MLS Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Predictions: Our 3 Best Bets, Including New England vs. New York Red Bulls (April 2)
Tim Bouwer/ISI Photos/Getty Images. Pictured: New England Revolution standout Gustavo Bou.
Major League Soccer is back following the international break, featuring another crammed slate of 13 matches on Saturday’s card.
Among the storylines for the latest set of games include:
- An intriguing early-season clash between fast-starters Chicago and Dallas
- 2020 MLS Cup champion Columbus faces off against popular 2022 title dark horse Nashville
- Reigning Supporters’ Shield winner New England hosts the white-hot New York Red Bulls
Let’s take a look at our best bets for another busy MLS slate.
Saturday’s MLS Best Bets
Chicago vs. FC Dallas Odds
|Chicago Fire Odds||-110|
|FC Dallas Odds||+270|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-108 / -112)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 3:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||fuboTV|
|Odds updated via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
This line reflects each team’s early results and metrics, but not their relative strengths of schedule.
There’s plenty of reason to think Chicago is improved, but its victories have come against D.C. United and Sporting Kansas City, both of whom look considerably worse than last season.
Meanwhile, aside from an unlucky season-opening draw with Toronto FC, Dallas has faced legitimate MLS Cup contenders in New England, Nashville and Portland.
Dallas virtually matched New England on the road on expected goals when removing Carles Gil’s game-deciding penalty kick.
The club was clearly the better side at home against Portland and Nashville, which both have extenuating circumstances to explain middling starts.
Chicago and Dallas each must reintegrate important players back from international duty, but Chicago’s Xherdan Shaqiri and Boris Sekulic are making longer trips back from Europe. In Shaqiri’s case, it’s his first experience with transatlantic travel in the middle of a season.
Dallas standouts Paul Arriola and Jesus Ferreira have the relatively short trip back from Central America. Each was used modestly during the United States Men’s National Team’s final World Cup qualifying matches.
I like FC Dallas on a Draw No Bet wager at +186 odds and an implied probability that 35% of the games that don’t finish level end in its favor. I’d estimate it’s closer to 45 percent.
Quillen’s Pick: Dallas — Draw No Bet (+186)
Columbus vs. Nashville
|Over/Under||2.5 (+150 / -180)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 6 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN+|
|Odds updated via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Under manager Caleb Porter, Columbus has played like a team that feels pressure to entertain the home crowd. The Crew have scored multiple goals in their last four home matches, eight of their last nine games and 15 of their last 19 contests dating back to the start of last season.
Nashville rode an MLS best-tying 33 goals conceded to a third-place Eastern Conference finish, a playoff place in 2021 and a status as popular dark horse this season. However, manager Gary Smith’s men have conceded twice each of their last two times out and are just halfway through an eight-game road trip before their new stadium opens.
Even in 2021, the side was prone to the occasional defensive lapse on the road, conceding multiple goals on five occasions.
And the core of that vaunted defense — U.S. center back Walker Zimmerman and Panama defensive midfielder Anibal Godoy — both played every minute of their teams’ respective three recent qualifiers. Godoy’s midfield partner Dax McCarty is serving the first of a two-game suspension.
I’m not guaranteeing a Crew victory, but Nashville might need more offensive production to get a result than is typical. Certainly given Columbus’ home form, +130 odds and an implied 43.5% probability of two or more goals for the home side is good value.
Quillen’s Pick: Columbus — Team Total Over 1.5 Goals (+130)
New England vs. RBNY
|New England Odds||+100|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-140 / +100)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 7:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN+|
|Odds updated via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
The Red Bulls fall into the archetype of a high pressing team that tends to play more wide-open games on the road. The Revolution fall into the archetype of a Bruce Arena-coached team that won’t be scared out of throwing numbers into the attack anywhere.
In last season’s meetings, the result featured all three games totaling at least four goals, with New England prevailing in all of them.
I’m not as sold on the Revolutions on the money line with their early struggles and the Red Bulls’ improvement so far. And the cost of selling a goal to play the total over 3.5 goals is a little steep, particularly with New England striker Gustavo Bou questionable with a leg issue.
However, I feel pretty confident both sides will get a goal and be playing for three points late if it’s close. That said, I’m backing both teams to score without a draw at +145 odds and an implied 40.8% probability.
In 38 games between the Revs’ home contests and Red Bulls’ away travels, that trend has hit 21 times — a 55.7% hit rate. That includes three of four such matches this campaign.
Quillen’s Picks: Both Teams To Score — Yes & Draw — No (+145)