MLS Betting Picks, Predictions, Preview: Our Favorite Bets, Including Vancouver & San Jose (Nov. 7)

MLS Betting Picks, Predictions, Preview: Our Favorite Bets, Including Vancouver & San Jose (Nov. 7) article feature image
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Omar Vega/Getty Images. Pictured: Raul Ruidiaz.

The 2021 Major League Soccer regular season comes to a dramatic close with 13 matches on Decision Day in Sunday’s action.

There are 11 teams fighting for the final six spots in the 14-team MLS Cup playoffs, which begin later this month.

There’s also a three-way battle going for the top seed — and a first-round bye — in the Western Conference, and a three-way duel for the second spot in the Eastern Conference.

And as always, there’s some good wagering opportunities out there in this league. Here’s what I see as three of the best.

Sunday’s Best Bets

Nashville vs. RBNY

Nashville Odds +145
RBNY Odds +225
Draw +205
Over/Under 2.5 (+130 / -165)
Day | Time Sunday | 3:30 p.m. ET
How To Watch ESPN | fuboTV
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

This season, teams that press high have often played higher-scoring matches away from home. Tightly organized sides, meanwhile, have played more adventurously at home.

In the visiting New York Red Bulls and host Nashville SC, we have both.

The Red Bulls don’t score a ton and have clawed back into the playoff picture thanks to their defense. But even during an 11-match run with one loss, their two multi-goal performances came on the road.

Overall, the total has exceeded 2.5 goals in nine of 16 away RBNY matches. The teams’ combined expected goals (xG) has averaged 2.8 in those games.

Nashville’s pragmatic reputation is based primarily on their away performances. Its the lone home unbeaten left in MLS, with an attack that is far more aggressive at Nissan Stadium, which is how both Hany Mukhtar and CJ Sapong are double-digit scorers.

The total has exceeded 2.5 goals in nine of their 16 home games. The teams’ combined xG is 2.7 in those.

The Red Bulls clinch a playoff spot with a win. Nashville can possibly secure a No. 2 seed with their own victory, no small potatoes given their home form.

All of that makes the over here a steal at +130 odds and an implied 43.5% probability.

Pick: Total Over 2.5 Goals (+130)

Vancouver vs. Seattle

Vancouver Odds +185
Seattle Odds +150
Draw +245
Over/Under 2.5 (-120 / +100)
Day | Time Sunday | 6 p.m. ET
How To Watch ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

The Seattle Sounders are the West’s best road team with nine wins in 16 tries. The Vancouver Whitecaps are its best home side since returning to Canada, winning six of seven at BC Place.

The Whitecaps are playing for a playoff place, the Sounders fighting for a top seed and a bye.

However, Seattle might be overvalued.

There’s the teams’ comparative form. Vancouver have posted a record of 7-2-4 (W-L-D) since interim manager Vanni Sartini took over. Seattle, meanwhile, is winless in its last five while dealing with an injury to leading scorer Raul Ruidiaz. (The Peruvian returned this week)

Maybe more impactful is the returns of Nicolas Lodeiro and Jordan Morris. Both could be major contributors to a third Sounders MLS Cup run, but getting the most from them may take tactical tweaking. Manager Brian Schmetzer has to figure that out now, even if it means a less-than-perfect performance.

The Whitecaps have no identity questions, with playmaker Ryan Gauld, wide man Cristian Dajome and striker Brian White leading the way.

I’m backing them conservatively at +0.25 goals and -130 odds on an Asian Handicap. If it’s a draw, half the stake pushes and half pays.

Pick: Vancouver +0.25 (-130)

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San Jose vs. Dallas

San Jose Odds +105
Dallas Odds +235
Draw +290
Over/Under 2.5 (-155 / +125)
Day | Time Sunday | 6 p.m. ET
How To Watch ESPN+
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Both these sides are eliminated from playoff contention, which factors into the play here.

If this is MLS all-time leading scorer Chris Wondolowski’s last game, San Jose will want to send him off on a high. If it’s Matias Almeyda’s last managing the Earthquakes, he and his belief in man marking may have a point to prove. Both could mean plenty of chances on both ends.

The intrinsic motivation is less obvious for Dallas. But the visitors are strongest up front, where the striking core of Ricardo Pepi, Jesus Ferreira and Franco Jara is better than that of most playoff qualifiers.

That makes playing a high total appealing here, especially since both clubs have some all-or-nothing tendencies.

The total has exceeded 3.5 goals in 26 of these teams’ 66 games, or 39.3% of the time. That frequency has increased to 11 of 20 games in each team’s last 10,  as dwindling playoff hopes caused both teams to throw caution to the wind.

There’s no particular reason for either club to be conservative here. So I’ll sell the goal and play the total above 3.5 goals at +155 odds and an implied 39.2% probability.

Pick: Total Over 3.5 Goals (+155)

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