Welcome back to another edition of i80 Sports Toll booth- the best place on the web for Major League Soccer Sportsbook Picks!
Each week, for accountability, I give the previous week's results. This time, we have St. Louis's closing-game defense to blame. If not for a late Colorado goal, our week would have been much different! I guess that is the risk associated with a +250 away team.
Either way, take a brief look at last week's picks before moving on to this week's article. Good luck!
Match- Columbus Crew host Inter Miami
Pick- Columbus Crew -145
This week we start with the Columbus Crew, who are 4-2-3 on the season and hosting the 2-0-6 Inter Miami. Miami has lost their last 6 matches after starting the season with two convincing home wins, while the Crew will look to bounce back from a bland 1-0 loss in Charlotte.
The fact that Miami can’t seem to get anything going, paired with the fact that their only two wins were at home against poor opponents (Montreal is 2-0-6 and Philadelphia weren’t even trying) would have me picking the Crew in a bubble. However, here I like the home advantage even more, paired with the Crew looking to bounce back from a 2 game winless skid.
Key to the Match-
The Crew, now with Wilfred Nancy and their 3 man backline, are going to load the midfield, which is the biggest weakness for Inter Miami. Since the early injury to Gregore, Miami have tried different formations with different midfielders- Duke, Stefanelli, Mota, Jean- and none of the combinations have inspired confidence.
Columbus has outscored Miami 17-6 on the season, and I see no reason for a change in week 10.
Match- Toronto FC host New York City FC
Pick- NYCFC +195
Toronto FINALLY avoided a draw last week, after somehow managing 4 straight. Unfortunately for them, it was a 4-2 loss at the hands of the Philadelphia Union, who decided to start taking their domestic league seriously. That puts Toronto at 1-6-2 on the season, and now NYCFC makes the trip into town, and they are seriously heating up on offense.
Meanwhile, NYCFC has scored 5 of its 12 goals in the last two matches, against Nashville and Dallas. This fits nicely into the narrative we spoke of on our last i80 Sports MLS podcast- that NYCFC is turning a corner and building to a nice summer.
Key to the Match-
I think NYCFC being the away team, supplemented by how they play such aggressive soccer, actually ADDS to their advantage here. Toronto has done nothing to inspire any faith this season, and NYCFC is going to look to jump all over them- getting balls forward quickly and often, hoping to find the Toronto backline out of shape.
Match- St. Louis City hosts Portland Timbers
Pick- St. Louis -122
It feels almost as if I pick St. Louis to win or lose every other week; I’ve only won money when I take them to win. This week is no different- after seeing the St. Louis fans stick out an hours-long weather delay, I need to pick them at home against lesser opponents.
Portland Timbers, this week, are aforementioned “lesser opponents.” They are just 2-2-5 on the MLS season, sandwiching a solid rivalry week win against the Seattle Sounders on stink-bread. This looks to be another loss- as Portland has just .25 points per game on the road.
Key to the Match-
St. Louis City will be without Joao Klauss, leaving heavy lifting up top to Gioacchini, while also leaving space for another contributor, such as Alm, Ostrak, or even Stroud to step up.
While none of those players are “Plan A,” an MLS attack could certainly do worse. Against a Portland defense which has allowed 15 goals in just 10 games, this should certainly be enough for a home win.
Match- DC United host Charlotte FC
Pick- Over 2.5 Goals -130
My final pick of this week comes down to simple math. Both DC United and Charlotte have demonstrated an ability to score- with 21 combined goals. Both teams have demonstrated the ability to be scored upon- allowing 29 combined goals.
With 50 total goals scored in 18 matches, they see an average of 2.78 goals per match. That is significantly over 2.5 goals, which is all we will need for this bet to place.
I do favor DC United in this match, and think both teams will score early and often. I see a nice 3-1 win for DC United and a -130 cashing just after halftime.
Key to the Match-
This game will be missing at least 4 defenders due to injury, and both defenses have been injury prone. I think this match is going to be a shootout, with both offenses coming together over the past few matches.
The attacking nature of these two teams, paired with Charlotte’s error prone ways, make this a fun match to watch this weekend.
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