MLS Betting: A Trio of Value Plays for Wednesday Night

MLS Betting: A Trio of Value Plays for Wednesday Night article feature image

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: NY Red Bulls defender Aurelien Collin (78) and Philadelphia Union forward Fafa Picault (9)

  • There are just three MLS matches on Wednesday night but plenty of betting value on the board.
  • The Red Bulls, Dynamo and Earthquakes are getting the majority of bets in their respective games.

Wednesday night’s MLS action features just one playoff team (New York Red Bulls) but there’s plenty at stake as teams jockey for position in the race for the postseason.

  • D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls (8 p.m. ET)
  • Houston Dynamo vs. Philadelphia Union (9 p.m. ET)
  • San Jose Earthquakes vs. Seattle Sounders FC (10:30 p.m. ET)

After analyzing the betting market for each match, I’ve picked out three value plays, all risking one unit apiece.

Season Record: 33-39-2, +15.98 units, 22% ROI

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New York Red Bulls at D.C. United

Moneyline odds:  NY Red Bulls +133, D.C. United +190, Draw +296
Total: 3 (o-113)
Time: 9 p.m. ET

The New York Red Bulls have won five of six games and have been stingy defensively, conceding just four goals over that span. They’ve got a positive goal differential on the road and haven’t had to travel very far the last few weeks.

D.C. United will have to take advantage of their new home field where they’ll play 14 of the last 18 games of the season. They’ve been on recent trips to Los Angeles and Atlanta but will finally get to settle in at home for two consecutive matches.

The Red Bulls are getting the majority of bets at three prominent offshore sportsbooks, which makes sense considering they’re the better team and available at plus-money. The odds have bounced around since open, but have ultimately shifted away from D.C. United:

The Red Bulls play a very direct style and have a plethora of offensive talent, so it’ll be hard to keep them off the scoreboard. I’m also concerned about the number of shots and chances that D.C. gives up, but that’s likely more a product of playing so many road games.

On paper this is a match that the Red Bulls should win, but we’ve seen how difficult it is for MLS road teams to win outright. The draw is the least popular bet and now that the line is up to +296, I like the value on these teams sharing the points.

Philadelphia Union at Houston Dynamo

Moneyline odds: Houston -138, Philadelphia +367, Draw +324
Total: 3 (o-118)
Time: 9 p.m. ET

Last week was another disappointing result for the Philadelphia Union, losing at home to the LA Galaxy, 3-1, after taking a lead into halftime. Now they have to travel down to Houston for a midweek battle against a Dynamo club that averages 2.4 goals per game at home.

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This is a rare match where public bettors are actually split on the total, with 54% on the over and 46% on the under. Both teams are in the top-ten in xGD (expected goal differential) and the juice on the over has increased from -110 to -118.

There should be at least 3 goals scored in this game, so I’ll take the bit of juice on the over.

Seattle Sounders at San Jose Earthquakes

Moneyline odds: San Jose +145, Seattle +185, Draw +260
Total: 2.5 (o-119)
Time: 10:30 p.m. ET

The public betting patterns have surprised me in this match, but the line movement has not.

The San Jose Earthquakes are actually getting the majority of bets (57%), which is higher than I expected. They’ve won only two games all season and have earned just four points at home.

The odds have shifted toward Seattle (+203 to +185), which I figured would be the case considering they’re unbeaten in their last four games. They’re still fighting for a playoff spot while the Earthquakes’ season is likely done at this point.

Mix in the fact that strange things are happening with San Jose players and coaches, and there’s no reason to back them. Instead I’m going with Seattle (+185) to get a road victory.

Value Plays

D.C. United-New York Red Bulls Draw (+296)
Houston-Philadelphia Over 3 (-118)
Seattle (+185) at San Jose