The two top teams in the CPL meet on Thursday and it promises to be a fascinating battle for CPL fans to enjoy as the regular season approaches its conclusion. Let’s have a look at these betting picks.
How is the CPL Shaping Up?
The third edition of the CPL has had an unusual narrative, due to the pandemic, with the initial games taking place in a bubble, but the regular schedule has since been resumed and three teams: Pacific, Cavalry and last season’s winners Forge, pulling clear of HFX Wanderers in fourth place. Only the top four teams will qualify for the play-offs and with the regular season set to end on November 16, the battle for play-off qualification and advantage is intense.
Who do Bettors Favor for the Cavalry v Pacific Game?
Cavalry are undefeated at ATCO Field this season and go into this game only one point behind Pacific in the standings, but bettors appear to be favouring the visitors in the betting ahead of this game. Cavalry can be backed at around the 2.85 mark, while Pacific are the favourites with sportsbooks, and are as short as 2.28 with some companies. Meanwhile, the draw is rated at around 3.40.
Guide to Recent Form
Since their defeat in Ottawa at the end of September, Cavalry have steadied the ship with an unbeaten run of five games, although three of those games ended in draws, which hasn’t helped them to pull away from last year’s champions Forge, who are just a point back in the standings, with two games in hand. They also face a tough run-in, as their last two games of the regular season will see them taking on Pacific again before heading to Forge for their final fixture.
Pacific’s form has been more inconsistent. They have beaten Valour home and away this month, but they’ve also lost to HFX Wanderers, Edmonton and Forge, and like Cavalry, are looking over their shoulders, with just a two-point gap back to last year’s winners. Two of their last three games are against bottom-half sides York United and Edmonton, so on paper, they have the easier run-in.
What does the Head to Head Record Say?
These rivals have met four times this season so far, with Pacific winning two, Cavalry one and a draw. Pacific won their opening encounter on July 30 by 2-0 and also ran out as winners the late time they met on September 9, when they came back from a goal down to win 3-1. Cavalry’s sole win came on August 20, when they hung on for a 2-1 win in BC. It’s worth noting however that three of those four games were at the Starlight Stadium, and the remaining two will be at ATCO field.
What is the Best Bet for the Cavalry v Pacific Game?
There’s a significant quality gap in the CPL between the top three and the rest, so finishing top of the standings is likely to mean taking on a much weaker team in the first round of the Play-Offs. At the moment, that spot is up for grabs and a win here for either side would be a major step towards finishing top of the pile. But it is often the case in soccer that games with the most riding on them tend to be cautious, scrappy affairs, if the fear of losing outweighs the drive to go for the win.
Pacific are the clear favourites here, but their recent record makes them a difficult team to rely on and at their current odds, they don’t represent much value. Cavalry, with their tougher run-in, have a slightly bigger incentive to get something out of this game, but while they are tough to beat, they have developed a draw habit in recent weeks, with four of their last seven games finishing level. With so much at stake here, I think this could be a scrappy one and I’m siding with the draw.
Side Bet on the Cavalry v Pacific Game
Nine of the last twelve games involving either of these teams have seen both teams scoring, so I am tempted to back Yes in the Both Teams to Score market, but as outlined above, I can see this being a cautious game in which neither side is able to establish a rhythm and both may look to pack the defence if they take the lead, so I’ll pass on that market.
Instead, it could be worth looking at the Over/Under market. The four games between Cavalry and Pacific this season have produced an average of 2.5 goals and there is good reason to expect this one to be a tighter contest than average. It’s also worth noting that three of Cavalry’s last four have seen fewer than three goals, so at the current odds, it’s worth taking a chance on the Under 2.5 goals option.