MLS Betting in Week 3 – Odds, Predictions, and Picks
Published on March 13, 2019
With two weeks of the season gone, there are only three teams with 100% records – LAFC, Seattle, and Minnesota United.
Two of those may have been expected, but Minnesota’s success has been a surprise, especially considering that they have yet to play a game at home.
After the defeat to D.C. United in week 1, reigning champion Atlanta at least got its first point of the season, but that was not what was expected in their first home game against expansion side FC Cincinnati.
Nothing has clicked as of yet for the Five Stripes, and they will want a victory this week to get back in the mood.
There were not as many surprises in the other games as in week 2 – and only two draws – but Bob Bradley’s LAFC’s 4-1 demolition of the Portland Timbers was probably the performance of the week.
Before I get into the individual games in this MLS week 3 betting preview, I thought I’d take a quick look at the updated odds for the MLS Cup 2019 winner.
The following odds are courtesy of MyBookie.ag.
The New York Red Bulls is still the favorite – without even playing a game in week 2 – although its price has lengthened slightly.
There really isn’t much change at all at the top of the odds list, but another victory for LAFC this weekend could see its price narrow. Atlanta’s dismal start to the season is reflected in its odds for a repeat title getting larger once again.
With none of the top sides starting well, I would say LAFC is the team to watch at the moment. It might even be worth placing a wager now in case the west coast team goes on a long unbeaten streak.
Now let’s move on to my previews and picks for the week 3 MLS games.
It looks like it could be another long season for Chicago. Last week’s draw with Orlando didn’t draw any real plaudits and wasn’t able to attract many fans by the look of it, either. The Fire seemed like it could be an outside shot for the playoffs before the season started, but it needs to kick-start its season soon.
Seattle, on the other hand, has started as though it has a point to prove. Overlooked in the odds for MLS Cup glory, the Sounders looked impressive once again in its 2-0 win over Colorado. The Cascadian team has a good mix of players this season and could do very well. They should get the win in Chicago, too.
The Crew’s win in New England actually sees them top of the Eastern Conference going into week 3. That may be somewhat of a false position so early in the season, but Caleb Porter’s side was good for its win against the Revolution and should be able to give a very good FC Dallas team a good test.
FC Dallas recorded a good win over LA Galaxy in week 2, and it looks like it will once again be going into the playoffs as one of the top teams in the conference come the end of the regular season. I still have my doubts over its post-season caliber, but at this early stage, the Toros are proving that it is business as usual.
Vancouver’s upheaval over the close season has started to show with two losses in the first two weeks of the season – including the 1-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake last weekend. I can’t see things getting any better for the Whitecaps this week even taking into consideration Houston’s midweek CCL exploits.
Houston was dumped out of the CCL on Tuesday night by Mexican side Tigres. But even with a potentially tiring journey disrupting preparation for the weekend, the Dynamo is just too strong for Vancouver.
Houston is always impressive at the BBVA Compass Stadium, and I fully expect the Texan side to put continental disappointment behind them and record another MLS victory.
New York is coming out of a week off of MLS duty but played in Mexico in the second leg of its CCL quarter-final in midweek. Whether that will make any difference to its fitness is hard to say, but Bradley Wright-Phillips should still be able to enjoy running at a woeful Quakes defense.
San Jose is making a mockery of Major League Soccer’s closed shop, showing no sign of improving from last season where it would have been relegated in most other leagues around the world.
Winless this season after the 3-0 defeat at home to Minnesota, the Quakes need to start firing soon – but I can’t see that happening at the Red Bull Arena.
Orlando has started the season better than some may have expected – with two draws against New York City and Chicago – and can be confident of getting something from this one, too. If close season signing Nani can get going in MLS, then the Lions could surprise a few people this season.
Montreal beat San Jose in week 1 but found Houston a much different prospect last weekend. It was only a late goal that denied the Impact an unbeaten record going into week 3, however, and it could snatch a point in Florida, especially if Ignacio Piatti is on form.
D.C. United has carried on where it left off last season and is the only team in MLS yet to concede a single goal after two weeks of play. Wayne Rooney will be the one to watch yet again as he looks for his first goal of this campaign after the stalemate against New York City last weekend.
