Liga MX Picks, Predictions, Betting Odds, Picks February 12-15

  • Table-toppers Puebla and Atlas will take points off each other this weekend
  • Cruz Azul are well placed to move into the top two with a win against Necaxa
  • Santiago Solari’s days may be numbered if Club America don’t win this weekend
  • Upstarts Pachuca could break into the top three later in the week if they beat struggling Queretaro

Puebla vs Atlas Odds

Odds taken from Caesars Sportsbook

Team Odds
Puebla +165
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Draw +200
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Atlas +185
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Puebla vs Atlas Pick

Draw +200

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Puebla vs Atlas Predictions

There is very little to separate these two teams at the moment. They make up the top two spots on the table and have identical records – 4 matches, 3 wins, a draw and 10 points each. Puebla are ahead based on goal difference, and have arguably been the most lethal attacking team in the season so far, having failed to score at least two goals only on one occasion.

Apertura champions Atlas have only dropped points against Leon, the team they beat in the finals for the title. It has been smooth sailing from them apart from that result, with a solid defensive show so far that has seen them concede only 2 goals from 4 games. Puebla’s defensive record is the same and so this is going to be a fixture between two well organized systems. We think they’re likely to shut each other out, with maybe only Puebla’s home advantage tipping it in their favor if this game doesn’t end in a draw.

Clinical Puebla Continue Dark Horse Run

We said last week that a reason Puebla finished mid-table in the Apertura season was because of their games played-to-lost ratio, and they are continuing to amend that in the Clausura season. They lost 5 out of their 17 games in that season, and will have to lose more than a third of their remaining 13 games this season to come anywhere close to that again. That doesn’t look likely to happen after the unbeaten start they’re currently having.

On match day 4, it was more of the same as they went away to Queretaro and managed to score twice in the first half. It wasn’t a game that they dominated in the midfield, keeping only 41 percent possession, and completing just 277 passes (their opponents completed 385) at an accuracy of 74 percent. But these passing numbers must be viewed in the context of their playing system, which relies on direct, risky passes. That proved good enough against Queretaro, who turned their lion’s share of possession into 17 goal attempts, but whose 4 shots on target weren’t enough to beat 37-year-old goalkeeper Antony Silva, who bagged his second clean sheet of the season.

Atlas See Off Santos Laguna To Stay Second

Atlas were heavy favorites against Santos Laguna, and got the result that was expected of them, although it got closer than they might have liked. Once again, Atlas didn’t get a high number of shots on target, but converted what little they did into enough goals to seal the win.

The game was pretty evenly matched in midfield, with Atlas only completing 60 passes more than Laguna’s 335. Laguna even managed more goal attempts, their 46 percent possession turning into 13 attempts versus Atlas’ 9. Five of those shots were on target, but only in the 84th minute, having already been two down at the end of the first half, did they manage to find a goal. That wasn’t enough to take Atlas down, and the title holders are looking good in their defense so far.

Cruz Azul vs Necaxa Odds

Odds taken from Caesars Sportsbook

Team Odds
Cruz Azul -170
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Draw +275
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Necaxa +475
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Cruz Azul vs Necaxa Pick

Cruz Azul -170

Cruz Azul vs Necaxa Predictions

Cruz Azul picked up a crucial three points on match day 4, beating Leon away in what was one of the tougher fixtures of the season. The win has kept them in the top three, level on points with both Puebla and Atlas, and with the same unbeaten record. With Puebla and Atlas facing off against each other in the next round and primed to take points off each other, this weekend is a chance for Cruz Azul to go top of the table with a win. We expect them to do just that against Necaxa at home.

Necaxa have had a troubled start to the season, losing three of their four games. Their only convincing performance came against Santos Laguna in a 4-1 win away. Aside from that match, they’ve had heavy defeats.

Cruz Azul Sneak Past Leon

Azul have had prettier victories than the one against Leon on Monday. Playing away at the Estadio Leon, Azul got almost no chance to leave their mark on the game outside of the 30th minute goal from Uriel Antuna. Leon dominated possession, taking 69 percent of it and turning that into 14 goals attempts. In comparison, Azul had 6 goal attempts and managed to get only 2 of those on target. Their passing accuracy was 66 percent, as compared to Leon’s 87, and they committed 19 fouls. Despite being pinned to their half for vast portions of the game, they clung on to their lead and picked up their third clean sheet of the season in a resolute performance.

