MLS Saturday Betting Preview: Which Home Teams Should Bettors Trust?

MLS Saturday Betting Preview: Which Home Teams Should Bettors Trust? article feature image

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: D.C. United midfielder Luciano Acosta (10) is congratulated by forward Wayne Rooney (9) after scoring a goal against the Atlanta United during the first half at Audi Field

  • Three MLS matches with important playoff implications are scheduled for Saturday night, starting with New York City FC-D.C. United at 4:55 p.m. ET (ESPN+).
  • Public bettors are fading the home favorites in both late games (Sporting KC-Orlando City at 8:30 p.m. ET and Colorado-Portland at 10:30 p.m. ET).
  • After analyzing the betting market, there's value in all three games.

Despite the international break, there are still three MLS matches scheduled for Saturday night and they all have critical playoff implications. Clubs will be shorthanded due to national-squad duties, but there’s plenty of betting value on the board.

After analyzing the betting market for each matchup, I’ve picked out two plays to make involving all three games.

Season Record: 48-50-3, +30.80 units, 31% ROI

D.C. United at New York City FC (4:55 p.m. ET on Univision)

D.C. United odds: +385
NYC FC odds: -140
Draw odds: +300
Over/Under: 3 (o-124)

D.C. United are riding a high after beating Atlanta United, 3-1, in their most recent outing, and are just six points out of a playoff spot with games in hand. It was probably their best game all season, but they’ll need to replicate that in order to win on the road in New York.

NYC FC suffered their first home loss of the season on Wednesday night, an unlucky 1-0 defeat to conference foes New England Revolution.

Despite being shut out, the hosts had 27 shots and numerous quality chances, and could have easily scored four or five goals.

Fortunately for NYC FC, they have a chance to turn things around quickly at home and are listed at -140 to get the victory. Moneylines have hardly budged since opening, and bettors can get D.C. United at nearly 4-1 odds, while the draw is listed at 3-1.

>> All odds as of 3 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLS odds and track your bets

This should be a competitive match, and I think that NYC FC are slightly overvalued, especially considering what’s on the line for D.C. United.

I already liked the value on the draw at +300, and it’s also the contrarian angle with just 12% of bets. The home side has won four straight in this matchup, but I think we’ll see the clubs split the points on Saturday.

The Bet:  NYC FC-D.C. United Draw (+300)

Orlando City SC at Sporting Kansas City (8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+)

Orlando City odds: +575
Sporting KC odds: -223
Draw odds: +405
Over/Under: 3.5 (u-120)

This summer has been a disaster for Orlando City as they find themselves at the bottom of the Eastern Conference with just one win in their last 17 MLS matches. Scoring hasn’t been an issue, but conceding has — they’ve given up a league-high 61 goals on the season, a rate of 2.35 per game.

Meanwhile, Sporting Kansas City have been one of the top teams in the Western Conference with an impressive +15 goal differential.

They’d gone four straight matches without conceding a goal before last week’s 3-1 defeat at Seattle, and head coach Peter Vermes was still happy with his team’s performance in the loss.

“I actually thought we played very well. To be able to come into the opposing team’s home field and play the way we did, we deserved more … just a little unlucky, but we played very well. I thought our performance was really good.”


On paper this has the makings of an easy home win, yet public bettors don’t really see it that way. More than half the bets have come in on Orlando City (+575) to pull off the upset, but sportsbooks haven’t bothered adjusting.

This is a rare spot where you can go contrarian on a big home favorite, and at a price of -223, I’ll gladly include them in a parlay. I also see some potential value on Sporting KC -1.5 (+115) considering the high over/under of 3.5.

The Bet: Sporting KC in parlay

Colorado Rapids at Portland Timbers (10:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+)

Colorado odds: +611
Portland odds: -216
Draw odds: +370
Over/Under: 3 (u-115)

The Colorado Rapids are rested, but I’m not sure that really matters at this point after being outscored, 8-0, in their last two games.

The Timbers seem to be back on track after losing four consecutive MLS matches in August, and they’re heavy -216 favorites to get the home victory Saturday night.

Early bettors have come in on Colorado, which is surprising considering their poor form. Perhaps public bettors are enticed by the big +600 payout, but I just don’t see the upset happening in this one.

Odds are currently around -215 on Portland, and I expect them to rise over the next 24 hours. I like the value while the line is still low, and think they’re a great partner with Sporting KC in a parlay.

The Bet: Portland in parlay

Value Plays

  • NYC FC-D.C. United Draw (+300)
  • Sporting KC/Portland moneyline parlay (+112)