Chicago vs. Montreal MLS Odds, Preview & Picks: How To Bet Saturday’s Matchup (May 29)
Michael Reaves/Getty Images. Pictured: Romell Quioto.
- The Chicago Fire will face Montreal in an MLS showdown on Saturday afternoon.
- Chicago has really struggled to put the ball in the back of the net this season, and Montreal has an advantage in that area.
- Check out Ian Quillen's full breakdown of the game below complete with updated odds, a pick and a prediction based on his betting analysis.
Chicago vs. Montreal Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-152 / +112)|
|Day | Time||Saturday | 1 p.m. ET|
|Odds updated Friday afternoon via DraftKings.|
Chicago looks for its first back-to-back wins since last September when it welcomes Montreal to Soldier Field.
The Fire became the last team in MLS to secure their first win of the season when they defeated Inter Miami last Saturday. Hours earlier, Montreal succumbed to a late comeback in Cincinnati’s first MLS win.
But currently sitting seventh in the Eastern Conference, Saturday’s visitors are still exceeding expectations so far.
Chicago Needs More Offense
Even in a winning performance last weekend, the Fire couldn’t escape their status as the lowest-scoring team in MLS, with only four goals this season. And Luka Stojanovic’s free-kick winner Saturday required a considerable error in technique from Miami goalkeeper John McCarthy.
Some offensive struggles came from uncharacteristically poor finishing from Robert Beric. The Slovenian international generally scored in line with his expected goals (xG) totals while scoring 12 league goals in 2020. But with one goal so far in 2021, he’s lagging his xG by 1.47, according to American Soccer Analysis.
There’s also a bit of unevenness to Chicago’s attack, which may partly be due to playmaker Ignacio Aliseda’s absence because of a thigh injury. He’s returned to full-team training, and at age 20, might be eligible for more minutes Saturday than an older player coming off a similar injury.
But the Argentine will be required to take a step forward from his maiden MLS campaign if he’s truly going to be Chicago’s missing piece. Aliseda had only a goal and two assists in 20 appearances in 2020.
Montreal Holds Key Advantage
Montreal has conceded the deciding goal later than the 85th minute in consecutive defeats after losing once in their first five games.
But offense and defense were equally to blame in a loss to Cincinnati at Montreal’s home away from home in South Florida last Saturday.
Like Beric, Quioto is lagging his xG totals this season after exceeding them in 2020, and Montreal’s offense has been similarly anemic to Chicago’s if you take out a 4-2 win against Toronto to start the season.
The balance in attack is still better than Chicago’s, with Bjorn Johnsen and Erik Hurtado providing legitimate alternatives at striker, and the 29-year-old Quioto capable of playing any of the front three positions.
Betting Analysis & Pick
Chicago’s performance against Miami exceeded my expectations, but I’m not sure how much it was the Fire excelling as Inter being poor.
With the brothers Gonzalo and Federico Higuain starting along with Blaise Matuidi in Miami’s front six, the team boasted loads of technical ability but perhaps not enough athleticism to stretch Chicago defensively.
That’s not going to be the case against Montreal, which doesn’t roster a single player older than 30 and has plenty of pace to go around.
Chicago is a more heavy favorite than it was against Miami a week ago, facing a team that has started better and is coming off a loss that will leave it feeling aggrieved.
I’m not saying Montreal should definitely be favored. But it’s a conversation even with Chicago’s home-field edge. The +320 odds — meaning an implied probability of around 24% — are clear value here.
Pick: Montreal ML (+320)