Updated: Jul 17
Welcome back to another edition of i80 Sports Toll booth- the best place on the web for Major League Soccer Sportsbook Picks!
This week we finally got a hold of some great underdog picks, and thanks to Austin at +260 and Columbus at +240, we are 3.32 units up on the 2022 season. This has been one of the most unpredictable seasons I can remember, and we are here to rack up some picks heading into the homestretch.
For accountability, here are last week's results.
Now let's get into some new bets!
Match- Inter Miami host Charlotte FC
Pick- Charlotte FC +210
Charlotte FINALLY got their first away win in franchise history with a 2-1 win over Houston Dynamo on July 4th; this week I have them securing their second away win with a trip down the east coast to Miami.
Inter Miami has lost two straight and will be missing their newest offensive addition, as former league MVP Alejandro Pozuelo awaits the American visa process. They lost their previous matchup against Charlotte FC and will also be the more tired team after a midweek loss, at home, to Philadelphia.
Key to the Match-
If Charlotte is going to win its second road game of the season, they need to rely on their DP striker Karol Swiderski. Swiderski scored his first goal in 5 matches last weekend against Nashville, and had only one goal in 13 games prior. After starting with consecutive braces in his 2nd and 3rd MLS games, he was looking like a real difference maker until his recent slump.
Charlotte, sorry to say, can’t rely on Shinyashiki and Ben Bender all season long- they need performance from the top. If Karol Swiderski can reclaim form Charlotte has to be seen as a playoff contender. If he can’t, then they will remain a team who plays pretty good at home.
Match- Chicago Fire host Seattle Sounders
Pick- Seattle Sounders +210
The Chicago Fire, somehow, find themselves as the home favorite this weekend as Seattle comes to town in a rare matchup between interdivisional opponents. Sitting at 5-5-10, Chicago deserves some credit at home with a 4-3-3 record. Their home “success” is reliant on the 8 goals in 10 games allowed; in contrast they allowed 19 goals in 10 games on the road. This recipe of keeping opponents from scoring at home won’t stand up against Seattle’s offense, one which is hell-bent on getting back on track after two consecutive losses.
Seattle, however, will be without star striker Raul Ruidiaz after he re-aggravated an early season hamstring injury. They will rely on the attacking prowess of Jordan Morris and skill of Nico Lodeiro to breathe life back into an attack that has fell flat recently, albeit against worthy opponents.
Key to the Match-
Seattle Sounders need to kick the funk.
After winning CONCACAF Champions League, Seattle needs to be refocused and work towards moving up the MLS Western Conference table to avoid missing a playoff berth. They are currently sitting one point out of playoff position, and we have to assume coach Brian Schmetzer is going to go all out. This game would be a great chance to pick up points while other Western Conference teams face tough opponents. I say they are going all out this weekend.
Match- Columbus Crew host FC Cincinnati
Pick- Columbus Crew -135
Hell is Real this weekend as the Ohio Derby comes to Columbus, just in time for the Cucho Hernandez show to return to Lower.com Field. The former Watford attacker has 3 goals in his first 2 games with Columbus and will get his first taste of rivalry action against a team that has allowed 35 goals in 20 matches- one of the highest totals in Major League Soccer.
Cincinnati, on the other hand, is revitalized by the sudden output of DP signing Brenner, who, after a season and a half of malaise, has found 5 goals and 2 assists in his last 5 matches. The big question for me is if this shows a sudden connection with teammates and the MLS system, or is it a fluke over a small sample size.
Key to the Match-
The Columbus Crew have the best goal differential, in the league, of any team currently outside the playoff position. They have currently allowed 13 goals less than Cincy, and are unbeaten in their last 7 matches (it is worth noting that Cincy is also undefeated in 6, but have only 1 win in that span).
Columbus needs to continue building the rapport between their talented #10 Luca Zalarayan and their new superstar Cucho Hernandez. As Zelarayan gets stronger after his injury, which had him miss much of June, he has totaled 3 assists in his last two matches. If both attackers can build chemistry, Columbus could be very scary through the rest of the 2022 season.
Match- San Jose Earthquakes host Houston Dynamo
Pick- San Jose -105
At surface level this weems like a pretty boring matchup- the 5-7-7 Quakes hosting the 6-4-10 Dynamo. Both teams have 22 points this season, with San Jose conceding and scoring quite a bit more. San Jose, however, has given themselves quite a homefield advantage of late- winning 5 of their last 6 home matches and going undefeated in their last 9.
Houston adds to San Jose’s homefield advantage by being a terrible road team; they are 1-7 in their last 8 road games and have a miserable 2-0-7 record this season, without a single draw. They have given up at least 2 goals in 4 consecutive matches, and are 0-1-3 in that span.
Key to the Match-
Jeremy Ebobisse, according to MLSsoccer.com, is one of the only players to score 10 goals with his left foot, right foot, and head since 2019. I knew at the time his trade from Portland was a discount, and with his current form, 11 goals in 19 matches, has put himself in the Golden Boot running this season.
Houston does not have anyone to shut Ebobisse down. Their center-back pairing of Hadebe and Parker doesn’t promise much against top talents, and all signs point towards the Quakes in this matchup.
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