MLS Week 10 Betting Preview and Picks
Mark J. Rebilas – USA TODAY Sports
Last weekend wasn’t the best for value plays, but it’s a long season and those weeks will inevitably happen. Fortunately, value plays are still up +15.72 units on the year with a 21-18 record and 40% ROI.
This weekend there are eleven matches across MLS from Friday through Sunday, most notably the New York Derby (New York City FC at New York Red Bulls, Saturday 2 p.m. ET). There has already been considerable line movement on four games, which I’ve displayed in the table below:
After analyzing the entire betting market for all eleven matches this weekend, I’ve picked out three plays offering value.
(All lines as of Friday afternoon via Pinnacle sportsbook; All betting percentages as of Friday afternoon via offshore market average. Bettors can find all the latest odds and betting percentages with a Sports Insights membership)
New England Revolution at Montreal Impact (Saturday 1 p.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: Montreal +115, New England +250, Draw +268
The Revolution were impressive yet again last weekend in a 1-0 home victory over Sporting KC, but perhaps the biggest news surrounding the club is the trade of star midfielder Lee Nguyen who had been holding out all season. New England made a deal with LA FC for allocation money and the Revs can now finally move on from the Nguyen saga. Another positive is that midfielder Kelyn Rowe (knee) could return from injury for Saturday’s trip to Canada.
As for Montreal, things looked great for about 70 minutes in Atlanta last Saturday but a disastrous performance in the second half resulted in a 4-1 loss. The Impact led 1-0 for a large portion of the match but then completely fell apart and couldn’t even cover the goal-line.
These clubs already met once this season, a 4-0 Revs win in New England back on April 6th. However, that result is a bit misleading since Montreal received a questionable red card in the 13th minute and were never able to recover. I was unfortunately on the draw in that match and it never really had a chance.
While it’s true that home teams have a bigger edge in MLS than other leagues around the world, I was surprised to see the Impact as +115 favorites. The market clearly expects Montreal to turn things around at home, but I’m not sure the price is justified here.
Sportsbooks are offering the longest odds on the draw (+268) while the Revs are +250 to earn a road victory. Montreal are one of just four teams in the league yet to draw a game this weekend but I think that’s actually the most likely result for Saturday. At 268, I love the draw here.
New York City FC at New York Red Bulls (Saturday 2 p.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: NY Red Bulls +106, NYC FC +281, Draw +260
The New York Derby on Saturday afternoon is the best match of the weekend. NYC FC are top of the league with 20 points and coming off a 3-1 home victory over Dallas. The Red Bulls also scored three goals last match in a 3-2 win over the LA Galaxy, so both teams come into this game with momentum and goal-scoring ability.
We’ve seen the odds on this match fluctuate a lot since opening, but the lines have now settled in. The Red Bulls are currently +106 to win at home, and during the week they were being offered anywhere from -105 to +115. With so many eyes on this matchup, I’d expect bettors to keep moving the line until kickoff.
This is also one of six MLS matches on the weekend slate with an O/U of at least 3 goals. Oddsmakers are anticipating plenty of goal-scoring opportunities, but both clubs have actually been pretty stingy defensively–NYC FC have conceded 1.4 goals per game this season, while NY Red Bulls have allowed 1.1 goals per game. I don’t have any official bets on this match, but would lean toward the under 3 goals.
FC Dallas at LA FC (Saturday 4 p.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: LA FC +104, Dallas +268, Draw +279
In their inaugural home match at Banc of California Stadium last week, LA FC scored a late 90th minute free kick game-winner to defeat Seattle, 1-0. It was the third consecutive victory for LA FC since blowing that epic, 4-3, game to LA Galaxy just last month.
LA FC will have their work cut out for them this Saturday with FC Dallas coming to town. Dallas have been one of the best squads defensively, conceding just six goals the entire season, lowest in the league. They are, however, coming off their first loss of the season last week (3-1 at NYC FC).
Public bettors are riding the LA train with nearly 80% of moneyline tickets around the market. The public usually likes to bet on teams that have been winning, and it makes sense to see action flow in on the home side to win their fifth match on the bounce.
Obviously LA FC have been solid over the last few weeks, but they seem to be over-performing and are a bit overvalued for Saturday. FC Dallas are a quality side and it’s rare to be able to go contrarian on a club with just one loss all season. If you shop around the market you can find Dallas +0.5 goals (-105) and that’s what I’m betting.
Real Salt Lake at Orlando City SC (Sunday 5 p.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: Orlando City -138, Real Salt Lake +387, Draw +285
Orlando City have been my betting nemesis this season and have reeled off five straight wins. They found themselves down, 1-0, last weekend before coming back to win at Colorado, 2-1, another very impressive result against a Western Conference foe. At this point I should start to tail Orlando City or lay off completely, right?
Maybe, but maybe not. Public bettors have been all over Orlando City as they ride a big winning streak, very similar to LA FC. At the time of publication, Orlando City had received more than 70% of bets, but the line came down from -140 to -128. I haven’t seen anyone pick against Orlando City so clearly there’s been a bit of sharp money on the road side.
I can’t help but go contrarian in this spot and take Real Salt Lake +0.5 (+116). If I lose again by fading Orlando City, it may be time to back off next weekend.
Value Plays (Season: 21-18, +15.72 units), All plays risk 1 unit
Montreal/New England Draw (+268)
FC Dallas +0.5 (-105) at LA FC
Real Salt Lake +0.5 (+116) at Orlando City
Lastly, here are updated MLS Cup Odds at 5Dimes:
Atlanta (+375) and New York City FC (+450) remain the clear favorites to win the 2018 MLS Cup. Is it time to worry about Toronto FC? They’ve slipped to +1050 and are in dead last in the Eastern Conference. It’s a long season, but they need to turn things around quickly.
You can also follow me on Twitter (@ArsenalDMC) for all the latest soccer news and updates.
Cover photo features New York Red Bulls midfielder Florian Valot