MLS Week 9 Odds and Preview: Bettors Backing LAFC in Rematch Against Seattle
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: LAFC’s Christian Ramirez, Mark-Anthony Kayel, Jordan Harvey and Carlos Vela
- It's another full slate of MLS action this weekend, headlined by a rematch between two of the Western Conference's top clubs, LAFC and Seattle (Sunday, 3:30 p.m. ET on ESPN).
- Bettors are backing LAFC against a dinged-up Sounders squad, one of many games sharp money has hit.
- I've analyzed the betting market for Week 9 to identify the smart bets, public wagers and value plays to make.
Road teams have been rolling lately with moneyline upsets of +300 or higher from Montreal, D.C. United, Portland, Real Salt Lake, NYC FC and FC Dallas.
Meanwhile, draws have completely fallen off track after a strong start to the season, something we’ve noticed happening in other leagues like the Premier League.
- Home Wins: 48-of-94 (-1.20 units)
- Road Wins: 25-of-94 (+13.30)
- Draws: 21-of-94 (-9.60)
Home sides generally dominate in MLS so the success of away teams has come as a surprise thus far. Oddsmakers may have to adjust as the season progresses, but it’s still a tad early to warrant a significant change.
MLS Week 9 Odds and Betting Breakdown
The change clearly hasn’t happened in Week 9 since all twelve home teams are favored, including nine of them as the odds-on favorites between -115 to -265.
Three over/unders are listed at 2.5 goals on the slate compared to zero last weekend. There have been 3+ goals scored in 52 of 94 matches (55.9%) this season.
In the first game on the board, odds have barely budged but public bettors are surprisingly taking a shot on Orlando City as big underdogs at NYC FC. I’d only be betting the home team here but at the current price of -150 I’m not quite ready to bite.
NYC FC have finally found their stride to win two straight games after starting the season with five draws and a loss. They’ve quickly shot up to a playoff position and are now tied with Toronto FC for fewest losses in the Eastern Conference. They’ll be chomping at the bit to face an Orlando City side which they’ve shutout in four of the past five meetings.
Sharp vs. Public Bets
- Sporting KC vs. New England
- Atlanta United vs. Colorado
- FC Cincinnati at NY Red Bulls
- LAFC at Seattle
- Columbus at Houston
- Portland at Toronto FC
Sharp bettors hit on San Jose and NYC FC as big underdogs last weekend and have mixed in a couple favorites for Saturday including Atlanta United and Sporting KC.
Atlanta United have moved from -210 to -260 despite >50% of bets on the Colorado Rapids, while Sporting Kansas City have seen similar action against New England. The prices are steep and there’s not much value left, but I’d still lean toward both home favorites claim victories.
The underdogs that have attracted respected bets are LAFC, FC Cincinnati, Columbus and Portland.
LAFC just spanked the Sounders last Sunday, 4-1, and the two teams meet again this Sunday afternoon. Seattle will be seeking redemption but likely won’t happen since they’re dealing with a string of injuries. It also doesn’t help that LAFC have been a powerhouse this season and lead the league by a wide margin in numerous offensive categories including Goals (25), Shots (161) and Shots on Goal (60).
Sharp bettors have found no reason to shy away from LAFC and have caused the line to shift from +235 to +190 since opening.
You won’t see LAFC listed as an underdog too often this year and smart money isn’t passing this chance up. It should be noted that public bettors are on board with LAFC, too, garnering more than 60% of wagers for the league’s top team.
The Timbers are another underdog getting love on the road, and they finally earned their first win of 2019 last weekend, a 3-1 victory in Columbus. The early season schedule was always going to be difficult with a treacherous 12-game road trip to start, but they’re finally on the back-end of it.
Meanwhile, Toronto FC have been revitalized by the acquisition of Alejandro Pozuelo and look more like their 2017 Cup-winning squad than the 2018 team that missed the playoffs entirely. However, they’ll be without striker Jozy Altidore (hamstring) and his absence has been another reason for the line movement toward Portland.
Value Plays (MLS Season Record: 8-15-2, -2.65 units)
- Columbus +0.5 (+105) at Houston
- LAFC (+190) at Seattle
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