MLS Betting in Week 4 – Odds, Predictions, and Picks
Most major soccer leagues are taking a week off due to the international break, but the MLS still has a stripped-down schedule of games that can give some of the sides a chance to pick up the pace in the two conferences.
Last week saw more woe for reigning champion Atlanta, as it was only able to grab a point at home against Philadelphia Union. That followed on from the draw with new boys FC Cincinnati the week before, and there are already grumblings of discontent about new head coach Frank de Boer.
No such problems in DC as Wayne Rooney scored his first MLS hat trick as his side coasted past Real Salt Lake 5-0. The big question with the Black and Red was whether it would be able to carry on its late-season form from last year into this year — and at the moment, it is a resounding “yes.”
Elsewhere, traditional powerhouses such as Seattle and the New York Red Bulls carried on their impressive starts, so it’s a bit of a shame that we don’t have a full schedule this week to look forward to.
Nonetheless, in this MLS week 4 betting preview, I’ll look at what games ARE available and try to find the value.
Latest Odds for 2019 MLS Cup Winners
Before I get into the week four games, I thought I’d take a quick look at the updated odds for the MLS Cup 2019 winner, courtesy of MyBookie.ag.
The prices for this market remain much the same, with the Red Bulls still seen as the team to beat. But the biggest moves are with DC United and Atlanta — in opposite directions.
DC United’s odds have shortened once again as they stayed unbeaten this season while Atlanta has yet to win a single game in three weeks and is probably grateful for the week off.
LAFC recorded a creditable draw at Yankee Stadium last weekend and remains one of the main teams to keep an eye on, and Seattle has shown that it means business, as it is now the only team to win three out of three.
Now here are my previews for week 4 of MLS 2019. Note that these will be updated with odds and final picks just as soon as the lines are released.
Colorado Rapids at FC Dallas
Dallas has made a steady start to the new MLS season but will be disappointed that it only has four points from a possible nine considering the caliber of its opponents so far.
An early goal away at Columbus last weekend was enough to condemn the Toros to its first defeat of the season, but a home win seems likely here given the strength of Dallas and the fact that the Rapids have yet to win a game.
It must be noted that Colorado has played Portland, Seattle, and SKC in its opening fixtures, so it’s difficult to read too much into its results. Those three are always tough to play against, and there will be easier games for the Denver side in the weeks ahead.
Colorado was not fancied at all before the season started, and although performances have not been terrible, it’s difficult to see Anthony Hudson’s side coming away from Texas with anything.
FC Dallas will be able to make some ground up on its conference rivals with a home win here.
Orlando City at New York Red Bulls
I predicted at the start of the season that Orlando might struggle this year, and that has proved to be the case so far. Big signing Nani has not really acclimatized to MLS as of yet, and a visit to Red Bull Arena will not improve its standings in the Eastern Conference.
Two draws to kick off the season were followed by last week’s defeat at home to Montreal, and it looks like the Lions’ fifth season will be just as tough as the previous four.
The quest for MLS Cup glory continues for the Red Bulls, and last week’s 4-1 thrashing of lowly San Jose will have made up slightly for the side’s exit in the CONCACAF Champions League in midweek to Mexican club Santos.
Alex Muyl scored two against the Quakes, and although two late goals flattered the Red Bulls, the New York club was good for its win.
New York has shown that in Bradley Wright-Phillips it has a striker who is able to continually deliver for his side, and I expect him to be integral to another home win over Orlando.
Columbus Crew at Philadelphia Union
This was supposed to be a season of Crew fans just being grateful that they still had a side to cheer for, but two wins out of three — against good opposition — have seen Columbus rise to the upper echelons of the Eastern Conference.
It is early days, but only goal difference separates the Ohio side and DC, and it must be fancied to pick up another three points against a struggling Union side. He may have had his detractors at LA Galaxy, but Gyasi Zardes is starting to blossom at Columbus and could help get the win in Philly.
Philadelphia’s result in Atlanta was a surprise last week, even with the current champions not starting the season very impressively. It was the first point for the Union this year, and it already looks like it will be a long shot for the side to make the playoffs for the second successive season.
Marco Fabian will be available after his suspension following the red card he received against SKC, and a lot will rest on his shoulders if Philly is to get anything from this game.
Columbus has started the season brightly and will get another three points on the road against the Union.
Real Salt Lake at LAFC
Real Salt Lake could not handle Wayne Rooney last week as DC United trounced the Utah side 5-0 in the capitol.
It has been a muted start to the season for RSL with a victory over struggling Vancouver following up a creditable draw away at Houston in its campaign opener. Real Salt Lake knocked out LAFC in the first round of the playoffs last year, but I can’t see it getting anything from the California side this week.
Carlos Vela will be watching videos of Real Salt Lake’s game last week to see how he can exploit the defensive frailties that led to such a thrashing. The Mexican striker already has three goals to his name this season and will be confident of adding to that tally at the weekend.
The Banc of California stadium is turning into a difficult place to go for opposing sides, and another good performance from LAFC in this game will have its fans in the mood to celebrate.
With short odds on the home win, the returns will not be life-changing, but I can’t see anything but an LAFC win here.
FC Cincinnati at New England Revolution
This was supposed to be a baptism of fire for Cincinnati as it faced Seattle, Portland, and Atlanta in its first three games in MLS. But after the setback of a 4-1 defeat on the opening day of the season, the expansion side has drawn against the reigning champions and comprehensively beaten one of the better sides in the league.
The Ohio team is playing like it will emulate LAFC’s first-season heroics, and beating New England at Gillette Stadium is certainly not inconceivable.
New England has not made the playoffs for three seasons now, and confidence is not high in Foxborough. A good draw against Dallas on the opening day of the season has been followed by disappointing back-to-back defeats to Columbus and Toronto, and that mood might not be lifted after this game against Cincinnati.
Carles Gil, a new signing from Deportivo de La Coruna, scored two in the defeat last week, and it seems like the Revs will be relying on the Spanish striker a lot this season.
With confidence high at Cincinnati, another three points is possible and is probably the best value bet of the weekend’s games in MLS.
With just five games in MLS this weekend, it gives a chance for those playing to either make up ground in their respective conferences or look to forge ahead while other teams rest.
There have already been some surprising results this season, and hopefully even with the limited number of games in week 4, there will be some great soccer on display.