July 4 MLS Value Bets and Market Analysis

Credit:

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports.

After a brief hiatus from MLS betting due to incredible World Cup action every day, it’s time to dive right back in, and what better day to start than Independence Day.

The Fourth of July slate features five matches, highlighted by FC Dallas hosting Atlanta United in a battle between top teams in the league.

Below I’ve previewed each match and analyzed the betting market to identify four value plays (Season Record: 30-30-2, +19.35 units, 33% ROI).

(All lines as of Wednesday morning via Pinnacle sportsbook. All betting percentages are the offshore market average. Bettors can find all the latest odds and betting percentages with a Sports Insights membership).

Toronto FC at Minnesota United (7 p.m. ET)

Moneyline odds: Toronto +130, Minnesota +207, Draw +276 
Total: 3 (o-111)

Minnesota United was expected to struggle this season, but the underwhelming play of Toronto FC is surprising. Both teams are in the bottom half of their respective conferences and multiple wins away from the playoff line. Things have been trending downward, too, as they’ve combined to lose their last five games, but at least one of them will earn points Wednesday night.

Toronto FC was a bit unlucky in their recent loss at home against the Red Bulls, 1-0, on Sunday afternoon. They also squandered a lead the previous week to a top team, NYC FC, so they desperately need to get points against a weaker Minnesota United club.

All of the early line movement has been toward Toronto FC, who are now +130 after opening +162. Roughly 65% of bets have come in on the road team, so both public bettors and sharp money are on the same side.

Oddsmakers expect goals with a high total of 3, but public bettors are only slightly leaning on the over. Since a lot of the value is already gone on the Toronto FC moneyline, I’m shifting focus on their team total of 1.5. They should have had multiple goals last week, but just couldn’t find the back of the net. They should get plenty of those opportunities against a vulnerable Minnesota squad.

By taking the team total over 1.5, you can avoid any risk on the moneyline result or over/under result and simply root for a couple road goals.

Bet: Toronto FC over 1.5 (-110)

Atlanta United at FC Dallas (8 p.m. ET)

Moneyline odds: Dallas +143, Atlanta +196, Draw +244
Total: 2.5 (u-123)

Two of the top teams in the MLS clash in Dallas and the hosts are unbeaten at home through nine matches this year, so this will be a real tough test for Atlanta United. There’s no doubt the visitors will be up for the challenge though; they are unbeaten in their last six games with just one road loss all season.

FC Dallas are mostly healthy and they’ll need to be in order to stop the potent attack from Atlanta United. Unfortunately for Atlanta, midfielder Darlington Nagbe (groin) is expected to miss at least two months, so we’ll see how they respond without him.

Both clubs are getting more than 40% of public support on the moneyline, but the line movement has been on Atlanta United (+196) and the draw (+244). With a total trending toward under 2.5 goals, we may not see a high-scoring game like Atlanta is used to and I expect the teams to split the points. Avoiding a loss would be positive for both clubs to keep their momentum going forward.

Bet: Draw +244

Seattle Sounders at Colorado Rapids (9 p.m. ET)

Moneyline odds: Colorado +136, Seattle +206, Draw +245
Total: 2.5 (u-122)

In another matchup of MLS cellar dwellers, Colorado is somehow looking for their third straight victory as they host always-slumping Seattle. The teams have combined to lose 18 of 31 games this season and scored just 33 times in the process.

The Sounders have won four straight against the Rapids dating back to 2016, which is probably the only positive trend they can bank on. They’ve had their share of injuries to deal with, but nothing has gone right this year and they’ve been shutout in eight of 15 matches.

 

Colorado has scored in every home game while Seattle has no clean sheets on the road, so the Rapids should feel good about getting on the scoreboard.

Since opening, oddsmakers have dropped Seattle’s odds from +230 to +205, but I’m not as convinced they’ll get the outright win. Both teams would love all three points, and a draw would be frustrating for each side, but that’s how this one feels like it’ll end.

Bet: Draw +230

Sporting Kansas City at Real Salt Lake (10 p.m. ET)

Moneyline odds: Real Salt Lake +154, Sporting KC +180, Draw +245
Total: 2.5 (o-117)

Real Salt Lake (7-8-2) hardly ever plays to a draw (they have the second-fewest in the West). They easily have the worst xGD (expected goal differential) at -11.3, yet they’re in the playoff picture midway through the season.

Sporting Kansas City is on the opposite end of the spectrum with an xGD of +7.9, so their position at the top of the West is no accident.

Just over half the bets have come in on Sporting KC, and their odds have fallen from +195 to +180. This is a tricky road match, but I’ll back the better team to  leave with all three points.

Bet: Sporting KC (+180)

DC United at Los Angeles Galaxy (10:30 p.m. ET)

Moneyline odds: LA Galaxy -166, DC United +452, Draw +326
Total: 3 (o-115)

DC United has the fewest points in the league (10) but there’s good news for them. They’ve played only 13 games, just signed forward Wayne Rooney, and are close to opening up their new home stadium. With a few good results they could be make a run for the playoffs, but it obviously needs to happen now.

The Galaxy will be disappointed to have blown a two-goal lead last week against San Jose in a 3-3 draw, but they’re still unbeaten in five of their last six. Nearly 70% of bettors are laying their money on LA getting back to winning ways against the worst team in the league.

The odds make sense here and I don’t see much value in taking the Galaxy to win, so this is a game I’m laying off.

Bet: Pass

Value Plays (Season Record: 30-30-2, +19.35 units, 33% ROI)

Toronto FC Over 1.5 Team Goals (-110)
FC Dallas-Atlanta United Draw (+244)
Seattle-Colorado Draw (+230)
Sporting KC (+180) at Real Salt Lake

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