MLS Friday Betting Breakdown: Sharp Money Backing Orlando City and LAFC
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: LAFC
- This weekend's MLS action begins on Friday night with three juicy encounters: Orlando City-LA Galaxy (7 p.m. ET), Real Salt Lake-Atlanta United (9 p.m. ET) and LAFC-Montreal (10:30 p.m. ET).
- We've previewed all three matches and broken down the betting market to find two value plays worth making.
Home teams and draws bounced back over the last week while road underdogs disappointed bettors. The only visiting team to claim a victory was the Colorado Rapids (+550) at the LA Galaxy on Sunday night, 1-0.
2019 MLS Season Results
Goals have continued to dry up after a fast start and unders have hit at a 65% clip the last two weeks. However, as the temperature heats up around the United States, we should see the ball hit the back of the net more often.
This weekend’s MLS action starts on Friday with three matches, followed by seven matches Saturday and two on Sunday.
LA Galaxy at Orlando City (Friday, 7 p.m. ET on Unimas)
- Orlando City ML: -130
- LA Galaxy ML: +330
- Draw: +315
- Over/Under: 3 (-110)
The Galaxy have been in a rut lately, losing four straight matches including two straight at home to NYC FC and Colorado without scoring a single goal. Bettors really don’t like their chances on Friday night either, moving from +225 to +330 on the moneyline since opening.
Orlando City have attracted just 22% of bets, but they’re receiving more than 50% of the money.
Los Angeles will also be without striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic as he’s serving the final match of a two-game suspension. His absence certainly has an effect on the odds but it’s been known about for a week, so recent movement toward Orlando City indicates sharp money fading the Galaxy.
Goals have been easy to come by in head-to-head meetings with the teams combining for 20 goals in four matches since 2015. Orlando City have never scored fewer than two goals against LA despite only winning two of the four matches.
I don’t particularly like the Galaxy to bounce back and get a result, but they should at least get on the scoresheet even without Ibra in the lineup. At the current total of 3 goals, I like the price of -110 on the over.
Atlanta United at Real Salt Lake (Friday, 9 p.m. ET on Unimas)
- Atlanta United ML: +150
- Real Salt Lake ML: +180
- Draw: +250
- Over/Under: 2.5 (o-125)
Atlanta United have won both prior matches against Real Salt Lake, 2-0 in 2018 and 3-1 in 2017.
The defending champions have also found their stride in recent weeks, winning five straight games (all shutouts) before dropping a 1-0 heart-breaker to the Red Bulls last Sunday.
Real Salt Lake are on a roll themselves, winning back-to-back games against Colorado (3-2) and Toronto FC (3-0). Early smart action has taken RSL to win their third straight match based on betting patterns around the market.
Public and casual bettors are backing Atlanta United with nearly half the moneyline bets, but their line has increased from +140 to +150. Meanwhile, Real Salt Lake’s odds have come down from +195 to +180 despite just 30% of the wagers.
Odds have also shifted toward the under (2.5) goals, so a low-scoring affair is expected in this one. There’s definitely value in this game ending 1-1 so I’m grabbing the draw at +250 odds.
Montreal Impact at LAFC (Friday, 10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+)
- LAFC ML: -350
- Montreal ML: +1000
- Draw: +460
- Over/Under: 3 (-112)
LAFC are currently listed -350 and are one of the biggest favorites of the entire season. Smart bettors have had no problem backing the home side as they’ve increased from -260 since opening, but the public is taking the Impact to pull off the big upset.
Montreal have already won four matches away from home this season but I wouldn’t count on them getting a result in Los Angeles. LAFC haven’t lost at home yet this year and have dropped just one game in 2019, conceding just nine goals along the way while scoring 32.
The Impact are certainly improved from last season but they won’t be able to match the overall strength of LAFC, a club with twice as many shots and shots on target than Montreal.
Unless you’re willing to back LAFC on the goal-line of -1.5 at -115 odds, I don’t see much value in the current price.
Value Plays (MLS Season Record: 10-25-2, -7.80 units)
- Orlando City-LA Galaxy Over 3 (-110)
- Real Salt Lake-Atlanta United Draw (+250)