Real Salt Lake is another team who goes into week 3 unbeaten but could only manage a penalty against a disjointed Vancouver side to take the points last week and could struggle at Audi Field. Real Salt Lake will face LAFC, Dallas, and Seattle after this trip to the capital, so it could be in a bad way by the middle of April.
Minnesota has surprised everyone so far but has not really faced any tough opposition, and reality may well hit home as the Loons travel to California to take on Zlatan and company. Six points from a possible nine would still be a great start to the season for Minnesota, so even if it does lose here, there won’t be many United fans too disheartened.
Much was expected from the Galaxy this season, due mainly to the prospect of a full season from a certain former Sweden captain. Defeat at Dallas is nothing to be ashamed of, though, and three points from this home fixture would take the Galaxy nicely into the international break.
NYCFC followed up its opening day draw against Orlando with another at Yankee Stadium against D.C. United.
That point will probably prove to be a good result in a few weeks when we see how good Wayne Rooney’s side is. But two points from six is not a great start to the season, and the team from New York looks like it is really going to miss David Villa this season.
LAFC made waves in its inaugural season but is starting to look like a real contender already in this campaign with two wins in two and that big win over Portland last week.
Carlos Vela opened his account for the season against the Timbers, and he could find himself in the action again in New York. It could be three from three for the west coast side.
Portland makes its third stop of the 12-week national tour it has planned due to redevelopment of its home ground. Whether that decision will affect the Timbers’ playoff hopes remains to be seen, but the side needs to think of points gained now as a bonus and look forward to a stretch of home games it will have later in the season.
Losing to LAFC is no embarrassment, but the way the Timbers lost will not please head coach Giovanni Savarese.
Expansion team Cincinnati picked up its first-ever point last week against Atlanta and will be confident going into this one that it can deliver a home win for its supporters. Roland Lamah got the goal against the MLS champions and could be one to watch against Portland.
Nippert Stadium will go crazy if its side gets another three points, and that might be on the cards.
Philadelphia has not started the season well. Losing to a Toronto side that many thought would struggle after losing key players on the opening day, the U followed that up with a defeat to SKC and failed to trouble the Kansas City keeper.
Now the Union travels to Atlanta to face a team of champions disappointed with the way it has started its season. This does not look good for Philly.
One goal and one point from its first two games is not how the reigning champions expected to start this campaign – even with the loss of some of its star players from last season. Josef Martinez opened the side’s scoring last week but could not prevent Cincinnati going away from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium with a point.
The Five Stripes will be out for blood here and could post a big win.
New England picked up a very creditable point on the opening day at Dallas but was unable to impress at home against Columbus last week and showed – even at this early stage – that it may struggle for form this season. The Revolution is notoriously bad on the road, and I cannot see them coming away from Canada with anything.
Toronto finished runners up in last season’s CONCACAF Champions League but did not make it to the MLS playoffs and was expected to struggle after the departure of star player Sebastian Giovinco this season. But an opening day win over Philadelphia was a great start, and it could follow that up with another three points at home against the Revs.
Colorado completed its Cascadian double by losing 2-0 in Seattle last week and will be hoping that conditions won’t be quite as bad as the blizzard it experienced on the opening day of the season.
The Rapids drew that game against the Timbers but will find this season a tough one and might not be able to cope with the attacking play of Kansas City.
SKC lost the Conference Final to Portland last season after looking very impressive throughout the campaign. It will be looking to go all the way this year and picked up its first win last week in a fairly routine victory over the Union.
SKC has consistently made the playoffs over the last few years, and I don’t see any reason for that to change this year.
Major League Soccer is still throwing up some surprises as we ease into the new season. Some of the big teams have not performed as well as expected, while LAFC, in particular, has looked like it really means business.
We may only be two weeks into the 2019 campaign, but it already looks like it is going to be a very interesting season.
If you’re looking to follow any of my MLS picks for this week, make sure you head to MyBookie.ag or any of our other recommended sports betting sites. All of our recommendations are safe and secure and offer fast payouts.