MLS Betting Preview: Will LAFC and Seattle Sounders be the First to Reach Four Wins?
Orlando Ramirez, USA Today Sports.
- A full slate of MLS games is back for this weekend including notable matchups between Toronto FC-NYCFC, Sporting KC-Montreal, Columbus-Atlanta United and LA Galaxy-Portland.
- We've broken down the entire betting board, line moves and lopsided wagers and picked out four value plays to make.
Three clubs from each conference remain undefeated this season: D.C. United, Toronto FC and NYC FC from the East, and LAFC, Seattle and Houston in the West.
Friday night’s opening match of the weekend will pit Toronto FC against NYC FC as both clubs put their unblemished records on the line. Toronto FC have won their first two matches for six points while NYC FC have drawn all three of their games so far.
Draws have had the upper hand this season (+7 units) while home teams (-4.75 u) and road teams (-4.85 u) have suffered losses for bettors.
LAFC and Seattle lead the league with three victories apiece and both are listed at even-money in their road matchups Saturday.
MLS Betting Odds and Over/Unders
This weekend’s MLS slate is really juicy from a bettor’s perspective since there’s only one real odds-on home favorite: Sporting Kansas City (-160) vs. Montreal Impact.
Over/Unders have decreased a bit since the opening weeks of the season as half the slate as a total listed at 2.5 goals, and the other half listed at 3 goals.
Now let’s jump into the betting board for Week 5…
(2019 MLS Record: 5-8-0, -0.55 units)
MLS Betting Market Breakdown
Every single significant line move for the weekend has shifted toward a team with plus-money odds.
For the third week in a row there’s been considerable attention geared toward the New England Revolution across the market, dropping their odds from +150 to +115 against Minnesota United.
Head coach Brad Friedel recently blamed his players for lackluster effort (again), but the whole organization has fallen on its face. Even as a biased Revs fan, there’s no way I could back them to win outright.
The most lopsided wagers have been Sporting KC (>80% of bets), Real Salt Lake (>75% of bets) and LA Galaxy (>70% of bets). Naturally, lines have shifted toward all three of those popular bets, but I don’t personally see any value in them right now.
Are LAFC are a sucker’s bet at San Jose Saturday afternoon? And what about Seattle listed at +100 against Vancouver? The answer is probably “yes” to both of those questions, yet I’m taking the bait at those generous prices.
Neither side is getting more than 70% of the wagers, but I’m not sure how sportsbooks are finding bettors on San Jose or Vancouver.
Defending champions Atlanta United are aiming for their first victory of the season and are listed at +275 to win at Columbus. They had been bet down to +245 but odds have steadily increased since then.
One of the more surprising bets of the weekend has been Orlando City (+155) to win another match. They pulled off the season’s biggest upset at NY Red Bulls last weekend as +615 moneyline underdogs, but D.C. United haven’t conceded a goal through seven games.
Lastly, there have been two anomalies this season in terms of results vs. expected goal differential (xGD), which could provide value for this weekend.
The Chicago Fire are winless through their first three games, yet they have the sixth-highest xGD at +1.7. That means they’re not finishing chances that they should, and it’s hurt them tremendously in the standings.
On the opposite spectrum, FC Cincinnati have earned seven points and lost just once, but they’ve got the fourth-worst xGD at -2.2. Be careful blindly betting the expansion club, especially against a Philadelphia Union squad that bounced back nicely last weekend.
- New England-Minnesota United Over 3 (+105)
- Chicago-NY Red Bulls Over 2.5 (-120)
- LAFC (+100) at San Jose
- Seattle (+100) at Vancouver
Updated 2019 MLS Cup Odds
- LAFC and now the lone favorites at +600 after another stoppage-time winner against Real Salt Lake last weekend.
- Montreal and Minnesota have both seen their odds improve in each of the last three weeks.
- San Jose Earthquakes have established themselves as the worst MLS club this season, but New England and Colorado aren’t far behind.
Want live updates of the action all weekend? Be sure to follow @actionnetsoccer on Twitter for all the latest soccer betting news around the market.