MLS Odds & Picks | Best Bets For Atlanta United vs Philadelphia Union & More

MLS Odds & Picks | Best Bets For Atlanta United vs Philadelphia Union & More article feature image

Ira Black/Getty. Pictured: Josef Martinez.

July begins with another full slate of MLS matches, and is typically the month when the contenders and pretenders separate.

In Quebec on Saturday night, CF Montreal looks to continue their exceptional home form when New York City FC pay a visit. Later down in Texas, FC Dallas will be short-handed in a visit from defending MLS Cup and Supporters' Shield champion LAFC.

And on Sunday, Atlanta United have a chance to prove they're for real on national TV when the Philadelphia Union come to town.

As always, here are my best bets for the weekend slate.

MLS Odds & Picks

CF Montreal vs New York City FC

Montreal Odds+130
NYCFC Odds+200
Over/Under2.5 (-112 / -112)
Day | TimeSaturday |  7:30 p.m. ET
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Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Keep betting against CF Montreal at home at your own peril.

I was as down as anyone on Montreal after they let manager Wilfriend Nancy walk, lost some key talent to the winter transfer market and hired Hernan Losada as the next gaffer after his turbulent tenure in D.C.

Still, I believe they’re an imperfect squad whose ceiling is probably a conference semifinal. But it’s clear Montreal are much better now than at the start of the season when they were adjusting to Losada’s methods.

They’re also the second-best home team in the league behind FC Cincinnati, a trend that echoes Losada's D.C. tenure.

Meanwhile, NYCFC have been a predictable under-performer of their xG numbers without a true No. 9 to replace Taty Castellanos.

Their failure to win at all away from home this season is a little unlucky. But they’ve always had more stark home/away splits than the league average while playing most of their home games in MLB stadiums either in Queens or The Bronx.

Montreal aren't a heavy enough favorite here, and the 2.5-goal total also doesn’t skew far enough toward the under given both teams’ home/away splits.

Given that, I’d combine the trends and leave some margin for error in both with a same-game parlay on Montreal to at least draw and the total to come in under 3.5 goals. 

At -110 odds and an implied  52.4% probability, it’s a bet that has cashed 73.6% of the time between Montreal's home schedule and NYCFC's travels.

I’ll probably also put a smaller, more aggressive wager on Montreal to win and the total under 2.5 (+450 via FanDuel), which has cashed just under half the time within the same splits.

Quillen's Pick: Same-Game Parlay, CF Montreal or Draw and Under 3.5 (-110 via BetMGM)

FC Dallas vs LAFC

Dallas Odds+200
LAFC Odds+137
Over/Under2.5 (-125 / +100)
Day | TimeSaturday | 8:30 p.m. ET
How To WatchMLS Season Pass
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Sometimes the value on a total comes in the middle rather than at either extreme, and I think that’s the case when LAFC visits short-handed FC Dallas.

As explosive as LAFC’s attack can be, it is usually less so when they travel, even when the stars are available.

The total has gone above 3.5 only twice in eight away games. One of those was a 3-2 win against a badly ailing LA Galaxy, and the other a weird 4-0 defeat to the Houston Dynamo toward the end of a long run of games in a short time.

Meanwhile, Dallas are without Jesus Ferreira, who is on international duty with the U.S. He's scored nearly half their goals this season. Winger Paul Arriola and second striker Jesus Jimenez are also out to injury, really limiting Dallas’ attacking potential.

I don’t think we’ll see another of the large number of scoreless draws that has plagued the league season, but I do think this is unlikely to be a true track meet.

So, I like playing a goal-bands wager on the total landing on 2 or 3 goals at +100 odds and a 50% implied probability. It’s a bet that has cashed on 11-of-17 occasions between LAFC away matches and Dallas home games.

Quillen's Pick: Multi-goal, 2 or 3 Goals (+100 via Caesars)

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Atlanta United vs Philadelphia Union

Atlanta Odds+137
Philadelphia Odds+190
Over/Under2.5 (-150 / +115)
Day | TimeSunday | 4 p.m. ET
How To WatchFOX | MLS Season Pass
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Philadelphia have lost only once on the road since being eliminated from the CONCACAF Champions League, and the Union were arguably the better side in that 2-1 defeat in San Jose a couple weeks ago.

If you acted swiftly, you could’ve snatched up the Union +0.5 goals at -110 odds when the line opened. And there’s probably still some value on the visitors, who I believe are still the best team in the Eastern Conference now that they’re not balancing multiple commitments.

You might consider the draw on the moneyline. But where I think you find the best value is on a team total wager above 1.5 goals at +140 odds and an implied 41.7 % probability against an Atlanta defense that has had trouble all season taking care of the ball.

The odds are about in line with the payout rate for this wager — eight of 19 times between Atlanta home games and Philly’s travels. But I’d pay more attention to Philly scoring two or more in more than half of their away games, including 3-of-5 since the CCL ended. 

Atlanta are average at best defensively, and worse than that when they’re missing Miles Robinson — arguably the best 1 v 1 defender in the league — to international duty.

Quillen's Pick: Philadelphia Team Total Over 1.5 (+140 via FanDuel)

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