MLS Betting: Picks, Analysis for Saturday’s Matches

MLS Betting: Picks, Analysis for Saturday’s Matches article feature image

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Portland Timbers defender Alvas Powell (2) plays for the ball against Los Angeles FC defender Joao Moutinho (44)

  • There are nine MLS matches on the board Saturday, including Atlanta United hosting Wayne Rooney and D.C. United.
  • Toronto FC are the only road favorites on the board, and they desparately need to start winning to make the playoffs.
  • After analyzing the betting market for every match, there are four sides or totals providing value.

Major League Soccer is about 60% of the way through the regular season and Saturday’s nine-match slate only features two between clubs currently in a playoff spot (New England-NY Red Bulls and Portland-Montreal). There’s certainly a lot of potential for the bottom-feeders to gain some ground in the playoff race.

After analyzing the betting market for every match, I’ve picked out four value plays. All odds are as of Saturday morning.

Season Record: 31-37-2, +13.26 units, 20% ROI

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D.C. United at Atlanta United

Moneyline odds:  Atlanta -231, D.C. United +588, Draw +428
Total: 3.5 (u-125)
Time: 3:30 p.m. ET

D.C. United earned a big 3-1 win at their brand new Audi Field last weekend, which also marked the debut of forward Wayne Rooney. They’re still currently 27 points behind Atlanta United in the standings, but they have six games in hand on today’s opponents.

Public bettors have been taking a shot on a D.C. upset with more than 40% of bets on the visitors. The lopsided support has moved Rooney and company from +845 to +588, but the value may actually now lie on Atlanta United (-231). I’ll be laying off, but this should be a very entertaining matinee match.

Vancouver Whitecaps at Seattle Sounders

Moneyline odds:  Seattle -120, Vancouver +350, Draw +280
Total: 2.5 (o-120)
Time: 4 p.m. ET

The majority of tickets has come in on Seattle to get the home victory, but the line has moved toward Vancouver and the draw since opening. It’s hard to trust either team right now so this is another pass for me.

New England Revolution at New York Red Bulls

Moneyline odds: NY Red Bulls -214, NE Revolution +590, Draw +385
Total: 3 (o-130)
Time: 7 p.m. ET

The Revs are coming off two incredibly disappointing losses, first to the LA Galaxy, 3-2, at home, and then 2-1 at Minnesota United on Wednesday night. Oddsmakers don’t like their chances to bounce back and have pegged the Revs as big +590 underdogs to beat the Red Bulls. Despite the high line, nearly 30% of public bettors are taking New England, making them a trendy road underdog that you probably want to avoid.

LA Galaxy at Philadelphia Union

Moneyline odds:  Philadelphia -107, LA Galaxy +266, Draw +311
Total: 3.5 (u-145)
Time: 7 p.m. ET

The majority of bettors (55%) like the LA Galaxy to take all three points on the road, but I’m still not sold on their defense at all. The Union should have no problem grabbing a couple goals at home and with just 34% of tickets, I love Philadelphia (-107) to win.

Toronto FC at Chicago Fire

Moneyline odds:  Chicago +161, Toronto +150, Draw +300
Total: 3.5 (u-145)
Time: 7 p.m. ET

Toronto FC have the second-most losses (11) in the league and time is really running out for them to get things in gear. If desperation hasn’t seeped in yet, it should.

There have been a flurry of goals when these teams play each other, with at least three scored in the last five meetings. That should benefit the road side, but just 24% of bettors are taking Toronto FC to get all three points. In a rare contrarian spot to back a desperate team needing a win, I like Toronto FC (+150) to get the job done and keep their season alive.

Orlando City SC at Columbus Crew

Moneyline odds: Columbus -241, Orlando City +612, Draw +438
Total: 3 (o-135)
Time: 7:30 p.m. ET

Ticket action has been balanced, but clearly the money has been all over Columbus, moving the Crew from -150 to -240 since Pinnacle opened this match. Orlando City have been awful the last six weeks, but did grab a win over Toronto FC in their last match. I think sharp bettors have this one right but the value on Columbus is gone for straight wagers. At this point, you could consider adding the Crew (-241) in a parlay.

FC Dallas at Houston Dynamo

Moneyline odds: Houston +100, FC Dallas +265, Draw +288
Total: 3 (u-121)
Time: 9 p.m. ET

FC Dallas is another trendy road underdog and attracting nearly two-thirds of the bets, making them great fade material. Bettors tend to overlook the Dynamo, especially at home, so I love the value on Houston +100.

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Colorado Rapids at Real Salt Lake

Moneyline odds: Real Salt Lake -179, Colorado +507, Draw +341
Total:  3 (u-130)
Time: 9 p.m. ET

The betting breakdown makes sense for this one and the line has shifted slightly toward Real Salt Lake at home. I don’t see value anywhere and will be laying off.

Montreal Impact at Portland Timbers

Moneyline odds: Portland -163, Montreal +445, Draw +322
Total:  3 (u-120)
Time: 11 p.m. ET

The Timbers (-163) are the most lopsided bet of the day with 77% of moneyline tickets and 94% of spread tickets. Odds haven’t increased much at all, though, signifying that it’s mostly just public wagers.

The Impact still haven’t drawn a match all season, but it’s the most contrarian bet of the day, and I could see these teams finishing with a point apiece. Take the Portland-Montreal draw at +322.

Value Plays

Toronto FC (+150) at Chicago Fire

Philadelphia Union (-107) vs. LA Galaxy

Houston Dynamo (+100) vs. FC Dallas

Portland-Montreal Draw (+322)