Welcome back to another edition of i80 Sports Toll booth- the best place on the web for Major League Soccer Sportsbook Picks!
After this week we will be 1/3 the way through the regular season. There have been some spectacular ups and downs and some great soccer. Enjoy this week's picks while you sit to a relaxing Saturday afternoon of MLS action!
Here are my picks!
Match- Chicago Fire host St. Louis City
Pick- St Louis City +265
My first pick this week has a line that I believe was pushed by Chicago beating St. Louis earlier this week, 2-1, in an Open Cup match. In that matchup, St. Louis was short some key pieces, sitting Ostrak, Gioacchini, and Vassilev while Fire started a best 11 lineup.
Chicago is 2-5-3 this season and have not shown much- going 0-2-2 in their last 4 MLS matches. St. Louis, during that span, has gone 1-1-2 since their star Klauss went down with an injury.
This match is complicated, but I believe Bradley Carnell has a good enough system in place to beat a bottom-of-the-East club. That is exactly what the Chicago Fire are.
Key to the Match-
As I said before, the key here will be St. Louis scoring without Joao Klauss.
While he has seemed like a world-beater, his 5 goals and 2 assists can be replaced elsewhere on the pitch. This team has talented pieces like Stroud and Gioacchini who have scored 3 each this season. They also have the services of Eduard Lowen who has 2 goals and 3 and has been as consistent as they come.
Match- DC United host Nashville SC
Pick- Nashville SC +220
DC United was on a 3 match win streak before dropping two matches this week- a 2-1 loss to FC Cincinnati and a 1-0 loss to RBNY in the open cup. They were headed to my “do not bet” list, until they came out as favorites over Nashville SC earlier this week.
Nashville is the best defense in MLS right now, allowing only 6 goals in 11 matches. They are VERY reliant on Hany Mukhtar on offense (6 goals 4 assists), who seems back in form after a smattering of goals last week against Chicago.
I’m not sure if this is a match I TRULY like or if the odds are just too good. Either way, when Nashville is +220 we take them.
Key to the Match-
Christian Benteke got up on his bicycle last week and scored a goalazo, and he is the kind of player that is basically unstoppable at his best. He is 32 and I don’t know just how much “best” he has, but I still see him as matchup-proof.
A player who is NOT matchup-proof is the Taxiarchis Fountas.
Taxi was great last season before getting benched after a controversy and accusation of racism during a 2022 match. Without diving too deep into that, and there’s a lot to dig into, he hadn’t been the same in his 2023 return UNTIL his last 3 game stretch- where he has scored in each match. If Nashville can shut him down, they can take all 3 road points.
Match- Inter Miami host New England Revolution
Pick- New England Revolution +180
Inter Miami was on an inconceivable skid before winning two straight, and suddenly the 4-0-6 team is home favorite hosting the New England Revolution? Not on my watch.
The Revolution under Bruce Arena have been consistently great. They have 2 points per game on the road this season, and a +9 goal differential in 11 matches. Their only loss this season has been to LAFC, the other team going strong for the “Best MLS Team” moniker.
Key to the Match-
The key here is long-term form versus short-term form.
Should Miami be favorite after two matches against Columbus and Atlanta, after being poor the rest of 2023? Is +180 appropriate odds for an away team which should be outright favorite?
I will let you decide, but this is a hot bet on my sportsbook this week.
Match- CF Montreal host Toronto FC
Pick- CF Montreal +120
Montreal and Toronto are two teams that know each other well- from MLS rivalry matchups to Canadian cup play; they face off many times each year. This time, Montreal is in a touch of form- coming off of three straight wins and looking like their offense has finally figured things out. In fact, Montreal has won their last 3 all by a 2-0 margin.
Toronto has had a difficult start to the season; they are currently 13th place in the Eastern Conference. While I think they can put together a summer run, this won’t be the time. They currently have 8 players listed as “out” and another 3 questionable.
Key to the Match-
While this Montreal offense has been humming, those 6 goals I mentioned earlier account for 66% of the goals they scored all season. They need to win on defense.
I thought Montreal gave it all up when they traded away Kamal Miller for Bryce Duke and Ariel Lassiter, but since then both offense and defense have gotten better. In that 3 game winning streak I keep bringing up, Montreal has allowed 0 goals. They gave up 17 in their previous 7 matches.
Match- LA Galaxy host San Jose Earthquakes
Pick- San Jose Earthquakes +270
This is a bonus play, so I don’t need to say much. Great odds, Galaxy stink, and +270 is enough of a boost to take us to the next level this week.
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