Orlando City MLS Cup Future

Orlando City to Win MLS Cup (+1000) • DraftKings Sportsbook

As solid as this team is, it’s hard to advise investing in their future ahead of this matchup with Nashville, a very plucky seven-seed, due to their path. Even beyond this series, which could be more brutal than any No. 7 vs. No. 2 series has any business being, the following steps are daunting.

Orlando’s next opponent will be either the Columbus Crew, who own the best goalscoring differential of any team in the league or Atlanta United, with star Argentine wonderkid Thiago Almada, who led the league with 19 assists this season and even added 11 goals.