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MLS Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Prediction: Our 3 Best Bets, Including Columbus vs. NYCFC (Aug. 6)

MLS Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Prediction: Our 3 Best Bets, Including Columbus vs. NYCFC (Aug. 6) article feature image
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Omar Vega/Getty Images. Pictured: Seattle Sounders standout Raúl Ruidíaz.

We’re nearing the three-quarter pole of another wild Major League Soccer campaign, with another 14-match slate taking place ahead of next week’s All-Star Game festivities.

Mentor Brian Schmetzer meets protege Gonzalo Pineda when the Seattle Sounders visit Atlanta United to highlight the slate. In other action, Charlotte tries to keep up its strong home form against resurgent Chicago.

And New York City FC and Columbus meet in a potential playoff preview.

That said, let’s take a look at our best bets for the weekend card.

MLS Best Bets

Atlanta United vs. Seattle

Atlanta Odds -110
Seattle Odds +240
Draw +260
Over/Under 2.5 (-132 / +108)
Day | Time Saturday | 3 p.m. ET
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Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

I played the Sounders on the moneyline with the return of our Global Underdogs feature, so now I’m adding a more conservative play.

The return of Raúl Ruidíaz plays a big role. So does the context of Seattle’s poor away record.

Three of the club’s seven away defeats have come immediately before or after CONCACAF Champions League matches. Two more came during a brutal three-game, seven-day stretch that began with a draining derby loss to Portland.

And the overall away schedule has been rough, with Los Angeles Football Club, Austin FC, Real Salt Lake and Nashville already among Seattle’s visits.

Atlanta’s strong home form comes against a much lighter itinerary, with several Eastern Conference heavy hitters remaining on the docket.

The best team the outfit has beaten at home is Real Salt Lake by a goal, and it’s 2-2-2 at home against teams in the playoff places. Seattle might not be above Real Salt Lake in the standings, but they’re a better team and worth a bet to earn at least a point at -130 odds and an implied 56.5% probability.

By The Numbers

  • 2-2-0 — Seattle’s away record (W-L-D) when Raúl Ruidíaz plays.
  • 18.1 — Atlanta’s home clean sheet percentage (2 of 11) this season.

Quillen’s Pick: Double Chance — Seattle or Draw (-130)

Charlotte FC vs. Chicago

Charlotte +125
Chicago Odds +190
Draw +230
Over/Under 2.5 (-116 / -106)
Day | Time Saturday | 7 p.m. ET
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Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Charlotte has won eight of 11 games at Bank of America Stadium. Two of its home defeats came against top eight MLS sides, with the other coming in only its second competitive fixture together as an expansion team.

Further, since caretaker manager Christian Lattanzio took charge, his side have averaged a +0.85 xGDiff per 90 minutes in four home tilts. It’s a small sample, but extended over a whole season would equal the best mark in the Eastern Conference.

The overall metrics are considerably worse, which is why the line is moving in Chicago’s direction. But remember, those results are based on the tenure of Miguel Angel Ramirez, who was dismissed hastily after he appeared to lose his dressing room.

Chicago has had a full week to prepare and is owner of a modest four-match unbeaten run. However, the underlying numbers suggest variance over improvement. The Fire and their 0-0 home draw against Atlanta last time out was, to put it politely, uninspired.

There’s something to the confidence of strong home form in this league. And when the average MLS home team wins nearly half the time, you have to back a club in strong home form against an opponent in middling away form at a price like this of +125 odds and an implied 44.4% probability.

By The Numbers

  • 8-3-0 — Charlotte’s home record (W-L-D) this season.
  • 2-7-2  — Chicago’s away record (W-L-D) this campaign.

Quillen’s Pick: Charlotte ML (+125)

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Columbus vs. NYCFC

Columbus Odds +135
NYCFC Odds +165
Draw +240
Over/Under 2.5 (-118 / -102)
Day | Time Saturday | 7:30 p.m. ET
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Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Even before New York City FC striker Valentin Castellanos departed for Spanish side Girona in Spain, the club’s defense was its key on the road.

With Castellanos gone, that trend only amplified last weekend, as NYCFC managed only one attempt on target and escaped Montreal with a 0-0 draw. It was the seventh NYCFC away game to finish with two goals or fewer, plus the seventh contest where at least one team didn’t score.

Meanwhile, Columbus has played more lower scoring games at Lower.com Field than on its travels, which is a flip of last year’s trend. That might have something to do with manager Caleb Porter’s insistence to get younger and more capable in transition than his side was a season ago. It could also have to do with its striking struggles up top.

Summer signing Cucho Hernandez looks to be the answer for the latter with four goals in four appearances. And yet those trends have remained, while the underlying metrics of Columbus’ attack haven’t improved a lot. At least one team has kept a clean sheet in eight of Columbus’ 11 home games.

All this conspires to make a good opportunity to play Both Teams To Score (No) at +122 odds in this affair.

By The Numbers

  • 1.2 — Average xG per 90 minutes for Columbus since the debut of standout Cucho Hernandez.
  • 60 — Percentage of NYCFC’s away clean sheet percentage (6 of 10) this season.

Quillen’s Picks: Both Teams To Score — No (+122)

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