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MLS Wednesday: Sharp Bettors Hit D.C. United and Los Angeles FC Early

Credit:

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: D.C. United striker Wayne Rooney

  • D.C. United and Wayne Rooney are back in action after a thrilling 3-2 win over Orlando City on Sunday night.
  • With two matches on the board, D.C. United-Portland and LAFC-Real Salt Lake, I've picked out one value play to bet.

Late game-winning goals have been the theme in MLS recently, and a wild month of action continues on Wednesday night with two pivotal matches:

  • Portland Timbers at D.C. United (8 p.m. ET)
  • Real Salt Lake at Los Angeles FC (10 p.m. ET)

This season’s value plays keep rolling along, but the New England Revolution did made me look foolish again, losing 3-2 at home after blowing a 2-0 lead against Philadelphia last Saturday. Fortunately, the other two plays were big winners, as the Vancouver Whitecaps (+600) dealt Portland its first home loss of the season, and the Montreal Impact drew (+301) for the third time in four games.


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With just a quarter of the season remaining, each game becomes increasingly important to the playoff race. Although there are just two matches on the slate for Wednesday, I’ve picked out one value play.

Season Record: 44-45-3, +31.66 units, 36% ROI


Portland Timbers at D.C. United

Moneyline odds: D.C. United -103, Portland +268, Draw +298
Total: 3 (o-121)
Time: 8 p.m. ET

D.C. United earned a huge 3-2 home victory over Orlando City on Sunday night to stay in the thick of the playoff race. If you haven’t seen the end of the match, take a quick minute to enjoy some late heroics from Wayne Rooney:

 

Despite D.C. United being at the bottom of the conference with 20 points, they’ve played three fewer matches than any other team in the East.

Portland’s latest result was a 2-1 home loss to Vancouver on Saturday night, which wiped out both a 15-game unbeaten run and an undefeated home record this season. Nevertheless, the Timbers are still in strong position to make the Western Conference playoffs because they have games in hand on the rest of the pack.

Odds for this match came out late Sunday night and were on the move immediately. Pinnacle opened D.C. United +181, which was bet down to +103 within three hours. Subsequently, Portland’s odds drifted from +145 to +242, and the draw moved from +267 to +320.

Now that the line has changed dramatically, nearly half of public bettors around the market are taking Portland to spring the upset, making the Timbers a trendy road underdog. The Timbers are the better side, but traveling cross-country with just three days’ rest is not ideal. It will be a challenge for Portland just to earn a point tonight.


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The odds on a draw are the longest of all three moneylines since D.C. United need to pick up all the points they can. This was proven last week when they brought their goalkeeper all the way up the field on a corner kick with two minutes left in a 2-2 game. I don’t forecast United being any more cautious come Wednesday night.

Public and sharp bettors have taken note of a potential wide-open affair and have been in lockstep on over 3 goals. Since opening, the juice on the over has increased from -110 to -121 behind a whopping 90% of tickets. We could see this total tick up to 3.5 before kickoff, and it’s worth grabbing at 3.

The Bet: D.C. United-Portland Over 3 (-121)

Real Salt Lake at Los Angeles FC

Moneyline odds: LAFC -215, Real Salt Lake +502, Draw +454
Total: 3.5 (u-103)
Time: 10 p.m. ET

Real Salt Lake played to a disappointing 1-1 home draw with Montreal on Saturday night while LAFC were shutout at home, 2-0, by Sporting Kansas City. The clubs have combined for just one win in the last 10 matches, and both will be looking for a better result on Wednesday night.

LAFC are the heavy favorites to get the victory, but odds didn’t open that way. Pinnacle started out at -118 and in a matter of hours the line was up to -172. Over the next couple days, odds crept up to -215 where they currently stand. This has clearly been all sharp money since only half of betting tickets are on LAFC to win, and I expect the home side to get back on track.

The over/under has also been hit hard, forcing sportsbooks to move from 3 to 3.5. Unfortunately the value is gone on both LAFC and over 3 goals, so I’m passing on this game entirely unless odds come crashing down.

The Bet: PASS


Value Plays

  • D.C. United-Portland Over 3 (-121)
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