Welcome back to another edition of i80 Sports Toll booth- the best place on the web for Major League Soccer Sportsbook Picks!
Match- Vancouver Whitecaps host LAFC
Pick- LAFC -105
This weekend Vancouver Whitecaps host LAFC in one of MLS’s earliest matches. While Vancouver is near the top of the home field advantage table, the fact is at 4-3-1 they have faced some soft opponents at home this season. This will be their biggest test, at home against LAFC.
Los Angeles, on the other hand, will be visiting favorites as their 4-1-2 away form and 11-3-3 overall record easily reflects. I think that anytime you can take a team that is 7 points up in the Supporter’s Shield race against a mid-table opponent, and get even money, it is the right choice.
Key to the Match-
Vancouver has weaknesses all over the field, including dangerous set pieces, strong wing play, and facing skillful players. Check, check, and check for LAFC.
Carlos Vela, fresh off an extension, will look to improve on his 6 goals this season as he seeks to, once again, become a top MLS threat. The left-footed right winger will look to attack the 3 man Vancouver backline, probably on Nerwinski’s side, and leave with 3 points.
Match- Minnesota United host Real Salt Lake
Pick- Real Salt Lake +195
Minnesota United broke a 4 game losing streak last week with a wild 3-2 win over the LA Galaxy after LA went down a man 25 minutes into the match. That broke a stretch of form so poor they are currently sitting 10th in the west with a -1 goal differential. Worse for them, they are still missing a handful of players with injury ahead of this weekend when they host the lively and energetic Real Salt Lake.
Salt Lake, on the other hand, are sitting 2nd in the West after going 4-1-1 in their last 6 matches. In that span they outscored their opponents 10-4 and improved to 1.71 points per game.
Key to the Match-
Real Salt Lake is where they are today because of stingy defensive play, allowing only 19 goals in 17 matches. They are winning games without any lead goal scored; no player on this squad has scored over 3 goals in 2022. This matches up well against Minnesota United, who has struggled to score from the center forward position.
Last week coach Adrian Heath finally followed our advice and started Luis Amarilla, and was rewarded with a goal against Inter Miami. He went off early in the next match and now wears a questionable designation for this weekend.
I can only imagine it takes Heath another four weeks to figure out another offensive adjustment. Take RSL and Pablo Mastroeni to win this chess match.
Match- Houston Dynamo host Charlotte FC
Pick- Houston Dynamo -105
Charlotte has been excellent at home and predictably poor at home. Their 6-0-2 home record contrasts their 0-2-7 road like night and day. This match, against the Dynamo, will be night.
Houston has been in poor form, but have also played 4 of their last 5 away from home. I feel this discount is already written into the odds you can find on your local sportsbook. Forget about their form; take the -105 gift from Vegas and pick Charlotte to lose, as I did.
Key to the Match-
Charlotte has 12 players currently listed as questionable or out for this matchup. Houston, while also missing some pieces (like defender Teenage Hadebe out with a suspension) are healthier and will hope to gain some momentum on this two-game homestand.
Houston is an aggressive team and Charlotte needs to avoid errors while taking on pressure to secure any kind of result in Houston. I don’t think this will be a successful game plan against Houston, who will get Sebastain Ferreira and Darwin Quintero into dangerous situations.
Orlando City host DC United
Pick- Orlando City -110
Orlando City is fresh off a mid-week high; they beat Nashville in penalties after being down 1-0 for most of the second half. Late heroics, a 94th minute goal by Schlegel, reminded the world how valuable the sub has been in huge moments over the past year to Orlando. Who can forget his amazing penalty save last season?
DC United are NOT coming off of a midweek high. They are officially in the lead for the Wooden Spoon with 14 points out of 15 matches. Their -9 goal differential is a reflection of both their lackluster offense (18 goals) and sub-par defense (27 conceded). They are even poorer on the road with a 1-1-4 record with 12 goals against.
Key to the Match-
Orlando has been excellent at the forward position this season with Ercan Kara being a breakout player. This week we got to see him work alongside Alexandre Pato and Facundo Torres in what could be a great attack when they are all healthy and performing at a high level.
None of this has anything to do with the United matchup, but I had to type something. This is an open-shut match.
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