MLS Odds & Picks | Soccer Expert Analysis & Best Bets (July 15)

MLS Odds & Picks | Soccer Expert Analysis & Best Bets (July 15) article feature image

Jose Argueta/Getty. Pictured: Christian Benteke.

We're quickly nearing the two-thirds pole of the 2023 MLS regular season, and all but one of the league's 29 teams will be in action on Saturday night in the final day of play before the break for the Leagues Cup.

In Philadelphia, the Union host New York City FC in a fixture that has been crucial to the battle for Eastern Conference supremacy in recent years.

In New England, the Revolution defend their unbeaten home record against a D.C. side that has been one of the better road teams in the East this season.

And in Minnesota, striker Teemu Pukki could make his first home start when defending MLS Cup champions LAFC come to town.

Let's take a look at our best bets for the Saturday night slate.

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MLS Odds & Picks

Philadelphia Union vs New York City FC

Philadelphia Odds-110
NYCFC Odds+300
Over/Under2.5 (-118 / -106)
Day | TimeSaturday |  7:30 p.m. ET
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Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

New York City FC may have had a full week to prepare while the Union battled to an emotional win at fellow conference contenders Nashville SC.

But the Cityzens continue to finish chances too inconsistently to be a reliable away side, even if they are 1-0-5 (W-L-D) on their travels in the last six.

Help is coming in the form of summer signing of striker Mounsef Bakar, but he is likely to still be awaiting his visa paperwork for Saturday’s clash. 

The Union have also won five of the last seven between these sides, including a 3-1 triumph at Citi Field this season and a 3-1 home win in last year’s Eastern Conference final.

They’ll be without leading scorer Julian Carranza after he was sent off late in the Nashville win. But the Union will likely see defensive midfielder Jose Martinez return from illness and reigning MLS goalkeeper of the year Andre Blake come back from international duty.

At full strength and with full rest, the play here would be the Philly moneyline. Without those, I’ll instead opt for a same-game parlay on the Union to earn at least a point and the total to come in under 3.5.

The home-away splits for both sides favor a somewhat lower total. Overall, this parlay at -130 odds and an implied 56.5% probability has cashed 72.7 % of the time between Philly’s 10 home games and NYCFC’s 12 away matches this season.

Quillen's Pick: Same-game parlay, Philadelphia Union or draw and under 3.5 (-130 via BetMGM)

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New England Revolution vs D.C. United

New England Odds+105
D.C. Odds+250
Over/Under2.5 (-138 / +107)
Day | TimeSaturday | 7:30 p.m. ET
How To WatchMLS Season Pass
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Christian Benteke hasn’t scored in his last five appearances for D.C. United.

After missing a midweek trip to Dallas earlier this month with a card accumulation suspension, however, he looked refreshed in a 2-2 draw against Inter Miami last weekend, getting on the end of 1.0 xG worth of chances despite not scoring.

And while Benteke had been outperforming his xG predictions for a while this season, he’s now lagging them by about a goal. 

It’s unlikely the goal drought will last much longer for a player of his experience and technical ability, and a trip to New England might provide a good place to end that dry spell at a good price for bettors.

The 'Revs may be unbeaten at home, but they’ve also conceded in seven consecutive league fixtures in Foxboro while allowing 8.8 xG over those matches. And it hasn’t been a terribly difficult home schedule, with a slumping Kansas City at the time, Miami and Toronto among the teams that have scored.

Bruce Arena even admitted this week that it feels like his team is walking a defensive tight rope at times.

Goalkeeper Djordje Petrovic is a major reason the Revs have earned points in all of those games, but it’s not like he’s keeping shutouts. I like Benteke to get plenty of chances on Saturday and put away at least one at +240 odds and an implied 29.4% probability.

Benteke already has scored in four of his 11 away appearances this season.

Quillen's Pick: Christian Benteke – Anytime goalscorer (+240 via PointsBet)

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Minnesota United vs LAFC

Minnesota Odds+150
LAFC Odds+155
Over/Under2.5 (-163 / +125)
Day | TimeSaturday | 7:30 p.m. ET
How To WatchMLS Season Pass
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Teemu Pukki may have seen his goal-scoring output slow in his last season in English football, but he should find the chances arrive more freely in his new home in MLS. 

It’s partly that he’ll be the undeniable focal point of an attack that badly needed a finisher to convert the chances it has been creating, and it’s partly that both the quality and nature of MLS defenses isn’t quite up to speed with that in the upper rungs of the English League Championship, even if the attackers are sometimes better.

With Minnesota United basically a pick’em against reigning MLS Cup champions LAFC on Saturday night, the odds on Pukki to score in his first home start at +200 and an implied 33.3% probability are higher than they should be.

Minnesota United have created 13.4 xG in their last seven home games while actually finding the net only nine times without their new target man.

LAFC have allowed 1.5 xG per 90 minutes across the entirety of their 10 away matches this season.

That Pukki still only played 59 minutes on Wednesday suggests there was an eye toward starting him again on the weekend.

And it’s a tough ask for any defense to prepare for a player brand new to the league on such a short turnaround following their own 3-0 win at St. Louis.

Quillen's Pick: Teemu Pukki – Anytime goalscorer (+200 via Barstool)

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