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MLS Updated Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Prediction: Our 3 Best Bets, Including LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver (Saturday, Aug. 13)

MLS Updated Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Prediction: Our 3 Best Bets, Including LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver (Saturday, Aug. 13) article feature image
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Michael Janosz/ISI Photos/Getty Images. Pictured: Los Angeles Galaxy star Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.

  • We have another exciting Major League Soccer slate, with several key matches on the Saturday docket.
  • Analyst Ian Quillen takes a deep look at three contests he has found betting value on ahead of the meetings.
  • Check out below where he has landed with this top selections.

The Major League Soccer All-Star Game has passed and the business end of the season has arrived, starting with this weekend’s slate.

Retooled Toronto FC welcomes pesky Portland to Canada for a battle with plenty of pedigree. Sneaky good Montreal will try for an impressive seventh away win when it visits struggling Houston.

And the Los Angeles Galaxy host Vancouver in a Western Conference playoff race six-pointer to highlight the card.

That said, here are our best bets for the upcoming schedule.

MLS Best Bets

Toronto FC vs. Portland

Toronto Odds -115
Portland Odds +270
Draw +270
Over/Under 2.5 (-175 / +125)
Day | Time Saturday | 7:30 p.m. ET
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Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Betting opened with Toronto FC as a +130 odds favorite and the number has been sliding heavily in its direction ever since.

That’s understandable given all the star power manager Bob Bradley’s side has added so far this summer, and the improved results that have followed. It also provides an opportunity on visiting Portland’s team total.

The Timbers have scored at least twice in five of 12 away games, plus Toronto has conceded multiple goals in half of its home games. Both trends also skew toward more recent matches, plus the Timbers are markedly different from the early season now that Jaroslaw Niezgoda is in a scoring rhythm. Portland midfielders Sebastian Blanco and Eryk Williamson are both healthy.

There’s a strong chance the Reds have enough talent to simply outscore their opponents since their summer reinforcements — with the exception of holding midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye — don’t really improve their defense that much.

I was on the Toronto early moneyline. However, I’m now backing the Portland team total clearing 1.5 goals at +150 odds and an implied 40% probability. Both plays could hit, but the likelihood that neither do is small.

By The Numbers

  • 45.8 — The percentage of times a visiting team has scored multiple goals in matches between Toronto playing at home and Portland on the road.
  • 1.58 — Goals conceded by the Reds per 90 minutes at BMO Field.

Quillen’s Pick: Portland — Team Total Over 1.5 Goals (+150)

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Houston vs. Montreal

Houston Odds +145
Montreal Odds +170
Draw +240
Over/Under 2.5 (-140 / +100)
Day | Time Saturday | 9 p.m. ET
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Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Montreal and Houston used to be in the same caliber of underachieving MLS squads. However, the Canadian visitors have clearly lifted themselves out of that category in their second season under manager Wilfried Nancy.

And even though midfielder Djordje Mihailovic hasn’t been quite as good since his return from an ankle injury, his team is undefeated since he came back.

Houston responded from a drubbing at Philadelphia two matches ago with a strong performance last time out in Vancouver. The Dynamo still lost on two late goals.

They’ve posted a 4-4-4 home record (W-L-D) in what was once one of toughest venues for away teams in the league. And Mexico star Hector Herrera has struggled to influence the team since his addition this summer.

If you’re judging solely by expected goals numbers, maybe Houston is correctly slightly favored here. But those numbers include five games when Mihailovic was unavailable and three losses to start the season, while Montreal balanced continental commitments.

Remove that sample and Montreal has lost only twice overall and just once away. That said, back the side to bolster its winning away record at +170 odds and an implied 37% probability.

By The Numbers

  • +1.1 — Montreal’s xGDiff per 90 minutes in five games since Mihailovic’s return to the pitch.
  • 1-2-3  — Houston’s home record (W-L-D) against teams that currently have more wins than losses.

Quillen’s Pick: Montreal ML (+170)

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LA Galaxy vs. Vancouver

LA Galaxy Odds -175
Vancouver Odds +425
Draw +325
Over/Under 2.5 (-175 / +125)
Day | Time Saturday | 10 p.m. ET
How To Watch ESPN+
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

When you frequently watch manager Greg Vanney’s club, what jumps at you is the inconsistency. Yes, the Galaxy has enough talent to beat any side in the league, which is how they’ve topped clubs like Austin FC and Los Angeles Football Club. They’ve also lost at home to pedestrian opponents, including San Jose, Houston and Orlando City.

Vancouver has the look of another such mediocre outfit, but with a little better current quality due to recent improvements. Ryan Gauld’s return to full fitness has helped, as has the acquisition of holding midfielder Andres Cubas and wingback Julian Gressel. Plus, manager Vanni Sartini’s men have now earned at least a point in five of their last six away fixtures.

I played Vancouver on the moneyline in this week’s Global Underdogs feature. Yet, given the Whitecaps’ propensity to share points this season — and absences of Lucas Cavallini and Brian White up front — I also like them getting a more conservative +0.5 goals on the spread line via the Asian Handicap.

At +135 odds and an implied 42.6% probability, you’re backing a bet that has hit 45.8% of the time between Los Abgeles home and Vancouver away games. That increases to 66.7% since the start of May this season.

By The Numbers

  • 3-4-1 — The Galaxy’s home record (W-L-D) since May 1.
  • 2-3-2 — Away record (W-L-D) for Vancouver since May 1 this season.

Quillen’s Pick: Two-Way Handicap — Vancouver +0.5 Goals (+135)

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