Necaxa Frustrated By Ten-Man Pachuca

As far as frustrating fixtures go, it will take some time before Necaxa feel anywhere close to the frustration they felt against Pachuca at home on Sunday. They began the game in sloppy fashion, conceding 2 inside 10 minutes – the second of those an overhead kick from Aviles Hurtado that is a contender for goal of the season.

Necaxa were offered a way out when Erick Sanchez was sent off in the 21st minute, though, but couldn’t turn that numerical advantage into more than a goal. That goal itself came after they’d conceded a penalty in the 75th minute, meaning their 71 percent possession, 85 percent passing accuracy, and 17 attempts at goal amounted to little by the time the final whistle went off.

Pachuca vs Queretaro Odds

Odds taken from Caesars Sportsbook

Team Odds
Pachuca -175
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Draw +275
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Quertaro +450
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Pachuca vs Queretaro Odds

Pachuca -175

Pachuca vs Queretaro Predictions

Pachuca are among the most exciting teams in the Liga MX at the moment, a combination of energy and youth that has racked up 9 points from 4 games to sit in fourth place. They have been exceeding expectations already with their results and we expect them to keep that up against Queretaro, who look destined to stay at the bottom end of the table for the second consecutive season.

Queretaro are in freefall, with no wins from their last 7 Liga MX games, and a combined two points in that period, cutting across the Apertura and Clausura seasons. That has resulted in the sacking of head coach Leonardo Ramos and a period of high pressure for the squad is up ahead as they try to turn their season around.

Pachuca Overcome Their Own Error In Big Win

Something that’s become characteristic when Pachuca play is how open the game becomes. This is because of their aggressive pressing and direct attacking styles, and a game plan that accounts for the adventure of the academy players they are willing to use.

All of that was visible in their 3-1 win away against Necaxa. A stunning overhead kick for a goal was followed 11 minutes later by a VAR-assisted sending off. Their aggression meant there were already 2 goals up by then, but it also contributed to the sending off.

What was impressive, however, was that they were able to manage the game well despite that setback. It was no longer a game where they could flex their attacking muscles at will, as evidenced by the fact that they only completed 64% of their attempted passes and totalled only 29 percent of the possession. Still, they managed 11 attempts at goal and eventually went 3-0 up to close things off. In the Apertura season, Pachuca won a total of 4 games and picked up 18 points overall. This season, they’ve already notched up 3 wins and half that number of points in 4 games.

Queretaro Sink Deeper

In any other context, Queretator’s 2-0 loss against league leaders Puebla might have been forgiven as a spirited performance that didn’t reap rewards. But their last match day turned out to be the end of the road for their head coach as patience ran out from both the fans and the management.

Queretaro dominated possession against the best team in the league, and even managed to match the goal attempts – 17 attempts, 4 shots on target – but couldn’t find the composure to turn their dominance into a favorable result after conceding goals in the 2nd minute and then the 32nd.

Ramos became the fourth Queretaro coach to lose his job in two years.

Santos Laguna vs Club America Odds

Odds taken from Caesars Sportsbook

Team Odds
Santos Laguna +165
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Draw +200
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Club America +175
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Santos Laguna vs Club America Pick

Pick: Draw +200

Santos Laguna vs Club America Predictions

Club America would have never imagined that they’d be playing their fixture against Santos Laguna as equals, but that’s how the heavyweights have ended up at the moment. They have no wins from their first 3 games, and have managed only 3 goals from those games, while conceding 6 and and only picking up a point in that time.

Santos Laguna have the same number of points, but have played 4 games for that, and continue to be one of the worst defensive units in the league. They are among the two teams after 4 match days whose goals conceded metric has hit double figures and are currently on a three-match losing streak.

With these two teams seemingly being on par at the moment, we think a draw is the safest bet to make. An outright result, despite all their woes, is most likely to be in Club America’s favor though.

Another Day, Another Red Card For Club America

The wheels are coming off quickly at Club America. The team ended their Apertura season in the quarter-finals stage of the playoffs, but you wouldn’t guess it from their start to this season.

