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Pachuca vs Cruz Azul Odds & Prediction – Liga MX Clausura Semifinals Leg 1

John Dillon

by John Dillon in Soccer

May 19, 2021 · 6:53 AM PDT

Pachuca vs Cruz Azul
Cruz Azul's Santiago Gimenez celebrates scoring his side's third goal against Toluca during a Mexican soccer league quarterfinal second leg soccer match at Azteca stadium in Mexico City, Saturday, May 15, 2021. Cruz Azul won 4-3 on aggregate and will play in the semi finals. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
  • Regular-season top team Cruz face surprise package Pachuca at 9:30 pm ET on Wednesday
  • Cruz enjoyed 15-match unbeaten run to claim first spot while Pachuca made late surge into playoffs
  • See the odds and best bets for Pachuca vs Cruz Azul in the Liga MX Clausura Semifinals Leg 1 below

Surprise championship contender Pachuca hosts Cruz Azul in Mexico’s Liga MX Clausura play-off semifinals on Wednesday with both teams’ recent form similarly balanced.

Although Cruz Azul topped the regular season standings while their last four opponents finished eighth, it is Pachuca which is rated as the slight favorite for the first leg meeting.

This is despite the fact that Cruz also racked up a 15-match undefeated run while claiming first place in the regular season campaign – and has won its last three meetings with Pachuca.

Liga MX Pachuca vs Cruz Azul Odds

Matchup Spread Moneyline Total at DraftKings
Pachuca vs Cruz Azul PAC -0.25 (+118) | CRU +0.25 (-155) PAC +155 | CRU +175 | DRAW +220 Ov 2.5 (+132) | Un 2.5 (-175)

Odds as of May 19 at DraftKings

At DraftKings, the oddsmakers rate Pachuca as the +155 first choice for a home win with Cruz Azul at +175.

Meanwhile, the draw is the best offer here at an attractive +220.

It seems the oddsmakers are impressed by Pachuca’s unexpected surge into this stage of the tournament – which is the second half of Mexico’s two-section league season.

And it also appears that they expect the team to continue delivering against the early season predictions in which they were viewed as also-rans.

Even so, Cruz Azul wasn’t just the winner in the regular-season standings. It is also a semifinalist in the CONCACAF Champions League after an impressive defeat of MLS side Toronto FC in the last eight.

Cruz Azul Win Streak Ended in Quarterfinals

Certainly, the odds have been influenced by the fact that Cruz Azul’s 15-match unbeaten run came to an end in the first leg of the play-off quarter-final.

They were beaten 2-1 away from home by Toluca before winning the return match 3-1.

Meanwhile, Pachuca pulled off a surprise in the last eight by eliminating Club America which had finished second in the regular-season table.

That seems to have influenced the semifinal odds – although it was a close triumph for Pachuca.

It advanced on the away goals rule after a 3-1 win at home was followed by a 4-2 defeat at the home of Club America.

Pachuca’s most recent title was a triumph in the Clausura in 2015-2016.

Beforehand, Pachuca had progressed through the first round of end-of-season playoffs – contested by the teams which finish from fifth to 12th.

They overcame Chivas Guadalajara 4-2 in a home win.

Pachuca is one of the oldest soccer clubs in the Americas.

It had a hugely successful period when it won five championships between 1999 and 2007. But its most recent title was a triumph in the Clausura in 2015-2016.

Liga MX Pachuca vs Cruz Azul Playoff Stats

Pachuca
VS
Cruz Azul
2 Wins 1
0 Draws 0
1 Losses 1
9 Goals 4
7 Goals Against 3
1 Yellow Cards 2
0 Red Cards 0
0 Clean Sheets 0

Stats from Playoff stage only. 

Liga MX splits its season into two sections – with the Apertura championship played first in each campaign followed by the Clausura.

This season, both competitions have been re-named as the Torneo Guardianes in honor of Mexico’s health workers.

This last four, first-leg game kicks off at 9:30 pm on Wednesday at Pachuca’s base at the Estadio Hidalgo.

The home team’s progress to the last four stage is all the more remarkable for the fact that it did not win a match until the 10th round of the 17-match regular season.

However, that 2-1 defeat of Club Tijuana began a run of three straights wins.

And another successful three-game streak at the end of the campaign secured the side’s eighth-place finish and a place in the playoffs.

Pachuca Had Impressive Regular-Season Finish

After six wins, one draw and only one defeat in the regular season run-in, Pachuca has influenced the bookmakers to believe they can continue over-achieving.

Furthermore, after finishing the regular season with a 5-1 hammering of Atletico San Luis, they have scored nine times in their three playoff matches. But they have conceded seven goals so sparks could fly against Cruz Azul.

Jonathan Rodriguez, Cruz Azul’s 10-goal leading scorer, claimed his most recent strike with a successful penalty in the 3-1 last eight playoff defeat of Toluca.

Cruz Azul was a 1-0 winner away from home the last time these teams met in January.

After drawing two and winning only one of its final three regular-season matches, some detected a dip in form for Cruz.

That idea was backed up by the quarterfinal defeat by Toluca – although that setback was swiftly put right in the return leg which secured their last-four place.

Cruz Azul was a 1-0 winner away from home the last time these teams met in January.

Previously, Cruz was a 1-0 winner at home last September. And it was also a 3-1 winner at home before that in February last year.

Meanwhile, Pachuca’s last win against these opponents was a 2-0 home win in September, 2019.

Despite that run of results, both these sides have shown they have something to offer just now and that makes a draw the most likely first leg outcome.

Pick: Draw +220

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