July 4th MLS Best Bets | El Trafico Pick, FC Dallas vs D.C. United & More

July 4th MLS Best Bets | El Trafico Pick, FC Dallas vs D.C. United & More article feature image

Melinda Meijer/Getty. Pictured: Giorgio Chiellini.

July 4th is always a special day on the MLS calendar, and this year we've got five games on Independence Day and another the day after.

In Texas, FC Dallas and D.C. United will both try to problem-solve without their star forwards.

In the Rose Bowl, LAFC and the LA Galaxy meet before an expected near-sellout in a match rescheduled from opening weekend.

And then in the Big Apple on Wednesday, New York City FC try to continue a modest recent upturn when Charlotte FC come to visit.

Let's take a look at our MLS best bets.

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July 4th MLS Best Bets

FC Dallas vs D.C. United

Dallas Odds+130
D.C. Odds+200
Over/Under2.5 (+100 / -125)
Day | TimeTuesday |  8:30 p.m. ET
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Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

With both Dallas’ Jesus Ferreira (national team) and D.C.’s Christian Benteke (card suspension) set to miss this one, oddsmakers like the under here.

But where that might really open an opportunity is in the first-half market, where a wager on under 0.5 goals can be found at +195 odds and an implied 33.9% probability.

D.C. have played only one league match without Benteke this season. Dallas have a little more experience without Ferreira, but not a lot.

And even with them in the lineup, these are two teams who have spent their first halves trying to make sure they stay in games rather than put other teams out of them.

Between Dallas’ home matches and D.C. away games, halftime has arrived without a goal on 10-of-21 occasions. It might be even more likely to do so when teams are trying to play with an unfamiliar face in the No. 9 role.

There’s also some value on the second-half over available at plus money, which has cashed on 13-of-21 occasions within the same splits.

Quillen's Pick: First-half total under 0.5 (+195 via BetRivers)

LA Galaxy vs LAFC

LA Galaxy Odds+260
LAFC Odds+105
Over/Under2.5 (-163 / +125)
Day | TimeTuesday | 10:30 p.m. ET
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Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

It’s hard to know what to make of either LAFC or the LA Galaxy right now. 

Steve Cherundolo’s LAFC have had some bad recent losses, including last Saturday night 2-0 at a very short-handed FC Dallas.

The Galaxy seem to have improved in the short term since losing Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez for the season, but that’s only marginally so, with a win and four draws in their last five.

It’s a good thing, then, that derbies are a good occasion for throwing the form book out and weighing the history between opponents more heavily.

In this case, it shows that you more often than not should expect goals between these sides.

For me, the safest play is on a same-game parlay on both teams scoring and the total to go over 2.5 goals. 

The -110 odds and 52.4% implied probability might seem expensive until you look at the recent past. It’s a wager that has cashed in 10 of these teams’ 15 regular season meetings, including five of the last seven.

Quillen's Pick: Same-Game Parlay, Both teams to score and over 2.5 (-110 via BetMGM)

New York City FC vs Charlotte FC

NYCFC Odds-120
Charlotte Odds+333
Over/Under2.5 (-125 / +100)
Day | TimeWednesday | 7:30 p.m. ET
How To WatchMLS Season Pass
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

The analytics suggest the standard odds on total goals are about right.

But according to both teams’ form, and some recent MLS history, there’s value in selling a goal and playing this game to go over 3.5 goals at +220 odds and an implied 31.3% probability.

Charlotte are the ultimate feast or famine team so far this season, and their 60% cash rate on the total over 3.5 goals is the highest in MLS.

Even with NYCFC’s well-known struggles to manufacture goals, they are less severe on the road. The intimate confines of Yankee Stadium and Citi Field — which share duties as NYCFC’s home venues — have produced games with four or more goals on 4-of-9 occasions.

Lastly, there’s some evidence that midweek MLS games in the summer might be more prone to extreme scorelines. Exactly one-third of midweek games between Memorial Day and Labor Day came in over 3.5 goals in 2021 and 2022. So far in 2023, it’s 13-of-26.

I might be concerned about regressing in that latter trend, but with the other factors that also point to a high-scoring game, I think the aggressive wager is worth the risk here. Especially with two of the teams who are least impacted by call-ups to the CONCACAF Gold Cup in their front sixes this month.

Quillen's Pick: Over 3.5 (+220 via FanDuel)

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