2021 Liga MX Playoffs odds, May 22 picks: Proven expert reveals best bets for Cruz Azul vs. Pachuca

A spot in the final is on the line Saturday when Pachuca visits Cruz Azul for the second leg of their semifinal clash in the Mexican Liga MX playoffs. The teams played to a scoreless draw in the first leg Wednesday at Pachuca’s Estadio Hidalgo, so Cruz Azul will have the home-field edge in the decider in Mexico City. Cruz Azul won the regular-season title in the Clausura and is strong on both ends and led the league in goal differential. Pachuca finished in eighth place, but Los Tuzos come in on a hot streak and beat second-place Club America in the quarterfinals.   

Kickoff is set for 9 p.m. ET at Estadio Azteca. Cruz Azul is a 0.5-goal and -125 money-line favorite (risk $125 to win $100) in the latest Pachuca vs. Cruz Azul odds from William Hill Sportsbook, and the over-under for total goals scored is 2.5. Before you make any Cruz Azul vs. Pachuca picks, check out the Liga MX predictions from SportsLine’s Martin Green.

After working in the sports betting industry for several years, Green became a professional sports writer and handicapper. Since then, his soccer picks have been spot-on. In fact, Green has generated $19,000 for $100 bettors since the 2017-18 season.

Craving even more coverage of the world’s game? Listen below and follow ¡Qué Golazo! A Daily CBS Soccer Podcast where we take you beyond the pitch and around the globe for commentary, previews, recaps and more.

Now, Green has broken down Cruz Azul vs. Pachuca in the Liga MX playoffs. You can visit SportsLine now to see his picks. Here are several odds and trends for Pachuca vs. Cruz Azul:

  • Pachuca vs. Cruz Azul spread: Cruz Azul -0.5
  • Pachuca vs. Cruz Azul over-under: 2.5 goals
  • Pachuca vs. Cruz Azul money line: Pachuca +350, Cruz Azul -125, Draw +240 
  • CA: Jonathan Rodriguez has 37 goals in 55 games over the past two seasons
  • PAC: Erick Sanchez averages 0.56 goals per shot on target (tied for sixth in Liga MX)

Why you should back Cruz Azul

La Maquina went 13-2-2 in the Clausura and scored 26 goals while only yielding 11. Pachuca was plus-1 in goal differential, scoring just 20 in the 17 matches. Azul did not lose and scored in every game after being shut out twice to open the Clausura. Pachuca had as many losses as wins and was kept off the score sheet five times. Cruz Azul has some unfinished business after being knocked out of the Apertura semifinals as the lower seed after a 4-4 aggregate draw with Pumas. Cruz Azul was outshot 11-10 in the first leg but had a 3-2 edge in shots on target. 

Manager Juan Reynoso is typically conservative in mid-week and first-leg matches, and it typically works. The squad stormed to a 3-1 win to advance after a 2-1 first-leg loss to Toluca in the quarterfinals. The manager has the league’s top scorer over the past year in Jonathan Rodriguez, who had 21 goals in 31 matches played, while Luis Romo tied for the league-high with 10 assists. Goalkeeper Jose Corona led Liga MX with 14 clean sheets in 31 matches and had an 81.5 save percentage. Cruz Azul is 3-1-0 in the last four against Pachuca.  

Why you should back Pachuca

Los Tuzos are 8-3-2 in their last 13 matches and scored two or more goals in eight of those. They have scored 14 goals in their past five matches and will have the edge in a draw if they score one after not yielding an away goal on Wednesday. Pachuca held the ball for 57 percent of the match, and Cruz Azul is likely to attack more in the second leg, which could leave it vulnerable to counter-attacks. Eight players scored multiple goals for Pahuca over the two Liguillas, with striker Roberto de La Rosa and center forward Ismael Sosa combining for 11.

Midfielder Erick Sanchez (four goals) and de La Rosa came up together through the team’s youth academy, and the 21-year-olds provide energy and creativity to the attack. Seven players have goals in these playoffs, with de La Rosa and Oscar Mirillo both scoring twice in the opener against Chivas, and Sosa has three assists. Midfielder Erick Aguirre is a versatile player who is usually in the middle of the action, and he has a goal and an assist. Pachuca allows just over a goal a game, and goalkeeper Oscar Ustari saves 75.9 percent of shots on target.    

How to make Liga MX picks for Pachuca vs. Cruz Azul

Green has analyzed this matchup and is going under the total (2.5 goals), and he’s also revealed his best bets and analysis for Saturday’s showdown. He’s only sharing his top picks here. 

So who wins Pachuca vs. Cruz Azul? And where does all the betting value lie? Visit SportsLine now to see the top picks for Cruz Azul vs. Pachuca, all from the proven soccer expert who has generated $19,000 for $100 bettors since the 2017-18 season.

Latest news