Welcome back to another edition of i80 Sports Toll booth- the best place on the web for Major League Soccer Sportsbook Picks!
After a few weeks off of Major League Soccer, we will skip the "last week's recap" section for a quick summation of our season thus far.
While it hasn't been the "show up with your ski mask on" drubbing we laid out last season, I am up 6.45 units while going 26-27 on 53 wagers this season. This week we look to expand those win totals with four more of my top picks. Let's get into it!
Match- Seattle Sounders host LAFC
Pick- LAFC +190
This weekend, MLS’s earliest game will showcase the Seattle Sounders and LAFC. While the Seattle Sounders are slowly moving up the table (winning their last two matches and 4 of their last 5), their advantageous timing to face a top MLS team also means they are coming off a mid-week game, AND will be missing at least 5 starters with injury or international call-ups.
LAFC will look to take advantage of the situation and continue their Supporters’ Shield contending campaign- one which has them leading the league with 29 points and a 9-2-3 record. These two teams are historically even, and LAFC has a better chance than +190 odds would have you think. This is a case where the odds, not necessarily the situation, have me seeing green.
Key to the Match-
Seattle has significant problems at the center of midfield for this game. Roldan, Rusnak, and Joao Paulo are all out- two with national call-ups and the latter with a torn ACL- which leaves significant holes in central midfield. Coach Schmetzer addressed this earlier this week with a 4-4-2 formation.
While that might work against Vancouver, LAFC will take advantage of the lack of a number 6 on the field, and control that space with Kelly Acosta, Ilie Sanchez, and Jose Cifuentes. This is going to create mismatches at midfield and give LAFC enough of an advantage to take home the +190 bag.
Match- LA Galaxy host Portland Timbers
Pick- LA Galaxy -155
If there is one team playing below where I thought they would be this season, it has to be the Portland Timbers. Their 3-6-6 record includes a three game losing streak, as they head down the West Coast this Saturday to face a skilled-but-searching LA Galaxy squad.
The LA Galaxy has been having some trouble of their own- scoring only 17 times in 14 matches this season, and perhaps their 7-2-5 record is also an indication of OPPORTUNE chances, not sheer volume as I would like to see.
Key to the Match-
LA Galaxy have a pedestrian 1.71 average home points this season, which barely qualifies as an advantage. They have, however, won their last two home games by 3-1 and 4-1 scores, against tough LAFC and Austin opponents, which to me implies a change of form. In fact, those last two games account for 41% of Galaxy’s scoring in all of 2022.
Portland would need to play a perfect game to win on the road against LA this week, and with 9 players listed as questionable, I just don’t know where the goals to win this game would come from. I guess I will join Coach Savarese on that front.
Match- Atlanta United host Inter Miami
Pick- Miami + Draw +165
I really hate betting on Inter Miami this season, but with 7 players out, a star player (Thiago Almada) suspended, and another 3 questionable, I have to ask a question. What Atlanta has shown us this season to be such heavy favorites? They are currently 4-5-5 with 20 goals scored and 20 goals conceded. That is the definition of mediocrity.
Miami is two points ahead in the standings, is on a two game winning streak, and has a hot new striker in Campana (who has shown out over incumbent Gonzalo Higuain so far this season). For their efforts, Miami is rewarded by Vegas with +550 odds.
Key to the Match-
Miami needs to score; they have just 4 goals total in their 7 losses this season. So far in 2022, they have only once, in their 2-2 draw with DC United, scored twice and not gotten a win.
This is a good chance for Miami to put some distance between themselves and what some would consider a geographic rival. For this pick, I love getting +165 for the win or draw- a double chance that acts as insurance in case this game doesn’t get a winner.
Match- New England Revolution host Minnesota United
Pick- Minnesota + Draw +135
This is another game I am chalking up to Vegas not knowing Major League Soccer.
New England is supposed to be a powerhouse in the East, however, they got off to a slow start and currently sit at 5-4-5 and just outside the playoff picture. They have put together a nice little streak, recently, although it has been against somewhat lesser opponents. This game, against a similar 5-3-6 team, should ABSOLUTELY NOT see Minnesota opening at +400.
Here, again, I like the double chance Minnesota + Draw at +135 odds. Minnesota, for all their struggles, will have a full complement on offense: Lod, Reynoso, and Fragapane will all be available. The same can not be said for New England, however, as they have a mid-week match to contend with AND have seen the last of Adam Buksa, their striker, who was sold to Lens in League 1 earlier last week.
Key to the Match-
While New England has scored more goals than Minnesota (9 to be exact), they have also conceded more goals than Minnesota (also 9). If you think Farrell and Gonzalez can contain the top of the Minnesota attack, on short rest, they can possibly get a win. If Minnesota can get up and score on an early through ball, it could be a long day for the Revolution.
At +135 for a double chance, is this even gambling? This is a no-brainer for me.
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