MLS Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Predictions: Our 3 Best Bets, Featuring Seattle vs. LA Galaxy (March 12)
Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: Seattle Sounders standouts Nicolas Lodeiro, left, and Jordan Morris.
As Major League Soccer rolls into third week of the season, we’re starting to get a sense of who teams are and how they may or may not differ from the 2021 versions of themselves.
Our three best bets for Saturday’s slate are variations upon that theme. The first two try to exploit opportunities where early season form might not match the underlying metrics or other intrinsic things we know about the sides. The third relies on trends to continue until a pair of teams prove us otherwise.
And the latest plays are also pretty aggressive. Hit even one of the three wagers and you’ll come out ahead on the day.
Without further ado, here are our Saturday best bets, beginning with a nationally televised contest in Seattle.
Saturday’s MLS Best Bets
Seattle vs. LA Galaxy Odds
|LA Galaxy Odds||+220|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+110 / -134)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 3:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||FOX | fuboTV|
|Odds updated via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
A lot is written about how MLS teams often see their league form suffer when also competing in the CONCACAF Champions League.
That — plus the continued injury absence of Raul Ruidiaz and the impressive early start from Los Angeles — probably explains why the line has moved slightly in the visitor’s direction since it opened.
However, a closer look shows teams like the Sounders — who opened their CCL quarterfinal tie with a 3-0 win over Club Leon on Tuesday — historically perform pretty well in this spot.
Since the current Champions League format began in 2018, MLS teams are 3-3-2 (W-L-D) in league matches played in between the two legs of a CONCACAF quarterfinal. They’re 3-1-1 in that position at home.
The Sounders have arguably one of the deepest rosters in league history, and have been a streaky team (in a good way) during manager Brian Schmetzer’s tenure. So, it’s not hard to imagine the Leon win carrying over here after two scoreless defeats to open league play.
The Galaxy have looked much improved defensively in under Greg Vanney in his second season. However, their clean sheets came against a New York City FC team that had yet to return home from preseason and a Charlotte FC expansion side learning about MLS life.
So, a regression toward last season’s form is possible for both. And the Sounders piled it on at times at home last season, while the Galaxy sometimes dug big holes on the road.
Specifically, the Sounders have won six of 18 home MLS contests by multiple goals going back to the start of 2021. The Galaxy have lost six of 18 away matches by two or more goals.
That’s a 33.3% hit rate, so I’m playing Seattle on a minus-1 handicap wager at +350 odds, which has an implied 22.2% probability.
Quillen’s Pick: Seattle -1 via Three-Way Handicap (+350)
D.C. United vs. Chicago Odds
|D.C. United Odds||+105|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-130 / -110)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 7:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN+|
|Odds updated via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
D.C. United is perfect through two weeks of the season, while Chicago — despite two draws — is still in search of its first goal under new manager Ezra Hendrickson.
Despite that, the Fire are a very appealing underdog.
While United has four goals, two have come from the penalty spot, including a very fortunate stoppage-time winner at Cincinnati. The others have involved fortunate deflections.
Removing penalties, D.C. has created fewer xG than both of those foes, clearly struggling to make up for the departure of Kevin Paredes, Paul Arriola and the injured Russell Canouse. This against opponents — Charlotte and Cincinnati — considered the two worst teams by FiveThirtyEight in the entire league.
Canouse is questionable to return here, but if he doesn’t backup Moses Nyeman is out to red card suspension.
Chicago has been a bit wasteful — particularly in its opener at Inter Miami — but the idea of Xherdan Shaqiri facing a third-string MLS No. 6 player is frightening. And either way, you could argue the substance of the Fire’s play has been a bit better than that of D.C. United’s efforts.
Perhaps Chicago shouldn’t be outright favorites on the road, but the price is low here. At +260 odds, you’re playing an implied 27.8% chance of victory against a D.C. team that under manager Hernan Losada very rarely draws and hasn’t looked good in 2022 despite results.
Quillen’s Pick: Chicago ML (+260)
Dallas vs. Nashville Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (+116 / -145)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 8:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN+|
|Odds updated via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
You always have to keep the moneyline draw in play when you’re dealing with Nashville, a club that makes no apologies for its pragmatism.
Manager Gary Smith’s side tied the MLS record with 18 draws from 34 matches last season, with nine each coming at home and away.
The nine away ties are probably more replicable in 2022, where the club routinely sits in a deep block.
As for Dallas, it’s a quietly improved side with the additions of Paul Arriola and Alan Velasco to the fold.
However, even with striker Franco Jara available after two weeks out injured, it feels unlikely he or Jesus Ferreira are capable of singlehandedly carrying Dallas’ offense for a stretch.
The forward-by-committee approach yielded seven home draws last season and another one to begin 2022 against Toronto FC.
In fact, in the last 37 games between Dallas’ home contests and Nashville’s travels, dating back to the start of 2021, 18 have ended with the points shared.
That’s a rate of 48.6% and why I’m playing a draw here at +225 odds, with an implied 30.8% probability.
Quillen’s Picks: Draw (+225)