Welcome back to another edition of i80 Sports Toll booth- the best place on the web for Major League Soccer Sportsbook Picks!
As promised, here are last week's results. Not the week we were looking forward to (that last minute Charlotte goal really killed out week!) but we are still in the green on the young season.
Now let's get into some week 6 action! Good luck all, and thanks for tuning in!
Match- Atlanta United host Red Bull New York
Pick- RBNY +250
As the odds get longer for my Red Bulls, it is time to double down for their eventual resurgence. I strongly believe New York will separate themselves from the pack this season, and prove that their system is the best press in the league, and their very specific (and sometimes frustrating) method of evaluating and bringing in talent.
Historical data surely favors RBNY- it is well documented that Red Bull is 9-4-0 during regular season games against Atlanta, albeit the one loss, in the 2018 Conference Finals, is worth more to New York than all the other wins. Combined.
Key to the Match-
While history is fun to follow, it does not really mean much for this match. Both Atlanta and New York look much different than years past, with player turnover and coaching changes. Let’s quickly talk about things that do matter.
The New York Red Bulls lead the league with an insane 1.2 shots on goal per 90 minutes allowed. They also lead the league in shots allowed per 90, at 6.4. The only reason they are reaping the rewards of their stingy defense is another astounding stat in which they lead- only 18.8% of their shots this season have been on target. If that changes, which it SHOULD do this week against an Atlanta team that surrendered 6 goals to Columbus, Red Bulls will be off to a huge road win.
Match- Columbus Crew host Real Salt Lake
Pick- Columbus Crew -115
Speaking of that 6 goal match by Columbus, I have them here to beat RSL at home in week 6 action.
Columbus looked great against Atlanta last week, even without some of their top players. Instead, we saw Jacen Russel-Rowe and Aidan Morris both score their first MLS goals. 6 of the team’s collective 15 shots were on target, and all of those found the back of the net. Talk about firing on all cylinders.
In contrast, Real Salt Lake has struggled, to put it mildly. They lost their second straight match at home (at altitude, where they usually have a strong advantage) to give St. Louis FC a 5-0 start. They also allowed 4 goals and looked absolutely clueless.
Key to the Match-
There have been over 2.5 goals scored in six of RSL’s last seven matches (hint: another bet). Unfortunately for them they only have 3 in net this season and, after allowing 9 against, sit at a league worst -6 goal differential.
This is Columbus’s game to win, and at -115 for a home team, the odds are fantastic.
Match- LA Galaxy host Seattle Sounders
Pick- Seattle +220
“No Rui, no problem” was the scenario for Seattle last week, where they pounded 4 goals in net, all by Jordan Morris, as they wiped the floor with Sporting KC in a 4-1 road win. This week they face off against a 0-1-3 LA Galaxy side which should again be missing both strikers- Chicharito with injury and Joveljic (possibly) returning from international duties.
While Seattle has been spectacular with 10 goals scored this season, an even better indicator of current form, for me, is the 2 goals allowed through 5 matches. At the same time, the Galaxy have allowed 4 goals and only found the back of the net twice. Seattle has been spectacular and fun to watch, while LA Galaxy has made me want to change the channel.
Key to the Match-
Seattle is 3-3-0 in their last six matches against the Galaxy, and this match should be another bullet point in a long list of struggles for LA. Complicating matters even more, Seattle could be getting back Raul Ruidiaz, who recovered from a hamstring injury just in time to serve national team duties this past week.
Fill-in striker Heber, who leads the league in shots on target per 90 minutes with a whopping 3.6, could also be back from injury after rejoining team training this past Tuesday.
Match- Colorado Rapids host LAFC
Pick- LAFC +115
Following my philosophy of picking on bad teams (applied to Colorado after the season-ending injury to Jack Price) we turn our attention to the 0-2-3 Colorado Rapids match this week where they will host LAFC. This one is tough historically- the home team, since LAFC joined the league, is 7-1 in this duel. However, I have to throw that all out the window. LAFC is special.
Colorado Rapids have scored just two goals while allowing 8 on the young season. They lost at home to Minnesota United, drew the hapless team from KC, and produced an injury sheet with 8 players listed as questionable.
This is the point where I would usually say something about altitude being an advantage for Colorado, but this week I got NOTHIN.
Key to the Match-
Colorado is weak in areas that LAFC excels. Among the areas in which Colorado is weak include long shots, through ball attacks, and set pieces. This sets the stage for a Kellyn Acosta revenge game.
Acosta has had drama after his sale to LAFC, including suspicions that Colorado rejected bids from preferred teams overseas. Acosta has since revitalized his career, won MLS cup, and traveled with the USMNT to play in the Qatar World Cup.
This week, his team will have the upper hand and finally beat the Rapids in Colorado.
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