Football Bet of the Day: NYRB & Benteke-inspired DC United to entertain at Audi Field

 | Wednesday 15th May 2024, 10:10am

Wednesday 15th May 2024, 10:10am

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There are 13 Major League Soccer games scheduled across the early hours (UK time) of Thursday, and arguably the pick of the action comes at Audi Field as DC United host the New York Red Bulls (KO, 00:30).

The Eagles and Red Bulls have been two of the great entertainers in the 2024 MLS season so far, and it's a clash between the pair that forms my Football Bet of the Day for Thursday, May 14.

Football Bet of the Day - Thursday, May 16

  • Over 3.5 goals in DC United vs New York Red Bulls @ 7/4

A Lionel Messi-inspired Inter Miami outfit may be making most of the waves in the MLS Eastern Conference, and indeed the league as a whole, but several other clubs are also establishing themselves as must-watch sides, not least DC United and the New York Red Bulls.

DC United have finished outside the play-offs for the past four seasons and came 12th in the Eastern Conference last year, three points behind ninth-placed Charlotte who secured the final play-off spot.

But the Eagles already look to be positioning themselves for a top-seven charge this term, inspired by the talismanic figure of ex-Aston Villa, Liverpool and Crystal Palace powerhouse Christian Benteke up top.

The 45-cap Belgium international struck 14 times in 31 MLS appearances last season but already has 11 in 10 this term and has only failed to score in four games. His total so far includes a pair of hat-tricks, one last Sunday in a 3-2 win over Atlanta United, and another on the opening day in a 3-1 victory over the New England Revolution.

Benteke's goals have helped his side become one of the most prolific in the Eastern Conference, with only Inter Miami (35), the Philadelphia Union (21) and the New York Red Bulls (20) scoring more.

But as many as DC have scored, as many they have conceded. 38 goals in 12 matches averages out at 3.2 goals per game, and their contests at Audi Field have featured even more at 21 in six (3.5 p/g).

Seven of their 12 matches have seen over 3.5 goals - only Inter Miami (10) have been involved in more - including three of their last five, and two of their last three at home.

Football Bet of the Day Thursday May 16 2024 - Over 3.5 goals in DC United vs New York Red Bulls at 7-4

Meanwhile, the Red Bulls are enjoying a fine start to the campaign themselves, sitting third on 20 points after winning five and losing just two of their first 12 games.

They have a few European players of their own who have enjoyed sterling starts to the season, notably eight-goal Scotsman Lewis Morgan and four-goal Sweden international Emile Forsberg.

Morgan and Forsberg were both at it on Sunday as they each scored in the first half of their 4-2 win over the New England Revolution, the second time this season that the Red Bulls have hit four in a game.

However, they have had problems at the other end, as evidenced in the 6-2 defeat they suffered in their last away game against Inter Miami on May 5, when all six of the host's goals were scored in the second half.

Their matches average 3.2 goals per game, the same as DC, and three of their last four have seen at least four goals scored, including their last two away. Only Montreal (17) have shipped more goals on their travels than NYRB (14) so far.

The previous head-to-head between the sides saw eight goals scored at Audi Field as, despite Benteke netting a hat-trick, the visitors won 5-3.

I can see another high-scoring encounter in the early hours of Thursday, with Benteke sure to play his part once more.

You can read all our latest Football Bets of the Day at our dedicated Betfred Insights content hub.

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