Welcome back to another edition of i80 Sports Toll booth- the best place on the web for Major League Soccer Sportsbook Picks!
As promised, I will be tracking each week's sportsbook picks. Last week was fantastic- going 3-1 and hitting two goal scoring props. Here is my chart from the week (based off the picks I gave last article) and our season totals- in the green on all counts!
Now let's talk week 5! Remember you can find us LIVE each week on YouTube at YouTube.com/i80Sports and on your favorite podcast platform (links are all on the top of this page). Have a great week!
Match- Columbus Crew host Atlanta United
Pick- Over 2.5 Goals -120
Through the first four games of this season, Columbus Crew have seen 13 goals scored, either for or against. For Atlanta, that number is 14 combined goals. Thus, both teams are playing in games that average OVER 3 goals.
This week things get even a little more weird with international call-ups. While major contributors like Thiago Almada, Lucas Zelarayan, and Cucho Hernandez will be missing, so will some major defensive pieces. The Crew will be without Australian international Milos Degenek and veteran Josh Williams. Atlanta will be without Miles Robinson, a top defender in the league.
Key to the Match-
While major offensive names will be missing, both teams still have enough firepower to get past the 2.5 goal total. Just last week, Matan stepped up in a slippery situation at Red Bull Arena to find the net for Columbus, and Atlanta still has Araujo, Berry, and Wiley.
Three goals from two of the top contributors in total goals (both for and against) seems like a good place to start on a weird disjointed MLS week.
Match- Inter Miami host Chicago Fire
Pick- Inter Miami +101
Inter Miami came out of the gate hot this season, winning two before dropping their next two matches. Meanwhile, Chicago looks to be back in 2022 form- winless in their first three.
The difference between Miami’s first two matches (both wins) and their last two matches (both losses) comes down to that home field advantage. They are averaging 3 points per game at home and 0 points per game on the road.
That actually checks out, as Miami had a huge home advantage last season, with 1.94 points per game at home and only .83 on the road. That set them as the seventh greatest advantage in MLS.
Key to the Match-
Obviously this game is more than just who is at their home stadium, but Miami has impressed me thus far. They will be missing some key pieces but still have Stefanelli and Pizzaro, who can turn a game on its head.
This may not be a solid lock, but it is as close as we are going to get this week.
Match- Charlotte FC host Red Bull New York
Pick- RBNY +190
In a tough week, I'm going back to playing all the greatest hits. I found out early this season that Charlotte has defensive problems, and targeted them in quite a few early weeks. I have bet them to lose AND many of their games to hit the over, both with great success.
This week RBNY comes into town and I think they have an advantage. Neither team will be with all their key pieces- Burke and Casseres will miss for RBNY while Swiderski will be out for Charlotte. This is the first game we get to check the “next man up” mentality of the Red Bulls’ unrelenting high press system, and we get it against a mistake-prone Charlotte backline.
If Charlotte's disaster against a similar (yet less experienced, tested, and refined) system of St. Louis is any indication, this could be a great week for the RBNY offense to get started.
Key to the Match-
Red Bulls have had well documented offensive struggles in their first three games, and a lot is going to come down to new forward Dante Vanzier’s fitness. If he can put up 60 minutes I think he finds the back of the net.
Behind him Red Bulls have a strong and fast Elias Manoel who is yet to find the net, and Tom Barlow who is, well, Tom Barlow. Look to the wings for Edelman, Luquinhas, or even John Tolkin to start some offensive trouble this week.
Match- Austin FC host Colorado Rapids
Pick- Austin FC -160
While the big story this week is players missing with international duty, we need to look towards a season ending injury to Jack Price as Colorado’s biggest loss. This loss has both on-field and off-field ramifications, and all but locks out the Rapid’s chance at a successful 2023 season.
Austin, to start 2023, has been up and down. They are 2-2 with big losses to St. Louis and Houston, while beating both Montreal and RSL in the short season. This week is their first on adequate rest, after unceremoniously crashing out of CCL. While this is a disappointment for a team with aspirations to return to the top of the Western Conference table for a second year in a row, they have a lot of returning pieces and should smoke Colorado this week.
Key to the Match-
Austin will be without Cascante, Vaisanen, and Wolff, but still have a ton of talent on their roster. They have veteran and once perennial Golden Boot contender Gyasi Zardes up top (he knows how to score), second year MLSer and 2022 Golden Boot contender Driussi at CAM (he knows how to score), and a top winger tandem in Rigoni and Fagundez that need to step up and contribute to this young season.
You get the point. Austin may not be as high-powered on offense as 2023 (yet), but they have enough to beat Rapids at home.
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