Saturday’s MLS Betting Rundown: Will Home Teams Continue Their Resurgence?

Saturday’s MLS Betting Rundown: Will Home Teams Continue Their Resurgence? article feature image
Credit:

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Talen Energy Stadium in Philadelphia.

  • MLS action continues Saturday with a seven-match slate, highlighted by Philadelphia-Portland (7:30 p.m. ET) and Minnesota United-Houston (8 p.m. ET).
  • We've broken down the betting market for every match and found four value plays to make based on current odds.

Both Los Angeles squads were victorious on Friday night with the Galaxy winning 1-0 at Orlando City and LAFC crushing Montreal, 4-2.

Real Salt Lake also picked up a late, late victory over Atlanta United, 2-1, to jump into fifth place in the Western Conference.

2019 MLS Season Results

Home teams have won more than 50% of their matches this season, but blindly betting them hasn’t been profitable. Road teams have the early edge in 2019 with +7.9 units while draws continue to fade away (-12.25 units).

There are seven games on the slate for Saturday, headlined by Philadelphia-Portland and Minnesota-Houston.

New York City FC at Chicago Fire (3:30 p.m. ET on Univision)

The Fire were pummeled in San Jose last weekend, 4-1, to fall out of the Eastern Conference playoff range. Unfortunately they’ll still be without one of their top players, Nico Gaitan, for Saturday afternoon due to injury.

Chicago and NYC FC both have +3 goal differentials and will be disappointed not to have more points at this stage in the season.

NYC FC have had the strangest year of any MLS team as they’ve only lost once while drawing six times. However, they’ve clearly found their form recently to win four of their last five games and keeping a clean sheet in five of seven.

Nearly 50% of the bets is on Chicago but there’s been slight line movement toward NYC FC (+200 to +180) since opening. I don’t feel confident betting any moneyline in this match so I’ll be passing altogether.

The Bet: PASS

FC Dallas at Vancouver Whitecaps (7 p.m. ET on TSN and ESPN+)

Both clubs are hovering around the last playoff spot in the Western Conference. FC Dallas are winless in five straight and coming off two matches against the league’s best team, LAFC.

Vancouver can feed off two impressive road draws at Sporting KC and New York Red Bulls, and they’ve improved over the last month with wins against Colorado and Portland.

Sharp bettors clearly like the Whitecaps at home as they’ve shifted from +125 to -105 despite receiving just 45% of tickets. Even after the line movement I still like Vancouver to win at home.

The Bet: Vancouver (-105) 

D.C. United at New England Revolution (7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+)

The home team has had the distinct advantage in recent head-to-head meetings, though the Revs have been abysmal this year with a -17 goal differential and just 12 points to show for it.

However, New England picked up a boring yet efficient 0-0 draw at Montreal last weekend to stay undefeated since firing head coach Brad Friedel. They’re still plagued by poor ownership and don’t have the talent to compete with top teams in the MLS, but it’s a start.

Public bettors have been pounding D.C. United with nearly 70% of bets but their moneyline has increased from +200 to +240. Just 11% of all tickets is on New England but sharp money is responsible for a shift from +140 to +115.

The Bet: New England (+115)

Portland Timbers at Philadelphia Union (7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+)

The Timbers have lost six of 11 matches while scoring just 14 total goals. One of the stranger stats regarding Portland is the fact they’ve only been called offsides 7 times the entire season, so they obviously don’t like taking chances with through balls and getting behind the defense.

That makes it awfully difficult to score a lot of goals.

Meanwhile, the Union have conceded less than a goal per game this year and remain at the top of the Eastern Conference, riding a six-match unbeaten streak.

Philadelphia opened as -175 favorites but have dropped down to -140 despite 72% of bets around the market. Portland has improved from +450 to +400 behind just 10% of tickets.

The Bet: PASS but lean Over 3 (-105)

New York Red Bulls at FC Cincinnati (7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN+)

FC Cincinnati suffered an embarrassing 5-1 loss to Orlando City last weekend after taking a 1-0 lead. They haven’t been terrible defensively this season (23 goals in 13 games) but have scored just 11 goals offensively.

The Red Bulls had to play on Wednesday night and blew a 2-1 lead to draw at home against Vancouver, 2-2.

On paper this looks like an easy win for New York but odds have shifted away from them since opening (+140 to +180). Despite some sharp action on FC Cincinnati I can’t get behind the struggling club, so this is another pass.

The Bet: PASS

Houston Dynamo at Minnesota United (8 p.m. ET on ESPN+)

Houston and Minnesota United fare much better at home than away, so the clear edge has to go to Minnesota Utd here.

All three moneylines are garnering balanced action and odds have barely shifted, so it’s hard to read where sharp bettors will go. With a bit of action on the under, I’m looking toward a draw between the two clubs.

The Bet: Draw (+260)

Columbus Crew at Colorado Rapids (9 p.m. ET on TSN1 and ESPN+)

Colorado finally picked up their first win of the season against the LA Galaxy, 1-0, but they’re still dead last in MLS.

The Crew got off to a strong start this season but have lost seven of eight games, only beating the Galaxy since April 6th.

This is a tough match to figure out but the Rapids should be able to get a result at home. Now that odds have increased on the draw, I like the value at +260 for these clubs to split the points.

The Bet: Draw (+260)