MLS Week 3 Betting Preview: Will Seattle, LAFC and Minnesota Stay on Top?
Joe Nicholson, USA Today Sports.
- Draws have dominated the opening weeks of the 2019 MLS season but Seattle, Minnesota United and LAFC have all won their first two games.
- Each of those undefeated Western Conference clubs is on the road this weekend in a busy 12-match slate for Saturday and Sunday.
- We've broken down the betting market for the entire board including line moves and lopsided bets to find four value plays for the weekend.
Through the first two weeks of the season there have been eight draws (+11.56 units), ten home wins (-4.64 u) and five road wins (-6.53 u). Last weekend’s biggest favorites, Atlanta United, had to settle for a 1-1 draw against FC Cincinnati which cost a lot of bettors.
In the Western Conference, Seattle, LAFC and Minnesota United have all started the season with two victories apiece, and they’ll all be on the road as underdogs looking for three straight.
Here’s a look at the latest odds, betting breakdowns and five value plays for MLS Week 3.
(2019 MLS Record: 3-3-0, +0.75 units)
Betting Odds and Over/Unders
The home team is favored in 11 of 12 matches this weekend including seven odds-on moneyline favorites. The only home underdog is Colorado (+205) against Sporting KC.
More than half the over/unders have a listed total of 3 goals, and four others are trending up from 2.5 to 3.
Keep in mind that the Houston Dynamo, New York Red Bulls, Atlanta United and Sporting KC all played CONCACAF Champions League fixtures this past week, and all four are odds-on home favorites this weekend.
MLS Betting Market Breakdown and Value Plays
Columbus and FC Dallas are both undefeated on the young season and bettors love the Crew to win at home on Saturday afternoon, shifting their odds from -115 to -135.
In the opening match of the weekend, odds have fluctuated for Chicago-Seattle but lines are back to where they opened. The Fire have played well overall but the failure to convert chances in the first two matches has really cost them.
One of the biggest line movers features the Houston Dynamo hosting the Vancouver Whitecaps. Despite the odds shifting toward Houston, I love the inflated value on Vancouver, especially considering the success they’ve had in this head-to-head meeting the past couple years.
Another road side with odds on the rise is the Montreal Impact, and they can now be found at +225 odds to beat Orlando City. The Impact have won four of five in this matchup and definitely worth a bet now that the price is so high.
The biggest favorites of the weekend (and season) are the New York Red Bulls and their odds continue to rise against the San Jose Earthquakes. With a mix of sharp and public money, there’s certainly the possibility of reaching the -400 range.
Saturday’s late-night fixture features the LA Galaxy and they’ll be without Zlatan Ibrahimovic for the second game time this season.
The moneyline has dipped drastically toward Minnesota United (+275 to +225) as they aim to win their third consecutive match to start the year but the move seems excessive.
With the draw still listed at +270, that’s the best option here for the teams to split the points.
Toronto FC had a bye last week and will play the first of three consecutive home matches on Sunday night against the New England Revolution.
Early bettors have actually gone with the Revs but even as a fan I can’t get on board. They still look too disjointed so far, and have struggled massively to win on the road in recent years. The over (3) may be worth looking at as these teams have combined for nearly 3.5 goals per match when facing each other historically.
The best game of the week may be New York City FC-Los Angeles FC and odds are moving toward LAFC for the third straight game. With the moneyline still at +250, the value is there on the road side to come away with all three points again.
In the last match of the weekend, odds have really drifted from Sporting KC as they take on the Colorado Rapids in a difficult road match. Their busy schedule to start the season rolls on as they’ve progressed to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinal, and they’ll need to stay focused on that incredibly important tournament.
Expect to see more lineup rotation from Sporting KC but be careful about fading this deep, talented squad.
- Vancouver +0.5 (+150) at Houston
- Montreal (+225) at Orlando City
- LA Galaxy-Minnesota United Draw (+270)
- LAFC (+250) at NYC FC
- FC Cincinnati (+145) vs. Portland
Updated 2019 MLS Cup Odds
- The Red Bulls are still the favorites despite a draw in Week 1 and bye in Week 2, partly because they’ll play the league’s worst team in Week 3, San Jose Earthquakes.
- LAFC have moved up to 7-1 from 10-1 with two straight home wins against tough conference opposition to start the season.
- Other significant risers have been D.C. United, FC Dallas and Minnesota United.
- The biggest droppers have been both of last year’s MLS Cup finalists, Atlanta United and Portland Timbers.
Want live updates of the action all weekend? Be sure to follow @actionnetsoccer on Twitter for all the latest soccer betting news around the market.