MLS Betting Odds, Picks, Preview, Predictions: Our 3 Best Bets, Including New York Red Bulls vs. FC Dallas (April 16)
Ira L. Black – Corbis/Getty Images. Pictured: New York Red Bulls standout Caden Clark.
The more things change in Major League Soccer, the more they stay the same.
San Jose might be off to their worst start in club history, but it continues to play some of the wildest games in the league. FC Cincinnati has made qualitative improvements to its play in its fourth year, but continue to fall short of earning results.
And while the New York Red Bulls suddenly look like a flawed team at home, there is almost always drama at Red Bull Arena.
That said, we have wagers tied to each trend for our MLS best bets on another busy Saturday card.
Saturday’s MLS Best Bets
San Jose vs. Nashville
|San Jose Odds||+180|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+114 / -138)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 3:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||fubo TV|
|Odds updated via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Nashville is playing its seventh of eight away matches to start the season. And while the club has conceded only six times, it has been fortunate since it has allowed opponents 7.5 expected goals so far. The matches have averaged 2.5 xG total, even though the total has only exceeded 2.5 goals twice.
San Jose remains winless in 2022, but everywhere and every time it plays is an adventure. The Earthquakes’ games have averaged 3.25 xG overall, with all four of their home games finishing with at least four goals.
Nashville’s modus operandi might be to sit deep and frustrate its opponent, but it also loves to attack directly. The Earthquakes’ man-marking scheme makes it almost impossible not to go forward in order to alleviate pressure.
San Jose also has striker Jeremy Ebobisse finding his scoring boots after a brace last week and Chofis Lopez possibly returning from injury.
That doesn’t mean the host will win, though, but I feel pretty confident it’s going to create and allow more chances than in your typical Coyotes away encounter. So, even with manager Gary Smith’s conservative reputation with Nashville, I see playing the total clearing 2.5 goals at +114 odds and an implied 46.7% probability at good value.
Quillen’s Pick: Total Over 2.5 Goals (+114)
Atlanta United vs. FC Cincinnati
|Over/Under||2.5 (-150 / +120)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 6 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN+|
|Odds updated via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Atlanta is a few rungs higher than Cincinnati in the Eastern Conference, but I’m not sure it’s much better right now.
Josef Martinez has six of Atlanta’s 14 all-time goals against Cincinnati and he’s out for a couple months. Holding midfielder Osvaldo Alonso is done for the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
And in general, Atlanta’s seven points from three home games hide the fact it has relied on stoppage-time goals in two of them. The club really only dominated the first contest, which was a 3-1 win over a Sporting Kansas City side that’s appreciably worse from last season.
Meanwhile, Brandon Vazquez is one of the league’s most in-form strikers for the underdogs. And in contrast to previous seasons, it looks like more of Cincinnati’s current struggles are down to variance more than poor play.
The visitors actually have a slightly better xG difference overall, and even accounting for the home/road split, they’re not all that far behind the hosts.
Atlanta should be favored, but the price of -160 is way too high. I think there’s value playing Cincinnati to win outright or on the draw in what I see as a fairly even contest.
So, I’m playing Cincinnati getting +0.5 goals at +130 odds via the Asian Handicap and an implied 43.5% probability it earns at least a point. This is coming in a league where away teams take at least one point just a fraction of more than 50% of the time overall.
Quillen’s Pick: Cincinnati +0.5 (+130)
RBNY vs. FC Dallas
|FC Dallas Odds||+340|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-110 / -115)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 7 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN+|
|Odds updated via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
The New York Red Bulls remain winless three games into their home schedule but like a better 2021 at home, those games have been close and cagey.
The Red Bulls fit the mold of some other high-pressing teams around the globe that play lower-scoring games in front of home fans, as visiting sides simply don’t try to play through the press. The total has gone under in two of three home tilts in 2022 and in 16 of 20 since the start of the 2021 season.
In 2022, the xG totals suggest some of those scores should’ve been higher. However, there are caveats. The Red Bulls generated 2.7 xG in a 1-0 loss against Minnesota United exactly because they were chasing a first goal for all 90 minutes. In last week’s 2-1 loss to Montreal, a once-in-a-season gaffe gifted Romell Quioto a winning goal on a chance with more than an 80% conversion rate, according to MLSsoccer.com.
Dallas has done all of its scoring in its four home games and has yet to concede a non-penalty road goal. Its defensive focus away from Toyota Stadium also tracks for a younger side, relying on Jesus Ferreira and Alan Velasco as attacking keys.
The line isn’t tracking the home/away tendencies, so you should take it. Play the total staying under 2.5 goals at -115 odds and an implied 53.5% probability.
Quillen’s Pick: Total Under 2.5 Goals (-115)