MLS Playoffs Odds & Best Bets: 2 Picks for Nashville vs. Orlando City & Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake (Nov. 23)
Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: Seattle Sounders standouts Nicolás Lodeiro, left, and Jordan Morris.
- The MLS playoffs continue on Tuesday after an exciting opening weekend.
- Our soccer betting analysts have picks for both matches on the docket, starting in Nashville and ending in Seattle.
- Check out their details previews and breakdowns below.
The final two teams in the last eight of the MLS Cup Playoffs will be decided in Tuesday’s postseason matches.
Nashville SC hosts Orlando City in the first contest pitting Eastern Conference foes against each other who drew all three of their regular-season encounters.
In the nightcap, Seattle hosts Real Salt Lake after each side won at home in two regular-season meetings.
Home teams in MLS are almost always favored, but oddsmakers like Seattle’s chances to advance even more than Nashville’s according to the latest odds. However, that’s not necessarily where you should put your money.
That said, here are our best bets on the slate.
Tuesday’s Best Bets
Nashville vs. Orlando City
|Orlando City Odds||+300|
|Over/Under||2.5 (+112 / -136)|
|Day | Time||Tuesday | 8 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||FS1 | fuboTV|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
The difference how Nashville plays at home versus away provides the most reliable opportunity in this fourth tilt of 2021 against Orlando City.
Manager Gary Smith’s squad has a reputation for conservatism based on a league-record 18 draws, league-high six scoreless draws and league-low tying 33 goals conceded. However, the club is far more proactive at home, having scored in all but one of its 17 matches at Nissan Stadium.
And when you take the 34-game sample of Nashville home games and Orlando City away games, the total has gone over 2.5 goals on 19 occasions. Both teams scored in 24 of those 34 games. In 16 matches, both scored and the total went over the number.
It checks out analytically as well. Those contests are averaging about 2.58 expected goals per game, above both teams’ overall season averages. Orlando City is more likely to be held scoreless away than home, but it’s only happened four times at any venue this season.
In other words, playing the total over 2.5 at +112 odds, yes on both teams to score (-110) or a combination of the two (+145) are good value. The middle wager probably has the best chance of happening, even though the odds are lowest with a 52.4% implied probability. It has hit 70.6% of the time in the previously mentioned 34-game sample.
The straight draw is also an option given the history, but Nashville also earned a lot of draws in the regular season last year, only to play more decisively in the playoffs. So, I’m passing on that potential pick.
Pick: Both Teams To Score — Yes (-110)
Seattle vs. Real Salt Lake
|Real Salt Lake Odds||+400|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-150 / +105)|
|Day | Time||Tuesday | 10:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||FS1 | fuboTV|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
On the surface, Seattle is too heavily favored. The Sounders are the rare team in 2021 that has won more often on the road. And they’re winless in their last six games.
The popular narrative says Seattle always bounces back come the playoffs. However, while the Sounders have reached four of the past five MLS Cups, they’ve also come into every previous postseason with at least a small, good run to end the regular season.
However, I just can’t back Real Salt Lake. The club is wildly inconsistent and coming off a pair of good performances, which suggests a bad one is right around the corner.
So, I think Seattle probably has enough postseason muscle memory to get through this contest, but how do you find value in that? Well, looking at how often the Sounders arrive at their wins.
Nine of their victories this season have come after being tied at the half, which is 26.5% of the full 34-game schedule. Since the single-elimination playoff format began in 2019, three of Seattle’s eight playoff games have progressed the same way.
By the eye test, it also just fits how they play, which is to sit and absorb pressure before halftime, make adjustments and punish mistakes after it.
That said, I’m going aggressive and playing a halftime/full-time wager of a draw at half and the Sounders winning in the end. At +350 odds, the implied 22.2% probability is a good deal lower than this bet has hit recently in Seattle games.
Pick: Draw/Sounders — Halftime/Fulltime (+350)
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