Thanks again for joining me for our third week of MLS sportsbook picks. I am excited to say there are values all over the board again this week. We have had some great picks over the first two weeks, so let's keep the streak going!
If you want this week's picks- skip ahead to the dotted line.
If you want to check my accountability from last week's picks- continue reading below.
**For consistency's sake, I used "units" instead of dollars. A unit is whatever your regular wager is. Wether it be $1 or $1,000- using "unit" is a more accurate way than "winnings" to calculate consistency and earnings over time.**
This week two of our three our "Value Picks" hit for a total of +1.35 units. The chart above includes picks I made outside of our i80 Sports article.
San Jose over Dallas (+120)-
I could not have been the only one to pick Cade Cowell as a difference maker in this matchup. He got a great goal on a quick cutback and shot after opening his 2021 account with an assist to Cristian Espinoza only ten minutes prior.
This game was chippy- seven yellows and a straight red card for Chris Wondolowski (who adds to his 2021 frustrations after missing that sitter in week 1). San Jose wins at home and we go up 1.3 units early.
Philly over Miami (+105)-
Philadelphia was the better team all game but lost 2-1 on late goals (both after minute 79) by the Higuain brothers. Both were header goals and Miami came away with a much needed road win.
While we wont take the victory here (down 1 unit on the loss) this was a close game decided by forces outside Philadelphia's control (new nickname for Pipita?) and even on the goals, their defense was swarming the ball and looking tactically sound.
Galaxy over RBNY (+115)-
Galaxy win and we go Into plus territory on the week.
Not much I can say after a Chicharito hat trick other than "I told you so," therefore I will let my predictions from last week speak the final words in our recap.
"Red Bull made it known in week 1 that unless you signal your attacking intent with glowing tarmac batons they are incapable of stopping it... Expect Chicharito to try and "walk It in" again against RBNY- I'd be sure he can sneak in the box undetected. "
Week 3 Value Picks
Game- Minnesota United hosts Austin FC
Pick- Austin FC and Draw (double chance) +110
Minnesota has shown NOTHING through the first two weeks of the MLS season. They have only scored 1 goal while allowing 6- their -5 differential is tied with Cincinnati for worst in the league. In week 3 they will face an Austin team that just went up to Colorado and left with a 3-1 victory and a Cecilio Dominguez brace.
Austin, on the other hand, played well enough to open some eyes in their week 1 loss to LAFC, then surprised lots of fans at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park this past weekend. They face their toughest trip yet (Minnesota is 15-9-2 since Allianz opened) but possibly also face their softest opponent. The plus-money on a win or draw for Austin FC is too good of a deal to say no to here.
Key to the game-
I always say to watch the best player on the field, and that is hands down Reynoso of Minnesota United. Reynoso finished last season with 2 goals and 9 assists in his final five games (including three playoff rounds) but has struggled to pick up anything except a yellow card in his first 180 minutes of 2021.
Austin FC had their DPs step up last week. Will this be the week Minnesota can say the same? Once again, I will gladly pay for that information.
Game- NE Revolution host Atlanta United
Pick- New England -125
Atlanta is getting a HEAVY dose of North-East powerhouses this week as they take on the Philadelphia Union on Tuesday in CONCACAF and the Revolution on Saturday. Although Atlanta is 1-1 so far this season, the heavily rotated squad won’t have enough to beat the Revs like they beat up on Chicago this past week (surprise).
Each team has a trio of stars which are always exciting to watch. Revolution have Buksa, Gil, and Bou in the attack while Atlanta has Marcelino Moreno, Barco, and Josef Martinez.
The big question here is how many playmakers each team will have on the field. I can see the Revs going full force. I would be concerned with heavy player rotation including the fitness of Josef Martinez for Atlanta in this game.
Key to the game-
The key to this game comes down to depth and supporting cast.
Bruce Arena, head coach of the Revolution, has given us different looks in each game so far this season. He has a mastery of using depth pieces all over the field to suit each unique matchup.
With a supporting cast of Kaptoum, Polster, Tommy McNamara, and Tajon Buchanon I expect the Revs to start out strong and make the necessary changes throughout the game to come away with a home victory.
Game- Nashville SC hosts Inter Miami
Pick- Nashville +115
All that talk I did in the offseason finally caught up to me as I take Nashville SC for the first time of the 2021 season.
These two 2020 expansion teams will forever be connected in MLS history and face off this weekend in what I expect to be a noisy affair- with nearly 20 thousand home fans. Historically Nashville has the lead with 2 wins, 1 draw, and no losses. They come in as the better team from the run of play with a deeper roster.
Key to the game-
Which team is going to have the better central defense? If it is Nashville, and I think it is, they should take this game.
Last week Miami beat Philadelphia on two goals, both headers, both late, one off of a cross and one off of a set piece. I think Nashville's duo of Zimmerman and Romney have a tough matchup with Gonzalo Higuain in the box but also have a better chance at shutting him down.
EDIT: After this article was posted it was brought to my attention that earlier this week Nancy Zacarias, mother to the Higuain brothers, passed away. They will be unavailable for this week's game. Our thoughts are with the Higuain family.
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