Welcome back to another edition of i80 Sports Toll booth- the best place on the web for Major League Soccer Sportsbook Picks!
Last week I went 4-0 (and 7-1 as a team with my podcast cohost Alex) and won 4.58 units to bring us to a two week total of 5.54 units in the green! Below are my picks (for accountability) and the results of each game.
This week also has some GIFTS from Vegas- and here are your best picks of the week- wrapping paper and big red bow included.
Match- Inter Miami host LAFC
Pick- LAFC -110
A star-studded LAFC heads to Florida this week to take on 0-1-1 Inter Miami who has only scored once and conceded 5 times in their two games this season. Miami looks terrible while LAFC will look to regain their form from their opener where they beat Colorado 3-0.
This matchup can be tricky as we haven’t seen LAFC travel yet this season, but at -110 this sportsbook pick comes to you, from Vegas, in wrapping paper with a big red bow.
Key to the Match-
Keiran Gibbs is the latest in a slew of Miami injuries which, if he misses time, could leave their backline decimated. Who wants to see Carlos Vela and Brian Rodriguez square up against Brek Shea? I sure do, and I’m sure the LAFC faithful are with me.
Match- Seattle Sounders host LA Galaxy
Pick- LA Galaxy or Draw -110
Seattle Sounders are off to a 0-2 start after losing consecutive games to Nashville and RSL where they failed to score a single goal. Complicating their mini-slump is another week of short rest (they have a midweek CCL game) AND the possibility of another game without star forward Raul Ruidiaz who will be out or limited with a hamstring injury.
LA Galaxy are in fine form but have had a mixed bag of opponents thus far- facing the MLS Cup defending NYCFC and new kids on the block Charlotte FC. Chicharito scored in Galaxy’s first game and nobody can forget the golazo scored by Efrain Alvarez which introduced Charlotte fans to the heartbreak that IS Major League Soccer.
Key to the Match-
Both LA Galaxy wins and both Sounders losses have been by a scoreline of 1-0. It will take an individual moment of brilliance to win this matchup, and I think the Galaxy have the players to pull off an upset (or tie) against Seattle.
It is also worth noting that the shot-crazy Galaxy, at 18.5 shots per 90, is almost double that of the Sounders (9 shots per 90). More chances means more goals and the law of averages will certainly fall in LA’s favor.
Match- FC Dallas host Nashville SC
Pick- Nashville +185
If Nashville is plus money we bet on Nashville.
It is really that simple for a team that has proven to be a tough opponent through their first few seasons in MLS. This is much less a team vs team bet as much as it is a Nashville vs the tie bet. I think Nashville is going to get to scoring early and often in a match this weekend that could see both teams surpassing their year-to-date scoring totals.
I have a lot of home for Dallas and like the team they have put together for 2022. I just think they need more time to gel and will fall this weekend to the well-oiled Nashville machine.
Key to the Match-
While both teams have good forward and wing options, I am most interested in what happens in midfield. Nashville has started Godoy-McCarty-Davis in both games and Dallas has gone with Pomykal-Cerrillo-Servania twice.
While Dallas certainly has talent in midfield, including Paxton Pomykal who was once a favorite on the USMNT radar, I give advantage to Nashville. Godoy is a force in midfield and reuniting Dax McCarty with Sean Davis (from the RBNY days) has been working well so far.
Match- Portland Timbers host Austin FC
Pick- Portland -145
Austin FC has been the hottest team in MLS out the gate- scoring 10 goals and allowing 1 while starting off with 6 points in their first two games. While I do believe Austin has much improved since last season (their offense has already scored 28.5% of their 2021 goals in just two games) I also believe they will have ups and downs once they face real opponents. Their two wins have been against Charlotte and Inter Miami- two wooden spoon contenders.
For the record, Portland qualifies as a “real opponent.”
Besides the two bicycle kick goals from Yimmi Chara (please, no one tell him he is allowed to face the net to shoot) this team has yet to win a game- starting 2022 with two draws. Those draws, however, are against New England and LAFC- two teams who look like they’re playing a different sport than Austin FC altogether.
Key to the Match-
Austin FC had the biggest home advantage, 33%, during the 2021 season. This does not point to them being anything special at home, it actually points to how abysmal they were on the road- averaging only .47 points on away matches.
Besides the obvious, Austin FC has a weakness defending wingers, especially when it comes to chance creators. That is exactly the mismatch Portland will exploit with Dairon Asprilla and Santiago Moreno who have been fantastic thus far in 2022. This should be a confident home pick.
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