Updated: Apr 8
Welcome back to another edition of i80 Sports Toll booth- the best place on the web for Major League Soccer Sportsbook Picks!
Here is a recap of last week's picks. We did well overall, but BOY did that LAFC draw ruin what could have been a hot one!
In my quest to be totally transparent and share reflections on each week's numbers, here is a chart showing how I did. Please note, this does not reflect every wager, just the ones set forth in this article and on twitter- @i80_Sports
Here's to a fantastic weekend ahead!
Week 7 Sportsbook Picks
Match- FC Cincinnati hosts Philadelphia Union
Pick- FC Cincinnati +124
Cincinnati is perfect at home in 2023, and this week they face the surprising middle-of-the-table Philadelphia Union. As MLSsoccer.com points out, Cincinnati has only 1 win and 5 goals in the two teams’ nine all-time meetings. However, Philadelphia hasn’t quite shown to be the defensive powerhouse of teams past; they have allowed 8 goals through 6 matches this season.
Adding to the question mark that is Philadelphia this season, they just played a Wednesday match against Atlas, and head to Mexico mid-week for a second round of that CCL tourney. Tired legs against the 4-2-0 Cincinnati team puts Philly in a bad place.
Key to the Match-
I don’t know how many starters are available for Philly this week, nor do I think that is Coach Curtain’s priority. And while I have made a habit of talking about Philly’s defense and Cincy’s attack, I want to flip the script on this match.
Cincinnati has allowed only 4 goals this season, 3 of which were in a 3-3 draw at Chicago three weeks ago. They have been lights out; 3 clean sheets in just 6 matches.
Match- New England Revolution host CF Montreal
Pick- New England Revolution -106
The New England Revolution’s great home form is a contributing reason to why they sit in 3rd place in the early Eastern Conference standings. CF Montreal’s loss of coach Wilfred Nancy and 12 goals conceded (in just 5 games) are among the reasons why Montreal sits in dead last. In fact, with 12 goals conceded and only 3 scored, Montreal is last in the East in both categories.
One of the early surprises for me, however, is New England’s success WITHOUT a consistent starting 11. All the major players on offense- Bou, Gil, Wood, and Vrioni have all missed time early this year. That speaks to coaching, and of course we have Bruce Arena pulling the strings on his team’s successful run, putting out inventive lineups to get the most out of the players who ARE available.
Key to the Match-
Last week we saw a healthy Bou-Gil-Wood trident which has the skill to be a top attacking trio in all of Major League Soccer. While they couldn’t get the win, they were facing an NYCFC team which is MUCH better than CF Montreal.
Top team vs bottom team, at home, with NEARLY even money? Don’t overthink this one.
Match- Houston Dynamo host LA Galaxy
Pick- Houston Dynamo +150
This week the Houston Dynamo will host LA Galaxy in Houston. That is bad news for the LA Galaxy who just can’t seem to put anything together this season, as their 0-3-2 record accurately reflects.
Houston is off to a disappointing 2-0-3 start, but I would like to importantly note that both wins were at home against teams we expect to be good this season- Austin FC and NYCFC. LA Galaxy is currently playing to neither of those standards.
Key to the Match-
Let’s take a look at why Houston will win this game. They are going to be more aggressive, but are able to lock up games once they lead. They are going to win in the air AND control midfield. Most importantly, they won’t be facing the Galaxy’s two top DPs, who can’t get on the field.
The odds here are favorable but also reflect the probability that Houston takes over this game fairly easily. Lock this in early- this line might shift closer to gametime, especially once rosters are released.
High Mileage Pick (Best Odds, Most Risky)
Match- Chicago Fire host Minnesota United
Pick- Minnesota United +300
This is a long-odds pick, and is also quite a bit riskier that I would prefer. Minnesota is showing out so far this season, going 3-2-0 while winning each other their 3 away matches while drawing twice at home. When asked, friend of i80 Sports Mark Fangmeier even said he doesn’t know WHY Minnesota is having such success, especially without star Reynoso, who is MIA since before preseason.
Key to the Match-
A lot of this matchup could depend on Chicago Fire’s star DP Xheran Shaqiri and his availability for this match. Last season, Shaqiri led the team with points, earning 7 goals and 6 assists. Unfortunately, that was also a huge disappointment for a man who was supposed to be a game-changing force for Chicago.
Behind Shaqiri, the team really does not have much. Chris Mueller, the MLS is Back sweetheart, has done nothing since trading in his purple shirt. Kacper Przybylko is also worse with Chicago, and Kei Kamara is just not the ticket in 2023.
Yes, Minnesota may be a flukey team with a lucky streak. But Chicago is a bad club right now. Let's take Minnesota and the +300.
Bonus Pick (Less Words, More Bets)
Match- DC United host Columbus Crew
Pick- Columbus Crew +155
This last pick is just too good to pass up. The Crew are scoring in bunches and head over to a DC United team who, while frisky AND productive this season, are just not on the same level.
The +155 is a gift on a game that has a definite away favorite. Let's not think too hard on this; after all, I am not getting paid per word.
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