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Lionel Messi, Inter Miami a Clear Favorite Against Nashville on Wednesday
Updated August 29, 2023
What: Inter Miami vs. Nashville – MLS Regular Season
Where: DRV PNK Stadium
When: Wednesday, August 31st
Wednesday brings a massive docket of MLS games but one in particular will take center stage. Lionel Messi and high-flying Inter Miami play host to Nashville SC in a clash between a pair of clubs fighting to make the playoffs. The kick-off at DRV PNK Stadium is scheduled for 7:30 PM ET in Fort Lauderdale. Miami is absolutely flourishing right now with nine wins in nine since Messi arrived, having just won their first league game back last weekend after the cup break. As for Nashville, they’ve tasted defeat in four consecutive MLS appearances. Needless to say, the Boys in Gold need a result badly. Continue reading for the Inter Miami vs Nashville picks.
Despite Nashville sitting 17 points ahead of their opponents in the standings, Inter Miami is a massive favorite due to their form with Messi. They sit at -185 odds for an implied win probability of 64.91%. Nashville comes back at +502 and has a mere 16.61% chance of coming out victorious. A draw meanwhile is priced at +354. Miami is favored by one on the spread and the over/under is set at three goals.
In four all-time meetings, both clubs have two wins apiece. Miami just beat Nashville in the Leagues Cup final on August 18th. We’ll get into that more below.
No Stopping Miami
The day Lionel Messi arrived in America, everything changed for the MLS. The entire league instantly became more popular with the GOAT playing for Inter Miami and needless to say, he’s made a massive difference. While they’re still second-last in the Eastern Conference, Gerardo Martino’s side is unbeaten in nine games, having just cruised to the first Leagues Cup title. That was also their first trophy in club history.
Messi has now scored in all but one game since putting on the Miami shirt and officially bagged his first MLS goal on Saturday as Inter beat the New York Red Bulls 1-0. The World Cup winner finished off a wonderful piece of build-up play to secure the three points for his team. Although Miami is still 11 points off the final playoff spot, there is no concern about them sneaking into the postseason considering there are 11 games left, too.
The reality is Messi has instilled confidence into every single player in this squad and you can just see the impact he’s made. Messi makes everyone around him better. Plus. Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba have been marvelous additions, too. Playing on home soil Wednesday, Miami will be feeling very hopeful about grabbing another big three points.
Nashville in Dreadful Form
One of the best outfits in the MLS last year, Nashville isn’t exactly in that same conversation in 2023. Although the Boys in Gold are clinging onto a playoff berth, their 11-9-5 record isn’t great. Essentially all of their success has come at home too, going 8-2-2 as opposed to 3-7-3 on the road.
Nashville was bested in penalties in the Leagues Cup final and in the MLS, hasn’t won since the first of July in league play. Their return from the break was very disappointing on Saturday, losing 4-0 to Atlanta United. In fact, they’ve only scored once during this cold spell. Hany Mukhtar, the reigning MVP, hasn’t hit the back of the net since June. If the visitors are going to have any shot at finding three points Wednesday and ending Miami’s insane run, Mukhtar has to do his part. It’s that simple.
On a more positive note, Gary Smith’s group still has every chance of making the playoffs, regardless of what happens here. Just five points separate second-place Philly and seventh-place Nashville. With lots of time left in the campaign, not all is lost for the Boys in Gold by any means.
Inter Miami vs Nashville Picks
I really have no doubts Messi and Miami will produce the goods on Wednesday and keep the winning ways going. Hammer that moneyline.