- The South Korean K League Matchday 3 kicks off on Friday morning
- Top-ranked sides Jeonbuk Motors and Ulsan Hyundai both play at home Sunday morning
- Read on for the odds and best bets for Matchday 3 below
After two weeks the two top title contenders in South Korea have already risen to the top of the table. Both Ulsan and Jeonbuk are the only two sides who have won both of their opening matches, though both needed late goals last week to stay undefeated.
At the opposite end of the table, each of Suwon, Busan and Gwangju have all dropped both of their opening games and are the league’s only teams with zero points.
K League Matchday 3 Odds
|Pohang Steelers||0, -0.5 (-105)||+125||O 2, 2.5 (-110)|
|FC Seoul||0, +0.5 (-115)||+215||U 2, 2.5 (-115)|
|Gangwon FC||-0.5 (EVEN)||-110||O 2, 2.5 (+105)|
|Seongnam FC||+0.5 (-125)||+295||U 2, 2.5 (-135)|
|Suwon Bluewings||-0.5, -1 (EVEN)||-130||O 2, 2.5 (-120)|
|Incheon Utd||+0.5, +1 (-125)||+340||U 2, 2.5 (EVEN)|
|Sangju Sangmu||0, -0.5 (+105)||+135||O 2, 2.5 (-110)|
|Gwanju FC||0, +0.5 (-125)||+210||U 2, 2.5 (-110)|
|Jeonbuk Motors||-0.5, -1 (-110)||-145||O 2, 2.5 (-130)|
|Daegu FC||+0.5, +1 (-110)||+400||U 2, 2.5 (EVEN)|
|Ulsan Hyundai||-1 (-120)||-210||O 2.5, 3 (-130)|
|Busan IPark||+1 (EVEN)||+525||U 2.5, 3 (EVEN)|
Odds taken May 20
Pick 1: Pohang Steelers vs Seoul
Generally looked at as the two teams after Jeonbuk and Ulsan with any sort of title shot, Pohang and Seoul kick off the weekend on Friday morning at 6:30 am EST.
These teams finished side-by-side in the table last season, both with 56 points, with Seoul ranking third vs Pohang’s fourth only on basis of a plus-four goal differential.
It was the Steelers who got the better of the matchup last year though, first drawing at home 0-0 and then winning 2-1, as well as winning 3-0 in Seoul.
Watch the K League match of Pohang Steelers vs FC Seoul LIVE Friday, May 22nd, at 6:30 am ET on Direct TV channel 623 or Verizon Fios channel 597!@FCSEOUL @PohangSFC_en #kleague #live #koreanfootball #sports pic.twitter.com/wd9jMjICZf
— FTF (@ForTheFansHQ) May 20, 2020
Pohang are third right now after two matchdays that saw them defeat Busan 2-0 and draw Daegu 1-1. They’re also second in the league in shots and first in total crosses.
Seoul laid a stinker on Matchday 1 losing 3-1 to Gangwon but bounced back with a 1-0 win over the newly-promoted Gwangju.
— K League (@kleague) May 16, 2020
Pohang didn’t start last season strong, but they did end the season on quite an impressive run. The Steelers lost only one of their final 12 matches while taking the full three points on eight occasions.
Seoul meanwhile saw an opposite arc in their form ending the year with only two wins in their final 14 matches. An opening day loss and a narrow win over new boys Gwangju hasn’t inspired much confidence yet.
Bet on the consistent Steelers for the win at +125 or the safer ‘Draw No Bet’ at -160.
Pick: Pohang win (+125)
Pick 2: Suwon Bluewings vs Incheon United
These two sides both finished in the bottom half of the table in 2019, resulting in participation in the relegation round. Suwon finished with a 12-12-14 record and 48 points, while Incheon ended at 7-13-18 and 34 points.
Across four matches last season Suwon won 3-1 and 3-2 home and away, prior to Incheon winning 1-0 on the road and the teams drawing 1-1 at Incheon.
In the early stages of this K League season, neither side has looked overly impressive. The Bluewings have lost both matches, however, both came to title contenders Jeonbuk and Ulsan. They also led 2-0 over Ulsan last weekend before giving up the lead and losing late. Their loss to Jeonbuk also came in the dying minutes of the match.
Incheon hasn’t faced nearly as tough as opposition and has neither won or lost yet on the year. Both matches have ended drawn 0-0, home to Daegu and away to Seongnam.
“It’s definitely an experience. I am enjoying it … I’m happy,” said Doneil Henry, a former member of Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps, of his time with the Suwon Samsung Bluewings.
“So far so good. It’s all positive,” he added.https://t.co/ci4rAd8KsN
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) May 15, 2020
That’s about par for the course when it comes to betting Incheon matches as they’ve now drawn 0-0 in three-straight matches. UNDER 2.5 goal totals have been a lock of late with the bet cashing in each of their past eight. Despite their lack of scoring, the Mariners haven’t been a side to bet against having only lost one of 11 recent K League matches.
That should serve them well against a Suwon side who’ve now lost five straight matches—the 2019 finale, two 2020 ACL matches and each of the two matches this year.
Suwon is likely the stronger side but is suffering through a poor run of form and their lack of fans for this “home” match can’t help matters. I see a tightly-contested draw in this one.
Pick: Draw (+260), Under 2.5 (-135)
Pick 3: Ulsan Hyundai vs Busan IPark
Last year’s runners up have jumped out of the gates and currently lead the table on the back of a 4-0 home win over Sangju and 3-2 road win last weekend against Suwon.
While Round 1 opponents Sangju offered little resistance for Ulsan, Suwon took a two-goal lead with goals on either side of the half. It wasn’t until the 55′ minute when Junior Negao found the back of the net that the Tigers found the scoresheet. But it was the spark they needed as Kim In-Sung scored at 62′ and Negao added his second in the 90′ minute for the winner. It was his second game recording a brace and he now leads the league scoring charts with four.
— Football 24/7 (@foet247Asia) May 18, 2020
Busan’s return to the top flight hasn’t gone smoothly thus far. Their opening day 2-0 loss to Gwangju was followed up with a last-minute loss to Jeonbuk 2-1. Jeonbuk took an early lead in the 16′ minute but Busan managed to draw level with a 60′ minute PK goal. The match looked destined for a draw which would’ve been a strong result against the champs, but Lars Veldwijk rescued the three points for Jeonbuk with a 95′ minute winner.
These teams haven’t played in the league since 2015 but did play three times in the FA Cup during 2017-18. There, Ulsan won 2-0 on the road twice, with the teams drawing 0-0 at Ulsan.
There’s a big gulf in talent with these teams here. Ulsan are challengers for the title, have looked strong so far and their top scorer is in scorching form. Bet the Tigers to win and score goals.
Pick: Ulsan to win & score Over 1.5 goals (-138)
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