New England vs. Toronto FC Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: Take This Team Total at +245

New England vs. Toronto FC Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: Take This Team Total at +245 article feature image
Credit:

Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images. Pictured: Alejandro Pozuelo.

  • Toronto FC faces the New England Revolution in its first match since firing former manager Chris Armas.
  • Bruce Arena's Revolution have been fantastic all season, although they lost two key players due to participation in the Gold Cup.
  • Ian Quillen breaks down the matchup below and delivers his best bet for the Eastern Conference showdown.

New England vs. Toronto FC Odds

New England Odds -210
Toronto FC Odds +475
Draw +370
Over/Under 3.5 (+128 / -167)
Day | Time Wednesday | 7 p.m. ET
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Odds as of Tuesday evening via DraftKings

Life after Chris Armas for Toronto FC begins when they visit the Eastern Conference-leading New England Revolution on Wednesday night.

Toronto’s six-match losing streak — culminating in a disastrous 7-1 loss at D.C. United on Saturday — resulted in Armas’ dismissal before the midpoint of his first season managing one of the preseason MLS Cup favorites.

Oddsmakers also considered New England among the major contenders this preseason, and they’ve lived up to the billing so far, having led the Eastern Conference since mid-May while losing only once in their last seven games.

Most recently, the Revolution earned a 2-2 draw to at least partially spoil the Columbus Crew’s opener at Lower.com stadium.

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Revs Looking to Regain Form

Even though the Revolution are only two games removed from a five-match winning run, defensive cracks have been showing for a while.

The Revs conceded twice away to New York City FC and home against the New York Red Bulls despite winning both matches, then they couldn’t overcome conceding two more in a 2-1 loss at Dallas.

The Columbus draw made a fourth-straight match conceding two goals. And New England has more or less deserved that fate while allowing opponents 6.8 total expected goals (xG) in that stretch.

Slumps happen. But it’s not great timing to then lose goalkeeper Matt Turner, one of the league’s most instinctive shot stoppers, to international duty with the U.S. men’s national team at the Concacaf Gold Cup.

Winger Tajon Buchanan (Canada) has also departed for the tournament, albeit while leaving manager Bruce Arena with better replacement options up front than in goal.

Adam Buksa has four goals while coming off the bench in half of his 12 appearances, but he’s a leading candidate to take Buchanan’s spot in the starting XI, possibly in a formation change.

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Toronto Hopes Coaching Change Brings Better Results

Whispers that Armas may have lost Toronto’s dressing room certainly weren’t quieted by Saturday’s embarrassing defeat that brought questions surrounding the team’s effort level.

The Reds were down three by the midpoint of the first half. They then conceded three more goals in the final 15 minutes after losing defender Eriq Zavaleta to a second yellow card.

If there was discontent within the dressing room, that’s one reason you might expect an improved performance on Wednesday. Another is the idea of reigning MLS MVP Alejandro Pozuelo and splashy early season signing Yeferson Soteldo on the field together.

Pozuelo returned slightly earlier than expected from a hamstring injury when he came on in the second half Saturday. Back from Copa America duty with Venezuela, Soteldo had also just come on at halftime.

On the field together for the first time, the two helped Toronto produce some of their best sequences until Paul Arriola made it 4-1 somewhat against the run of play. Then came the Zavaleta red and subsequent unraveling.

Among TFC’s Gold Cup call-ups are Canadian midfielders Richie Laryea and Jonathan Osorio. But striker Ayo Akinola (Canada) and fullback Kemar Lawrence (Jamaica) have been permitted to remain with their club side through Wednesday.

Betting Analysis & Pick

In terms of talent, New England isn’t worthy of being favored at home by -210 odds. In terms of performance, they’re worth more than an opponent that has spent two months self destructing.

So that makes betting this game about two questions:

  1. Will Toronto’s end product be better under interim manager Javier Perez?
  2. If so, will it matter enough to back them earning one or more points?

For me, the answer to No. 1 is “probably,” and to No. 2 is “not necessarily.”

Regardless of the coach, Toronto has a striking lack of athleticism in its defensive core, now that holding midfielder Michael Bradley and defensive backs Omar Gonzalez and Chris Mavinga are all north of 30 years old. And goalkeeper Alex Bono has been statistically below average as a shot stopper.

Even if 27 goals conceded is slightly misleading, TFC is still allowing opponents a sizable 1.72 xG per game, according to StatsBomb. The solution to fix that isn’t so obvious.

So how do you find value for a team you think is undervalued but that you also don’t trust? For me it’s in playing Toronto’s total goals.

Akinola, Pozuelo and Soteldo together make a well-above average attacking unit. Turner’s absence could have an impact on New England’s back line. And the Revolution have already been struggling on defense recently.

Backing Toronto to get at least a point in a double-chance wager at +170 odds and an implied 37% probability is tempting. But for me, playing them to score two or more goals at +245 odds and a 29% implied probability is easily better value, particularly given the Revs’ recent issues.

Toronto’s odd track record in 2021 backs that up. The Reds have scored twice in five of their 11 games. They’ve earned points in only three.

Pick: Toronto over 1.5 total team goals (+245)

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