MLS Week 11 Betting Preview and Value Plays
Jaime Valdez – USA TODAY Sports
It’s another big weekend in Major League Soccer with top matchups and rivalries, headlined by a trio of games on Sunday night:
- Seattle at Portland (4 p.m. ET)
- Atlanta at Orlando City (6 p.m. ET)
- New York City FC at LA FC (8:30 p.m.ET)
Some of these clubs were in action Wednesday evening, and two big road underdogs were victorious (Sporting KC +435 at Atlanta and Seattle +474 at Toronto).
After analyzing all 11 matches this weekend, I’ve picked out three plays offering value (Season Record: 23-21-1, +14.47 units, 32% ROI).
(All lines as of Friday afternoon via Pinnacle sportsbook. All betting percentages are the offshore market average. Bettors can find all the latest odds and betting percentages with a Sports Insights membership)
Houston Dynamo at Vancouver Whitecaps (Friday, 10:30 p.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: Vancouver +125, Houston +213, Draw +270, Total 2.5 (o-130)
Vancouver will be happy to return home since they’ve now lost three consecutive road matches, including a 1-0 decision to lowly Minnesota last weekend. Meanwhile, the Houston Dynamo have won two of three overall after beating the LA Galaxy, 3-2, in their last outing.
The Whitecaps won the head-to-head matchup earlier this season, 2-1, at Houston, and also won the last meeting in Vancouver by the same 2-1 score (August 2017).
Vancouver should be boosted by the return of striker Kei Kamara from injury, as he’ll undoubtedly help create more scoring chances. The Whitecaps have been shut out four times this season and boast a -8 goal differential, but they’ve still managed to earn 13 points through 10 matches.
Since odds opened, the line has fluctuated all over the place. Vancouver started at +130 but has bounced around from as low as +122 to as high as +139. Public bettors are having no problem backing the home side with nearly 80% of tickets, but this is a very even matchup and not nearly as lopsided as the bets suggest.
This is a match that both teams think they can win, but the true value lies in going contrarian and taking the draw at +270.
Philadelphia Union at Montreal Impact (Saturday, 3 p.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: Montreal -102, Philadelphia +267, Draw +280, Total 3 (u-119)
Philadelphia and Montreal have combined for a lot of losses this season (12 in 19 games), but at least one of them will avoid that result on Saturday afternoon. The Union have been shut out six times already and just can’t seem to find the back of the net, while the Impact haven’t been able to stop other teams from scoring. This matchup will be a fun battle of weakness vs. weakness.
The Impact have had the upper hand in the last five meetings against Philadelphia (3 W, 2 D, 0 L), and they’ve got just over a 50% chance of beating them again. These teams drew, 3-3, in their matchup earlier this season in Philadelphia.
Despite the fact that the Union have been shut out in consecutive matches, oddsmakers list the total at 3 goals and are unlikely to lower it. Philadelphia knows it can score against this Montreal squad, and I like the Union’s chances to break out of their scoring funk on Saturday. Over 3 goals (+102) is where the best value is.
Seattle Sounders at Portland Timbers (Sunday, 4 p.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: Portland -105, Seattle +280, Draw +255, Total 3 (u-125)
Wednesday night was a huge confidence booster for Seattle, as it pulled off a 2-1 win in Toronto. The Sounders did concede a ton of great scoring opportunities and were a bit lucky to get the victory, but they’ll take any points on the road that they can get. They’ve been shut out five times on the season, but as I mentioned in the last betting preview, they were due to turn things around based on xG (expected goals).
Seattle has conceded only 10 goals in eight games this year, but it’s facing a Portland squad that’s on a roll. The Timbers have won three straight games (scores of 3-2, 3-0 and 1-0) and have completely turned things around from the first five matches this season.
Oddsmakers have set Portland as the favorites to win, ranging from -102 to -110 around the market. The last two meetings between these clubs have ended in draws, and a third straight pays out +255 for Sunday.
I actually feel this is a rare case where home field is being undervalued. The Timbers have played at home only twice this year, but both were victories. (3-0 and 3-2). Plus, Portland lost just two games there last season. The fans should be rocking for the 100th all-time meeting of the clubs (dating back to the NASL days), and I see Portland (-102) extending its win streak to four games.
Atlanta United at Orlando City (Sunday, 6 p.m. ET)
Moneyline odds: Orlando City +160, Atlanta +160, Draw +250, Total 3.5 (u-140)
Although Atlanta suffered a 2-0 defeat at home Wednesday night, the United have been one of the top clubs this season, and they’re scoring at will. It’s a similar story for Orlando City, which comes into this match winners of six straight as they continue to prove the doubters wrong (including me).
Both clubs have identical +160 odds to win the game outright, and the draw has the longest odds at +250. With such a high total of 3.5, it’s likely we’ll see this game finish with a winner. I still can’t trust Orlando City defensively, but I’m also not interested in losing money by betting against them again. I definitely lean toward an Atlanta (+160) victory, but not enough to warrant a wager.
Value Plays (Season: 23-21-1, +14.47 units, 32% ROI), All plays risk 1 unit
Vancouver/Houston Draw (+270)
Montreal/Philadelphia Over 3 goals (+102)
Portland (-102) vs. Seattle
Sportsbooks haven’t reposted MLS Cup odds following Wednesday’s results, but here were the latest offered (via 5Dimes):
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Cover photo features Seattle Sounders forward Clint Dempsey