MLS Odds, Picks, Predictions: Best Bets For LA Galaxy vs LAFC & More

MLS Odds, Picks, Predictions: Best Bets For LA Galaxy vs LAFC & More article feature image

Christopher Morris/Getty. Pictured: Carlos Vela.

Major League Soccer rolls on with an intriguing Week 8 slate that begins Saturday night and continues with the first El Trafico clash of the season on Sunday afternoon.

On Saturday, the Columbus Crew host the New England Revolution in a meeting of emerging Eastern Conference contenders.

Later, the Chicago Fire try to prove their early season improvement is for real when they host the defending Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia Union.

Finally, desperate LA Galaxy side hosts white-hot LAFC Sunday in FOX's national broadcast.

Let's look at the games and the picks:

MLS Odds & Picks

Columbus vs New England

Columbus Odds+115
New England Odds+230
Over/Under2.5 (-110 / -110)
Day | TimeSaturday |  7:30 p.m. ET
How To WatchApple TV
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

The New England Revolution had some of the most pronounced home/away splits with totals in 2022 and so far it has continued this season.

In all, the total has gone over 2.5 goals in 16 of their 20 away games since the start of last season, including two of three this year. The rationale is pretty simple. Manager Bruce Arena just doesn't change his side's attacking posture all that much during away games, which leads to more open affairs than it might in Foxborough, where opponents park the bus a bit.

The Columbus Crew skewed toward lower-scoring games at home in 2022, but that's more or less irrelevant under new manager Wilfried Nancy arriving after last season. Nancy's Montreal teams were always proactive in 2021 and especially 2022, and the same has described the Crew at home in 2023.

The +11 home goal differential and 13 total goals scored in three home matches might be an exaggeration of that reality. Even so, Columbus and opponents have combined for 2.9 total xG per 90 minutes in those three games.

New England's three away games have also averaged 2.9 total xG per 90 minutes. That's enough for me to bet over the total confidently at -110 odds and an implied 52.4% probability. My guess is the real probability of an over here is at least 60% and maybe higher.

Quillen's Pick: Over 2.5 (-110)

Chicago vs Philadelphia

Chicago Odds+155
Philadelphia Odds+165
Over/Under2.5 (-120 / +100)
Day | TimeSaturday |  8:30 p.m. ET
How To WatchMLS Season Pass
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

The Chicago Fire have looked more competent in attack this season than in 2022, when they finished last in MLS with only 18 goals scored at home. But the circumstances in this game are ripe for fading that trend.

2022 Eastern Conference champion Philadelphia visit three days removed from a grueling 2-2 draw at Atlas FC in Guadalajara. That match saw Philly advance 3-2 on aggregate to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals.

The starting front three of Mikael Uhre, Julian Carranza and Daniel Gazdag played a combined 266 of 270 possible minutes in that game about a mile above sea level at the Estadio Jalisco. That means we're almost certain to see Philly squad rotation and an approach similar to last weekend at Cincinnati, where manager Jim Curtin deployed a 5-3-2 for the first half.

Chicago is even less equipped to solve such an approach than Cincy. And if the underwhelming Xherdan Shaqiri returns after an injury layoff, that might be subtraction by addition in terms of chance creation.

The under has cashed in two of the Fire's four away games so far, and the xG numbers also suggest the trend of home unders may return. Teams are combining for just 2.3 xG per 90 minutes in the four Fire home games so far. There have been less than 2.0 xG created between teams in Chicago's last two home matches.

There's more than enough reason to back the under here at even money and an implied 50% probability.

Quillen's Pick: Under 2.5 (+100)

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LA Galaxy vs LAFC

LA Galaxy Odds+170
LAFC Odds+143
Over/Under2.5 (-167 / +123)
Day | TimeSunday |  4:30 p.m. ET
How To WatchFOX | Apple TV
Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

It's hard to quantify the dysfunction surrounding the LA Galaxy coming into this derby clash.

Fans continue to protest team president Chris Klein's presence in the organization after he was found primarily responsible for salary violations incurred during the 2019 season. Klein responded with a downright weird public statement saying he would resign at season's end if the results weren't up to par, but not before.

Manager Greg Vanney has publicly bemoaned refereeing decisions and reporters not injecting proper context into criticism of the club. Some suspect Douglas Costa got purposefully sent off late in last week's 3-0 defeat to the Houston Dynamo so he wouldn't have to play this weekend. Experienced center back Martin Caceres is also out on a red card suspension.

Can a possible return from last year's Galaxy leading scorer Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez salvage any of this? It feels unlikely, given Chicharito has not yet played this season because of a hamstring injury and is probably on a minutes limit.

Even though they're an away favorite, there may be value on LAFC on the moneyline. I think there's more value backing their team total to go above 1.5. It's happened in 4-of-6 MLS games this season and 7-of-10 in all competitions and in 8-of-14 all-time regular-season meetings between these clubs.

With five days following their comfortable 3-0 win over Vancouver on Tuesday night in the CONCACAF Champions League, recovery time shouldn't be a major issue.

Quillen's Pick: LAFC over 1.5 (+102)

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