Updated: Mar 2
Welcome to the i80 Sports Toll-Booth!
Last season, while writing sportsbook articles, I tracked my MLS bets and published weekly picks for readers to follow along. It was a great year- up over 43 units during a full season of 27 articles (skipping mid-week games).
It almost brings me pain to start over, but with a new season comes new picks and a new bet tracking spreadsheet. Here they are- the long awaited 2022 MLS Sportsbook Picks!
Match- LAFC host Colorado Rapids
Pick- LAFC to Win at -165
This Saturday Los Angeles FC will host Colorado at Banc of California Stadium. There are many storylines to follow in this matchup- LAFC looking to get out to a hot start after their lackluster 2021 performance, LAFC coach Steve Cherundolo making his MLS debut, Colorado looking to defend their Western Conference winning season, and possible revenge games from Mark-Anthony Kaye and Kellyn Acosta who were traded amongst these two teams last season.
LAFC has won each opening day match in its four year history, and this season they will be relying on both a return to form from Carlos Vela and a return to form of their historically successful (albeit young) franchise.
Key to the Match-
Adding to LAFC’s home advantage is the freshness of their legs compared to Colorado. The Rapids have played already this year; they faced off against Comunicaciones just a few days ago during a home CCL game.
This is going to be a great game all around to watch, but I will take a revitalized LAFC side that has more attacking options (I haven't even mentioned Cristian Araujo or Brian Rodriguez yet).
Match- Seattle Sounders host Nashville SC
Pick- Nashville SC and Draw (Double Chance) -135
These two teams have quite some starpower in what should be one of the opening weekend’s most highly anticipated games. They face off Sunday- just three days after the Sounders STARTED most of their best 11 (minus one Joao Paulo) in a midweek CCL match.
Nashville should be firing on all cylinders after returning most of their 2021 squad and sitting on fresher legs, however I will be interested to see how their dominant defense handles playing in the goal heavy Western Conference.
My bet is that players like Randall Leal and Hany Mukhtar can provide just enough for Nashville to get up early and do what they do best- get points on the road.
Key to the Match-
This weekend’s matchup between Seattle and Nashville will be the first in MLS history. While we don’t have any historical data between these two 2021 powerhouse teams, we do have some important information for how the sportsbook bet should play out.
Nashville won 12 matches and drew 18 times, totaling 88% of their total match results in 2021. Seeing -135 on a double chance is enough to get my blood pumping and toss a wager on Nashville who, by the way, I consider a favorite to win outright.
Match- Columbus Crew host Vancouver Whitecaps
Pick- Vancouver +490
The Columbus Crew have had a rollercoaster past few seasons in MLS. From avoiding a move to Austin to winning MLS Cup- they have had moments of brilliance and dominance in the last few years.
Considering the storylines you read and from the press (and betting lines you read from Vegas) you would assume the Crew have been dominant- but that has not been the case. Last year the Crew were just 13-8-13 (17th in MLS) in a season in which they were expected to shine. So which Crew will we see in 2022? My guess is the team who did not get much better in the offseason.
Key to the Match-
Vancouver Whitecaps played significantly better during the second half of 2021 than the first half of the season. They finally put together some win streaks with the help of the hot foot of Brian White (no, I can’t believe I am actually typing this).
Vancouver will demand more respect in 2021 with attackers like Caicedo, Gauld, Dajome, and White predictably finding the scoresheet on a regular basis, and with odds like +490 this is a heavy underdog bet that I think has a real shot at making us some good week 1 money!
Match- Austin FC host Cincinnati FC
Pick- Austin FC -170
FC Cincinnati has pulled an amazing feat this offseason. Despite being 14-18-59 in MLS appearances and making no significant offseason moves, they are somehow no longer being considered Wooden Spoon favorites. While I personally love storylines revolving around coaches insulting their own team- sorry Charlotte- I can’t place ANY team above the horrendous Cincinnati FC.
Betting lines have changed in both directions on this game since opening- but I see Austin FC as a lock. While they struggled in their inaugural season they have also looked frisky towards the end of the season. Cincy, on the other hand, lost their last twelve to end the season.
Key to the Match-
While I am confident in the ineptitude of Cincinnati on both sides of the ball, it is Austin who will have to prove that their new offense is going to gel in the early season. Adding forwards Moussa Djitte (near the end of 2021) and Maximiliano Urruti (this offseason) to the already talented Cecilio Dominguez makes for what looks like an improved attack on paper.
Now go prove it.
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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.