MLS Odds, Picks, Predictions: Matchday 14 Best Bets
Pictured: Leo Chu. (Photo by Bill Barrett/ISI Photos/Getty Images)
Saturday’s 14-game MLS slate marks the end of the league’s Rivalry Week and, as always, there are some intriguing matchups and lines.
To start things off, Atlanta United and striker Giorgos Giakoumakis visit the Chicago Fire.
Later that night, Saint Louis City SC hosts Sporting Kansas City.
And out West, the Seattle Sounders look to get back to their winning ways in a nightcap against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Here are our best bets for the MLS Matchday 14 schedule.
MLS Odds & Picks
Chicago vs. Atlanta
|Over/Under||2.5 (-154/ +126)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 7:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||MLS Season Pass|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
Giakoumakis is the MLS leader in non-penalty xG per 90 minutes at 0.79.
The imposing Greek striker, despite being limited to five starts while navigating paperwork issues and a hamstring strain, already has six goals.
If he stays healthy, he’s probably the most equipped player in MLS to challenge LAFC’s Denis Bouanga in the Golden Boot race.
And after coming on as a sub in back-to-back games — during which he scored late goal in a 4-0 home win over Colorado on Wednesday night — it seems likely he’ll get back in the starting lineup against Chicago.
The Fire have not defended as well at home as they did last season, and they’ve got a bit of a pattern of conceding to other teams’ primary targets. Giakoumakis already scored against the Fire in Atlanta, as did Philly’s Julian Carranza and Daniel Gazdag, NYCFC’s Gabriel Pereira and Cincinnati’s Sergio Santos.
Despite all that, if you act now, you can still find Giakoumakis to score at a price that suggests uncertainty over his starting status. FanDuel has the best odds I’ve seen (+210, an implied 32.3% probability).
Quillen’s Pick: Giorgios Giakoumakis anytime goalscorer (+210, FanDuel)
St. Louis vs. Kansas City
|St. Louis Odds||+100|
|Kansas City Odds||+250|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-145/ +100)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 9:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||FS1, MLS Season Pass|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
St. Louis City has gone through some much-anticipated regression after a blistering start, but I like how this sets up for them against a Sporting Kansas City team returning from a midweek road trip.
Yes, Kansas City has improved lately and gotten healthier, but they’re also old, which makes Saturday’s three-day turnaround more difficult.
Also, while Kansas City’s results have improved, their underlying numbers haven’t. They’ve created fewer expected goals than their opponents in six consecutive matches.
Then there’s St. Louis City’s home-field advantage, which is stronger than the average MLS edge, given just how vocal and consistent the crowds have been.
That said, there’s enough questions around both teams that I feel more comfortable if I can find an extra edge for backing the hosts. For me, that edge comes in the form of parlaying a City win with a total over 2.5 goals.
There have been at least three goals scored in all six of City’s victories, and three of KC’s four away defeats.
Quillen’s Pick: Same-Game Parlay: St. Louis City Moneyline and Over 2.5 Goals (+180, BetMGM)
Vancouver vs. Seattle
|Over/Under||2.5 (-115/ -118)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 10:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||MLS Season Pass|
|Odds via BetRivers. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
The Seattle Sounders have lost back-to-back home games and are suddenly more than 2-to-1 underdogs for this weekend’s trip to Vancouver.
There are a couple reasons to like Seattle’s chances to bounce back on this short trip.
For starters, the Whitecaps’ home-field advantage probably isn’t what it would be in a normal circumstance.
Seattle is one of a handful of other teams that plays on turf at home. And they’ve had the lesser travel demands this week since they were home Wednesday while Vancouver traveled to Dallas.
Further, while the Sounders likely remain without Cristian Roldan and Raul Ruidiaz, they did see wide men Leo Chu and Nouhou Tolo return as subs in their midweek defeat.
And more to the point, while Seattle haven’t attacked as crisply as they did earlier in the season, they’ve not exactly been poor, besting their opponents by 0.79 xG per 90 minutes in their past seven games. And they haven’t lost back-to-back games this year.
As for Vancouver, they’re a team I am generally bullish on, but they lack a win against a top-tier opponent. Their two home wins this season — by a goal each over Portland and Minnesota — certainly don’t fall into that category.
There’s a range of ways to back the visitors, but I’m most comfortable playing them to earn at least a point at -155 odds and a 60.8% implied probability.
(Full Disclosure: I bet this line early in the week at -130, but I think there’s still value here.)
Quillen’s Pick: Seattle +0.5 Goals, two-way handicap (-155, BetRivers)
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