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Decision Day MLS Sportsbook Picks




Welcome back to another edition of i80 Sports Toll booth- the best place on the web for Major League Soccer Sportsbook Picks!



 


Match- Atlanta United host NYCFC

Pick- NYCFC + Draw -130


NYCFC clinched a playoff spot AND a home game heading into their final match of the season. While one way to look at this matchup is a throwaway, others might see it as a chance to fine-tune before the playoffs.


NYCFC has had terrible form lately- losing 7 of 9 before finishing strong with a two-win homestand. This week, against an Atlanta team that has displayed mediocrity all season, they will have a chance to finish strong and turn their eyes towards a second straight postseason run.


Key to the Match-

Vegas opened this game with NYCFC at +240, and I have no idea what Atlanta has done this season to earn that respect. This match is probably going to feature some of the lesser-known NYCFC players, and if anything that makes me MORE excited.


In the end, sprinkle a little of the NYCFC moneyline and add the draw for a -130 bargain. The risk is worth the reward when two teams with OBVIOUS talent disparities face off.




Match- Orlando City host Columbus Crew

Pick- Columbus Crew + Draw -145


One of the most exciting games this weekend should be played out in Orlando, as City faces the Columbus Crew; a match where the winner (if there is a winner) guarantees a playoff spot. I was shocked to see the Crew at +230, which I think is great odds.


Orlando has one of the slimmest home field advantages in MLS, earning 1.5 points per game at home compared to their 1.24 on the road. They are 8-0-8 at Exploria this season, and will host a Crew team with a 3-10-3 away record. This game screams draw, which is a result the Crew would welcome.


Key to the Match-

Orlando is a top-heavy team, with contributors Ercan Kara and Facundo Torres responsible for 19 goals while adding 11 assists.


Columbus will look to take the match with a much more rounded attack of Lucas Zelarayan and Cucho Hernandez- two of the best attackers in MLS at their respective positions. Columbus also has 4 players with 5+ assists, and have more ways to get at their opponent in high pressure matches.




Match- Minnesota United host Vancouver Whitecaps

Pick- Minnesota United -140


The last sportsbook article of the year has to go HARD- and that includes taking must-win games, even if the odds aren't fantastic. Minnesota should win at home this weekend, and -140 is fair enough odds for them to do it.


This is less about Minnesota being a dominant home team (they’re not) or being in good form (they’re also not). Vancouver is a mess on the road, with only .63 points per game- the second lowest mark in MLS. They are 2-4-10 on the road, allowing 35 goals while only scoring 15 (yes, a -20 goal differential).


Key to the Match-

The real showmanship in this game should be from the attacking midfield- with surprise Vancouver midfielder Ryan Gauld showing his class at the same time as one of the best in the league, Emanuel Reynoso. In the end, Reynoso has Amarilla, Fragapane, and Lod to service, while Gauld will be relying on Brian White.


Minnesota has a better cast of characters who should, despite a miserable run, put up enough to pull out a playoff berth.




Match- Real Salt Lake host the Portland Timbers

Pick- Portland Timbers + Draw -115


As outlined earlier on our i80 Sports live MLS episode, Portland Timbers have once again been surrounded in rumors, accusations, and drama. I won’t go into the allegations of sexual misconduct here, but Stumptown Footy has an excellent article by Sam Svilar on the subject.


With Supporter’s Groups cutting off communications with the club and fans demanding the club be sold, you might think I would lean RSL in this match, but that is NOT where I am going.


Timbers have had a good run of form, with a 4-1-1 record through 6 matches pulling them up to playoff position, but a loss to RSL could put it all in jeopardy. They need to play a full 90 in one of the hardest stadiums in MLS, Rio Tinto Stadium (at altitude) and leave with at least 1 point.


Key to the Match-

Portland, top to bottom, is a better squad than RSL and should win this matchup most times. While Salt Lake City relies on team play, physicality, and home field advantage, Portland has ACTUAL superstars like Seba Blanco, Asprilla, and the Chara brothers who will fight for a spot in the playoffs.


With a -4 goal differential, RSL has not done anything to show playoff readiness though 33 games of the regular season. It should be back to the drawing board in an offseason that contains no postseason matches.


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