Updated: Feb 25
Thank you for visiting i80 Sports and taking a peek at my week 1 sportsbook picks. This has been a weekly article for what will be my third MLS season.
While I have had great success in using sportsbook for MLS purposes, I will be tracking my year-long picks for accountability in future posts. Make sure to check back to see how we did, and enjoy your season!
Let's get to it!
Match- DC United host Toronto FC
Pick- Toronto FC +185
DC United start their 2023 campaign at home against a Toronto FC side that has best-11 quality players all over the pitch. While Toronto did their own fair share of underachieving last season, DC had only .94 points per game at home, which was dead last in Major League Soccer.
Toronto, on the other hand, is my bounceback candidate of the year. They have too much quality on offense to find themselves outside the playoff picture in 2023. Toronto also has a top midfield with Bradley, MAK, and Osorio, and I expect great things in year two under Bob Bradley.
This game has a big star around it because at +185 you HAVE to take Toronto.
Key to the Match-
DC United has some new fullbacks with Jeahze (who I will call “Mo” moving forward) and Ruan. This does not settle my confidence that their first assignment of the year- covering the italian duo of Insigne and Bernardeschi- will bring DC glory.
Match- FC Dallas host Minnesota United
Pick- FC Dallas -127
Dallas is a force at home and will open their season against the struggling Minnesota United. Not only is Dallas looking to build on a solid defensive performance, which saw them allow only 37 goals in 34 games, they will also be looking to improve on offense with additions like Jesus Jimenez from Toronto and Sebastain Lletget from New England.
Minnesota is in horrible shape early, with an injury report that looks like a week 16 NFL rap sheet. Most notably, they will be without striker Luis Amarilla and will start the season without Reynoso.
Key to the Match-
Dallas is a good team mixing youth with experience in a way other teams in MLS dream of. Although they may lack top tier star power, they have Jesus Ferreira to put balls in the net and an improved backline (if that’s even possible) that is going to look to shut Minnesota out.
Match- Portland Timbers host Sporting KC
Pick- Portland Timbers -101
This game is going to see a Monday night (prime-time?) time slot after being delayed due to inclement weather. Unfortunately for Sporting KC, that means more people are going to bear witness to WHATEVER Kansas City think they're doing this season.
Both teams here will be missing players, but Portland has a stronger depth chart and better ability to withstand missing pieces. Sporting KC will be missing Alan Pulido, Kortne Ford, Gadi Kinda, and Johnny Russell. That is a heap of players they wanted to rely on last season.
Portland’s roster, on the other hand, looks complete with the addition of Evander in midfield (a record signing), Niezgoda returning at center forward, and their top winger tandem. This game has the ability to get ugly- and I like buying in early at -101, which is almost even money.
Key to the Match-
Last time SKC visited Portland, the match ended with a 7-2 Portland win. Portland had only 41.4% possession and 8 shots on target in that match, and still won handily.
Portland desperately wants to get off to the season on the right foot, and this weekend will be a step in the right direction.
Match- Vancouver Whitecaps host Real Salt Lake
Pick- Vancouver Whitecaps +130
On opening day we will see the Vancouver Whitecaps host Real Salt Lake. Both teams are top 5 in home field advantage- with Vancouver earning 1.94 point per game at home last season. To add to Vancouver’s perceived advantage, they actually won 10 of their last 13 home field matches with RSL (according to mlssoccer.com).
What I like just as much as the pick is the money- getting +130 for a team that has a REALLY good chance at winning makes me even more confident in my pick.
Key to the Match-
Let’s look at a pivotal position for both teams- the #10. Vancouver has Ryan Gauld, a blooming MLS star with 8 goals and 5 assists in 25 starts last season. In his third season he will be expected to pay off his DP price tag with better chemistry and more production.
RSL will have Damir Kreilach returning from a back injury that sidelined him for 29 games in 2022. While he has proven a skilled attacker, I trust Vancouver to produce better opportunities for their attackers.
This season I will also be sprinkling some prop bets- this time in the form of anytime goal scorers. These will not be calculated with my game picks, as they are much riskier, but also pay much better.
Be careful with goalscorer picks- you need a stomach to take a beating before you get a big payout. These bets will be approximately 20% the amount of the other picks, and approximately 10% of my total wagers.
Dejan Joveljic +200
C’mon, with Chicharito missing a home game at the Rose Bowl this weekend, Joveljic gets his turn to play serious minutes up top. He is already the most scoring sub in MLS, now he should get at least one in against LAFC. (game postponed)
Raul Ruidiaz +105
This bet is too good to pass up against a Colorado defense that I may be targeting all season.
Jeremy Ebobissee +300
The big man up top to Quakes has a good chance to find the net this week. These are great odds for a target man.
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 email@example.com 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.