Vancouver Whitecaps vs Real Salt Lake Picks and Predictions: Salt Lake’s Road Woes Continue

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There’s only one match in MLS on Saturday, as Real Salt Lake looks to push their win streak to four straight as they hit the road to Vancouver. The Whitecaps sit 12th in the Western Conference heading into the weekend, but are in solid form as they rebound from a rough start.

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With the international window upon us, both teams will be dealing not just with injuries but players having departed to join their national teams. While it makes the match a bit more difficult to predict, it does open up interesting possibilities on the betting front as RSL seeks just their second win at BC Place in nearly a decade.

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Check out our Vancouver vs Real Salt Lake MLS betting picks and predictions for Saturday, June 4.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Real Salt Lake betting tips

Predictions made on 6/3/2022 at 7:15 a.m. ET.
Click on each prediction to jump to the full analysis.

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Vancouver Whitecaps vs Real Salt Lake game info

Location: BC Place, Vancouver, BC
Date: Saturday, June 4, 2022
Time: 7:00 p.m. ET
TV: TSN, KMYU

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Real Salt Lake betting preview

Weather

The weather on Saturday might be a bit wet, as there is a 40% chance of rain around kickoff. Temperatures will be in the mid-60s throughout the match, but winds should not be a concern inside BC Place.

Injuries

Vancouver Whitecaps: Thomas Hasal GK (Out), Russell Teibert M (Doubtful), Brian White F (Questionable), Ran Gauld M (Questionable), Lucas Cavallini FW (Out), Andres Cubas M (Out), Javain Brown D (Out).

Real Salt Lake: Damir Kreilach M (Out), Erik Holt D (Out), Jonathan Menendez M (Out), Bret Halsey M (Out), Zach Farnsworth D (Out), Anderson Julio FW (Out), Rubio Ruben FW (Out).

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Vancouver Whitecaps vs Real Salt Lake predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favourite pick across all markets.

Side analysis

The Whitecaps dug themselves quite a hole to start the season, and although they haven’t fully dug themselves out of it just yet, their season can’t be written off. They sit just four points out of a playoff spot with a match in hand on Houston, and they managed to capture 10 points from a possible 15 in the month of May. Only a 2-1 defeat at Charlotte on a late goal kept them from an unbeaten month.

Injuries have been ravaging the club this season, who have seen their best goalkeeper, defender, and scorer all miss significant time. It’s kept them from building much cohesion, especially in attack, as their 14 goals scored are just one more than the league’s lowest total. Not helping matters in that department is the fact that leading scorer Lucas Cavallini will miss the match due to international call-up.

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Real Salt Lake started hot, but a six-match winless run in all competitions has been followed by three victories in a row. Now they must navigate some injuries of their own — the biggest being to captain Damir Kreilach. The midfielder underwent back surgery this week and isn’t expected back until September at the earliest. They also have some goal-scoring concerns as well, having scored just 17 in 14 matches. They are the only side in the Top 4 of either conference to not have a positive goal differential.

The side sits fourth in MLS in points with 25 taken from 14 matches, but much of that damage has been done at home. On the road, their form has been subpar, taking just two wins and three draws from eight matches. They’ve failed to score in five of those contests, but have only conceded multiple goals in three. Goalkeeper Zac MacMath has played a key role, with his 58 saves being second-most in the league thus far.

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Despite their struggles at times, Vancouver continues to thrive at BC Place. Not counting matches against Cascadia Cup rival Portland  — the only team to beat them at home in 2022 —the Whitecaps have won 10 of their last 13 matches at home. They’ve also been held scoreless just once this season in their friendly confines, while keeping three clean sheets in those six matches themselves.

As for the visitors, Real Salt Lake have taken an away victory over Vancouver just once since 2013, a 4-0 win last August that led to a managerial change for the Whitecaps. Kreilach scored twice in that match, and his leadership in a hostile environment will be sorely missed this weekend. With their struggles to score away from home, and Vancouver having turned their home ground into a fortress, it’s difficult to see them walking away with all three points. Take Vancouver to win while protecting against the draw.

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Prediction: Vancouver draw no bet (-122 at FanDuel)

Covers soccer betting analysis

Over/Under analysis

Neither of these two teams are very proficient in attack this season. Real Salt Lake’s 345 progressive passes are the second-fewest in MLS, while Vancouver is just two spots better with 386 passes going 10 or more yards up the pitch. Vancouver also ranks dead last when it comes to touches in their opponent’s final third, while both side rank among the worst in MLS in passing completion percentage.

Vancouver have attempted the fewest shots on goal of any team, and have put less than 25% of their efforts on target. Meanwhile, the visitors rank in the bottom fourth of the league in both shots attempted and shots put on goal. Given the offensive struggles for both sides, along with the absence of Vancouver’s best scorer thus far, I can’t see this match being a high-scoring affair — look for it to go comfortably Under the total.

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Prediction: Under 2.5 goals (-116 at FanDuel)

Best bet

Vancouver loves playing at home — especially when their opponent is not Portland. When you take away their Cascadia rivals, the Whitecaps have won 10 of their last 13 matches at home, and they’ve not been beaten in any of their last 16 matches at BC Place. Aside from the defeat to Portland earlier this season, Vancouver has won three and lost two at home.

Given Vancouver’s stellar home form, combined with Real Salt Lake’s woeful scoring record away from home, I like the Whitecaps to keep a clean sheet in this match. RSL have scored just six goals away from home all season, while being shut out in five of those eight fixtures. With their lengthy list of missing players and having to play without their leader for the first time this season while travelling to a tough environment, RSL is at risk of being kept off the scoresheet once again and the price is simply too good to pass up.

Pick: Vancouver to keep a clean sheet (+235 at FanDuel)

This article originally appeared on Covers.com, read the full article here

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