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Columbus Crew & FC Cincinnati Playoff Picture Odds
The MLS Eastern Conference playoff race is going to go down to the absolute wire on Sunday. The top four teams are in, but spots 4-7 are wide open and most of the teams can finish anywhere from fourth to ninth. This includes both the Columbus Crew and FC Cincinnati.
Philadelphia Union, CF Montreal, NYCFC and New York Red Bulls have clinched. FC Cincinnati are in fifth place with 46 points and can finish anywhere from fifth to ninth. The Crew are in eighth with 45 points but have two games left and can finish anywhere from fourth to ninth.
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FC Cincinnati in Good Shape
FC Cincinnati is in a much better spot than the Crew heading into the week. The Orange and Blue have just one game left, Sunday at D.C. United. A win clinches their first-ever MLS playoff spot, but anything other than a win leaves open the possibility of missing the playoffs.
FCC are one point ahead of Orlando City, Inter Miami, and Columbus, who all have 45 points. But, all three of those teams have two games left, while FCC has just one. The good news for FCC is that Orlando plays both Miami and Columbus.
The worst-case scenario for the Orange and Blue is that nobody wins those games. If Orlando/Miami tie on Wednesday and then Orlando/Columbus tie on Sunday, then FC Cincinnati would be in trouble with a non-win at DC on Sunday.
The other part of the good news for FC Cincinnati is that they get to play D.C. United. Wayne Rooney’s club is in dead last place with only seven wins on the season. FCC is favored to win the game at (+120) while United is (+195), and a draw is (+270).
A win wraps up quite the turnaround for Pat Noonan and his squad. The Orange and Blue were consistently at the bottom of the standings last year, and they started this season with 5-0 and 1-0 losses and just two wins from their first six games.
Crew Need to Be Road Warriors
The Columbus Crew control their own destiny, but have a challenging final week. Because of weather conditions, the Crew have two games this week, both on the road. They will play in Charlotte on Wednesday, resuming a game that was postponed by rain and lightning in July.
There are no odds for Wednesday night’s game since it already started. The teams are bound by the same lineups, and the game will resume with 15:58 having been played and Charlotte in possession. The Crew may have to make immediate substitutions if center back Jonathan Mensah and striker Cucho Hernandez aren’t cleared to play.
Charlotte, in ninth place, four points behind the Crew, will be desperate as the expansion side are in must-win territory. They will be eliminated with a draw or loss, and even with a win on Wednesday, they must win on Sunday as well.
The Wednesday game is monumentally important to the Crew’s playoff chances. According to the MLS Playoff Simulator, the Crew’s playoff chances go to 76 percent with a win on Wednesday, drop to 61 percent with a draw, and plummet to 43 percent with a loss.
The Crew are also on the road Sunday as they head to Orlando. The Lions, unlike the Crew, can clinch a playoff spot on Wednesday. To do so, they need to win in Miami while Columbus loses in Charlotte. If this happens, Columbus will be battling Miami and Charlotte for the final spot when they go to Orlando on Sunday afternoon.
Odds for the Sunday game will likely change depending on the results of the two Wednesday games. But, as of Wednesday morning, the Crew are (+285) to win in Orlando while the Lions are (-125).
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