Welcome back to another edition of i80 Sports Toll booth- the best place on the web for Major League Soccer Sportsbook Picks!
As always, here are last week's picks for accountability. Let's take a quick look before moving into week 7 around MLS.
Match- San Jose Earthquakes host Nashville SC
Pick- Nashville +135
When Nashville is plus money, we bet on Nashville.
It is hard that Vegas hasn’t caught up on the i80 Sports top rule for MLS sportsbook betting yet! Nashville is fresh off wins against the Crew and Sporting KC and is STILL getting positive betting odds.
San Jose, on the other hand, is last place in the league with only 2 points in their first six games and a 0-2-4 record. Defending has been their weakness; they allowed 15 goals in 2022, tied for dead last with Inter Miami.
Key to the Match-
All jokes aside, San Jose is in poor form. They have Chofis listed as questionable for another game and Cristian Espinoza, who needed to take a step up in his absence, has only landed 3 of his 15 shots this season on target.
The biggest advantage for Nashville is their work in the air AND the attacking prowess of Hany Mukhtar. I could see one each in the categories of Zimmerman set piece goal and Leal/Mukhtar dribbling goalazo.
Match- Toronto FC host Philadelphia Union
Pick- Philadelphia +140
Toronto, currently 8th in the East, faces off against first place Philadelphia this weekend. Toronto is on fire- they have scored two goals three games in a row and is 2-1-0 in that span. This is the first time, however, they have been tried against a top flight opponent. (Note- they did beat NYCFC earlier this month, but New York was short staffed with CCL midweek duties)
Philadelphia Union are going to need to win this game to prove they deserve to stay atop the East standings. They are currently unbeaten in MLS play and 2-0 on the road, a steady early-season improvement from their 3-9-5 road record last season. If they want to take on the likes of New England and find themselves atop the conference standings in October, this is a match they must put away.
Key to the Match-
When Toronto has been bitten this season it has been players like Lewis Morgan and Derrick Etienne- players on the wing who can get into the box. In this matchup I think Philadelphia needs to move players like Bedoya and Flach up the field to attack on the outside.
Match- Chicago Fire host LA Galaxy
Pick- Galaxy +210
The Chicago Fire host the LA Galaxy this weekend in a match that features a top defense, Chicago, against a top offense, LA. Who wins this matchup depends on the ability of Chicharito to get touches inside the box; the Mexican international has 5 of LA’s 9 goals and helps the team to a 3-1 record when he finds the back of the net.
Chicago has been dominant most of the season before their first loss last week to Orlando City. In that game they gave up 21 shots; in their previous 5 games they allowed only 9.8 per game. Is this a sign of their hot start coming to an end? I will take the +210 in order to obtain that information.
Key to the Match-
The LA Galaxy will be playing at close to full health, regardless of the team all flopping around like fish out of water during the last ten minutes of last week’s LAFC matchup.
For Chicago we have health question marks. Xerdan Shaqiri is still questionable with a calf injury and is listed as “day to day” while Rafael Czichos, a big reason for the backline’s early success, is trending “probable” after missing two weeks in COVID protocol. That makes me less than confident.
In the end, this game is a mismatch that Galaxy needs to win. At full strength, they are a better offense who is much better at converting scoring chances. LA Galaxy is 5th in the league with 10.5 expected goals and 92 shots, while Chicago trails far behind with 5.8 expected goals and 65 shots.
Match- NYCFC host Real Salt Lake
Pick- RSL and Draw +155
After getting knocked out of CCL in a mid-week game, NYCFC will host Real Salt Lake in Yankee Stadium this Sunday. This is an interesting game because of the quick turnaround time and injuries that NYCFC are facing. They will be without Maxi Morales and Maxime Chanot as they start their first “home-stand” of the year (they play at another baseball park, Citi Field, next weekend).
RSL started 3-0 and more recently lost to Sporting KC. They have draws against Colorado and Toronto, and will look to regain that earlier form with the return of striker Bobby Wood, who led the team to that 3-0 start. Wood has missed two games, including RSL’s only loss, and could be the missing piece in the RSL puzzle.
Key to the Match-
I love NYCFC whenever they play in New York- any stadium, any time. However, I think a team that emphasized fitness as much as Real does have an advantage on the tired NYCFC legs.
I had to hold myself from taking RSL at +420 outright, and I still think we are getting great odds at +155 for the double chance!
Let’s get after some good bets this week. Good luck and enjoy the weekend!
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