Fan discontent is one thing, but you will rarely see a case of off-field troubles manifesting on the field as drastically as it has with Club America’s discipline on the field. They have ghad a player sent off in each of their opening 3 games, and that remained the case against San Luis in their last match. Club America were expected to turn their poor start around against San Luis, who were yet to put up points on the board before that fixture. What ensued was them going up 3-0 just past the hour-mark, a red card in the 85th minute for Miguel Layun, and then a mad rush at the end when Club America scored twice past the 90-minute mark. It wasn’t enough.

Once again, the team was led off the pitch to chants calling for former Real Madrid manager Santiago Solari to be sacked – and you get the feeling they are just one more bad result away from that happening.

“We weren’t good,” he said after the match. “San Luis got the result because they worked for it and they deserve it.”

Santos Laguna Show Resilience In Loss

Santos Laguna were severe underdogs going into their fixture against title-holders Atlas, but managed to hold their own throughout the game despite not coming out with any point from the fixture.

Aside from the goals scored, they were nearly as good on every other metric. They had 46 percent of the possession, completed 335 passes, and came out of the game with a passing accuracy of 74 percent, which was only a point below Atlas’ accuracy. They didn’t commit nearly as many fouls as Atlas – 14 vs 19 – and managed to have more goal attempts as well. In all, that number was 13, with 5 shots on target. This was a better ratio than their opponents, but only resulted in one goal in the 84th minute, after which they couldn’t find the equalizer.

Pumas UNAM vs Leon Odds

Odds taken from Caesars Sportsbook

Team Odds
Pumas +170
BET HERE
Draw +210
BET HERE
Leon +160
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Pumas UNAM vs Leon Odds

Draw +200

Pumas UNAM vs Leon Predictions

Leon are a worried team at the moment. The Apertura runners-up have only one win from 4 games so far and are languishing in 10th place, struggling at both ends of the pitch – they’ve only managed to score 4 goals, and have conceded one in every match this season.

They will be traveling away to play against Pumas UNAM, who have some concerns of their own. Having begun the season with 2 wins and a foray at the top of the table, they’ve since lost two on the trot. These are both teams desperate for a result, but lacking in the necessary quality to completely play opponents off the pitch at the moment. We anticipate a high-intensity draw or a one-goal win for either of them.

Pumas Go Down To Blistering Tijuana

The 1-0 scoreline doesn’t suggest it, but Pumas UNAM were lucky to come out of their last match with such minimal damage to their league standing. This was a match that could have caused serious dents to their goal difference on another day.

Club Tijuana dominated possession at home, claiming 57 percent of it. That wasn’t nearly as important as what they managed to do with the possession, which was to turn it into a staggering 27 shots on goal. An impressive 10 of those attempts were on target as well, but it was only one Lisandro Lopez goal in the 69th minute that they managed to get on the scoresheet.

To be fair to Pumas UNAM, however, it wasn’t completely one-way traffic. They managed to get 10 attempts on goal, but their conversion rate was lacking on the evening. Only 2 shots on target meant they were never really favored to score in this game, although they will take their passing accuracy of 77 percent as a positive.

Leon Felled At Home Despite Controlling Game

As mentioned earlier, Leon’s issues are two-fold at the moment – their forwards aren’t being clinical enough, and the defense is still looking for its first clean sheet.

Those are the things they will be looking to remedy in their next fixture, because they held their shape everywhere else on the pitch against one of the top teams in the league in Cruz Azul. Leon probed and probed, with 69 percent of the possession, without finding a goal on match day 4. Their 503 completed passes were more than double the number of passes that Azul completed (216) and their passing accuracy of 87 percent was 21 percentage points more than their opponents managed.

Their metrics in the final third were impressive as well, as they put up 14 attempts at goal, with 4 of those on target. What they were desperate for was an equalizer after going down in the 30th minute, and that didn’t come.

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How to Watch Liga MX

Liga MX Information
Teams Puebla vs Atlas, Cruz Azul vs Necaxa, Santos Laguna vs Club America, Pumas UNAM vs Leon, Pachuca vs Queretaro
Location Estadio Cuauhtemoc
Time Saturday, February 12 at 5.00 PM EST onwards
How to watch Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes

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Nikhil Kalro

Expert on esports

With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]

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