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MLS Playoffs Odds & Best Bets: 2 Picks, Including RBNY & Sporting Kansas City (Nov. 20)

MLS Playoffs Odds & Best Bets: 2 Picks, Including RBNY & Sporting Kansas City (Nov. 20) article feature image

Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Sporting Kansas City standout Johnny Russell.

  • The MLS Cup playoffs commence Saturday, with a game taking place in each conference's side of the postseason competition.
  • Ian Quillen details his best bets on the card, including an angle on the Sporting Kansas City match.
  • Check out below where he has found value in these affairs.

The MLS Cup Playoffs begin on Saturday with a pair of intriguing games for fans and bettors alike.

The Philadelphia Union are the second seed in the Eastern Conference. However, in their first-round game, the line has been moving toward the underdog New York Red Bulls, who only lost once in their last 12 games to slide into the final playoff spot.

In the West, Sporting Kansas City is the strong and steady favorite in its first-round tilt as the conference’s third seed.

However, if anyone feels like a team of destiny out west, it may be its opponent — the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Canadian side has gone 7-2-5 (W-L-D) since Vanni Sartini took over as manager.

The playoffs are always a little unpredictable, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find betting value. Here are out best bets for the Saturday slate.

Saturday’s Best Bets

Philadelphia vs. RBNY

Philadelphia Odds+120
RBNY Odds+255
Over/Under2.5 (+120 / -145)
Day | TimeSaturday | 2:30 p.m. ET
How To WatchUnivision | fuboTV
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

The games have been tight and low scoring through the regular season between these sides, with only five total goals scored.

So play the under, right? Not quite. These sides have produced an average of 2.4 expected goals combined in their three games. And two of those clashes were at Red Bull Arena, where New York and its high press have played much cagier games and where the Union were content to settle for a point.

There’s a chance for a little regression here, though it’s not so much that I feel bullish on the over. These are still pressing teams that are most comfortable in disorder, so it’s hard to imagine a true goal fest.

Instead I’d rather play the middle with a goal bands wager at two or three goals at +110 odds and an implied 47.6% implied probability.

A 1-1, 2-0 or 2-1 final are all very reasonable possible outcomes here after the initial 90 minutes are up.

PickGoal Bands — 2-3 goals (+110) at DraftKings

Sporting KC vs. Vancouver

Sporting KC Odds-150
Vancouver Odds+425
Over/Under2.5 (-155 / +125)
Day | TimeSaturday | 5:30 p.m. ET
How To WatchUniMás | fuboTV
Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Regularly in MLS, you get a meeting where one team’s home tendencies match with another team’s road form to give you a value edge. That’s true here with two trend plays.

Free flowing — and at times defensively vulnerable — Sporting Kansas City has played more open contests in 2021 on home soil. Gritty Vancouver has often had to open itself more on the road, particularly in games it concedes early.

As a result, both teams have scored in 25 of 34 games combined between Sporting KC’s home matches and Vancouver’s away fixtures. That’s a ratio of 73.5%, well above the 60.8% implied probability of -155 odds on a “yes” wager on both teams to score.

Similar home and away trends also make playing the straight draw at +300 odds and 25% implied probability another strong value proposition. Sporting KC drew five of home matches, and the Whitecaps shared the points 10 times on their travels. That’s 44.1% of the total 34-game sample.

Even if the single-elimination playoffs are a little different, they’re not that different. With the draw paying out after 90 minutes, and not after extra time, it’s too good a price to pass up.

Pick: Draw (+300) & Both Team To Score — Yes (-155) at DraftKings

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