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i8 Sports Toll Booth- MLS Week 18

Thanks again for joining us for our 18th (!!) edition of the Toll Booth at i80 Sports! We are back talking about the best MLS picks of the week. We had ANOTHER successful week that pushes us up to 33.23 units on the 2021 season.

Before we jump right into it, let's take a quick at last week's board!

Week 18 Toll Booth Picks

Match- Columbus Crew host FC Cincinnati

Pick- Cincinnati +370

After last season's MLS Cup finish for the Columbus Crew, people started forgetting about the "Hell is Real" derby for the state of Ohio. If this helps you remember- both teams have combined for a 0-1-9 record over their combined last ten games.

Columbus is "home" at a game that will host many FC Cincinnati fans. They will also be without quite a few starters- Gyasi Zardes, most notable is still out with a hamstring. Joining him this week is Kevin Molino who will have season ending ACL surgery.

Key to the Match-

I already outlined Columbus's scoring struggles, but Cincy's trouble finding the back of the net is already well documented.

The 21 year-old Brazilian Brenner was just about being written off as a bust before scoring 2 in his last 3 matches. That is a long way from the 10 game slump he had from April through to his July 18th brace against Montreal.

If Cincinnati can find the net they have a good chance at a 1-0 or 2-0 victory- and at +370 this is the easiest bargain of the week.

Match- Atlanta United host Nashville SC

Pick- Atlanta +105

Nashville may not be as good as we think they are. Stay with me here.

Nashville SC is 4th in the east while only winning 7 games. That is an astounding stat- they have drawn their opponent 11 times in only 20 games. What's more- 10 of their 32 goals of the season came in just two of their wins. If we take away those games- Nashville has scored 22 and conceded 20.

Atlanta, on the other hand, is rolling- winning each of their last 4 matches against real opponents (Columbus, LAFC, Toronto, and DC United).

Key to the Match-

If Atlanta can score double-digit goals they will win the game.

We spoke last week about the Atlanta "BAMM" connection- Barco, Araujo, Martinez, Moreno. They will look to overpower a strong Nashville defense which has proven they can be defeated. I don't expect Atlanta to play for a draw- they are putting it all on the line under new coach Gonzalo Pineda and I expect a home win.

Match- Houston Dynamo host Minnesota United

Pick- Minnesota United +180

Houston is a bad soccer team- 3 wins 10 draws and 8 losses would have them firmly in the relegation zone with only 19 points through 21 games played.

Minnesota United will be missing some key players- Lod, Reynoso, Fragapane, AND Gregus out with injuries. Those losses probably make this game more even than I initially intended, but I love Minnesota even with their substitute players.

Key to the Match-

Minnesota need to get back to creative soccer and have their supporting cast step up. They were playing well when Trapp, Dotson, and Ethan Finlay were all helping the cause by getting on the scoresheet.

Houston is always a tough place to play, and in the heat this weekend substitutions will play a key role. Will Minnesota win with their depth? I believe so.

Match- Vancouver Whitecaps host Real Salt Lake

Pick- Vancouver +145

Whitecaps seemed to have turned their season around with two wins after stagnating through 5 straight draws in the months of July and August (who are they, Nashville?). They play their second home game of a four game home stand this week as Real Salt Lake comes to town.

RSL has problems of their own this week- coach Freddy Juarez abruptly leaving to join Seattle Sounders as an assistant coach. That won't help an already fragile team psyche of a team struggling with its own public sale.

Key to the Match-

"Moral Victory" aside, I think Vancouver has a chance to win because of the solid team ball they have been playing for the past few weeks. Even with Brian White as the striker they have been able to score with strong appearances from Cristian Dajome and Daiber Caicedo even in Lucas Cavallini's absence.

This is one of those matches where I can see RSL dominating shots and possession, but Vancouver scoring early and parking the bus. They have been fairly consistent on defense recently and I like them at home.


As always, i80 Sports suggests you check local laws before placing any sports wager. The odds you see here are from legal sports betting outlets in the state of NJ. It is your responsibility to know and to follow the law.

Although we try and give accurate predictions and up-to-date information as we know it, i80 Sports cannot be held responsible for inaccurate information posted on our website. Contact us at if you find information you believe to be incorrect or misleading.

These picks are made in conjunction with information provided and are not influenced by anyone outside the i80 Sports team. While we hope they are correct (and we help YOU have success), i80 Sports, its writers, or contributors cannot be held liable for any gambling losses.

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