DC, VA Sportsbooks Doubt Spirit’s Chances In Sunday’s NWSL Semifinal

Posted on November 14, 2021

Despite a litany of off-the-pitch distractions in the 2021 NWSL regular season, the nation’s capital’s club is one win away from the championship match. Washington Spirit semifinal odds for Sunday’s contest in Tacoma, WA, have the club falling just short of that goal, however.

Washington faces OL Reign in the first of two semifinal matches on CBS Sports Network Sunday, with kickoff at 3 p.m. The Spirit did get a good result the last time they played on this pitch, though. They have also been among the league’s best at pulling out victories in matches’ waning minutes.

Washington Spirit semifinal odds at DC/Virginia sportsbooks

Fans looking to bet this match on the 3-way moneyline will see Washington as the consensus underdog. Simply put, OL Reign has been on a tear in terms of recent form. Multiple Virginia sportsbooks and DC sports betting apps have action right now.

SportsbookWashington Spirit to winDrawOL Reign to win
BetMGM Sportsbook+240+195+105
BetRivers Sportsbook+270+220-112
DraftKings Sportsbook+280+215+110
Unibet Sportsbook+270+220-112

OL Reign has seen only two defeats in its past 10 matches both at home and overall. They’re currently among the best in the league at actually converting on their expected goals rate, averaging 1.44 goals per match against 1.79XG.

They have a clear edge in XG, as the XG allowed currently sits at just 1.32. However, if anyone seems poised to break that strong form, it might be the Spirit. Washington hasn’t lost since making a coaching change 10 matches ago, including the NWSL quarterfinal. The side secured an impressive 2-0 victory the last time they played on OL Reign’s home pitch.

Bettors need to consider how much of an edge having last weekend off might give OL Reign as well. That bye might mean a disadvantage in terms of momentum, however. Counteracting OL Reign’s fresher legs as well is the late-match Spirit.

The Spirit attack grinds down defenses over time

For Washington, the key to advancing to Louisville could very well be in keeping OL Reign off the board through the first 75 minutes of the match. The Spirit scored seven goals in the last 15 minutes of matches over the course of the 2021 regular season, more than any other NWSL club.

Last weekend’s quarterfinal represented another late win for Washington, as the club got the game-winner in extra time after second-half stoppage time saw a draw at nil. Eventually, Spirit forwards like Golden Boot winner Ashley Hatch, Trinity Rodman, and Ashley Sanchez find just enough of a crease to put the ball in the net.

For that to matter Sunday, though, Washington will undoubtedly need more heroics from keeper Aubrey Bledsoe. OL Reign boasts a dynamic attack of its own when healthy, as Bethany Balcer, Sofia Huerta and Megan Rapinoe secure the club up top.

This match could be won in the midfield, determining which club dominates possession. For the Spirit, that prospect recently took an unfortunate hit. Midfielder Tori Huster announced Saturday that she will have season-ending surgery.

Without Huster, replicating the results of the Oct. 16 match in Tacoma on Sunday gets a little more challenging for Washington. However, this season has proven the club has all the Spirit it needs.

Photo by AP / Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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