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MLS Betting in Week 9 – Odds, Predictions, and Picks
After LAFC’s surprise loss to Vancouver in midweek, Bob Bradley’s side dramatically returned to form by thrashing Seattle 4-1 to see out last weekend’s round of fixtures and re-establish the California team as the current favorites for end-of-season success.
Elsewhere, there were lots of goals as teams tipped in pre-season continued to disappoint.
The Red Bulls, Atlanta, and DC all lost, although LA Galaxy kept up the pressure on their crosstown rivals by beating Houston 2-1.
The big game this weekend — thanks to the wonders of the MLS fixture list — is once again Seattle vs. LAFC as the Sounders have an immediate opportunity to take revenge for that big loss last week.
DC United at Minnesota and Portland at Toronto should be interesting matchups, too.
Here’s my full MLS Week 9 betting preview.
Latest MLS Cup 2019 Outright Winners Odds
Before I get into the weekend’s games, I thought I’d take a quick look at the updated odds for MLS Cup 2019 winner, courtesy of MyBookie.ag this week.
Not much change here from last week — and the West still dominates the list of favorites.
LAFC’s win over Seattle saw its price shorten slightly, but that could change again if the Sounders can win the return fixture at home.
Now here are my previews and picks for this weekend’s games in MLS.
Orlando City at New York City FC
Orlando has only won one game away from home this season, but that did come against the New York Red Bulls, and three wins out of the last five suggests that the Lions might be able to do something this season.
The Eastern Conference is definitely the weaker of the two, and if Nani can get going, Orlando might cause some problems in the Bronx.
NYCFC has had a terrible start to the season but managed an impressive 2-0 win away at DC last weekend with Heber grabbing one of the goals and generally leading the attack for the New York side.
If Domenec Torrent’s team can get something from the midweek trip to Chicago then from this game at home, this campaign may finally get going.
Two teams who have not looked like playoff contenders are meeting at Yankee Stadium for this one, and I fancy NYCFC to carry on from that win at DC and take another three points.
Portland Timbers at Toronto FC
Portland finally got its first win of the season at Columbus last week and also managed to keep the opposition from scoring more than one goal for the first time this year. There are still a lot of road games before the return to Providence Park, though, so it could get worse before it gets better for Giovanni Savarese’s side.
There are always goals when Toronto plays, and the game against Minnesota was no different. The 4-3 victory made up slightly for the defeat to Seattle the week before, and it’s the attacking threat that should see the Canadian team into the playoffs once again.
Portland will be desperate to capitalize on the victory over the Crew, but Toronto at home is a different prospect. It will be short odds, but a home win is the wager to make here.
San Jose Earthquakes at FC Dallas
San Jose shocked the league by beating SKC 4-1 and made the pundits reconsider the early-season criticism as the Quakes recorded their second win in three games. The margin of victory was the most important factor here, and if Matias Almeyda can get his team to recreate the attacking flair in Texas, Dallas might have a harder time than expected.
Dallas got another good win last week in Atlanta against the current champions and showed once again that this is a team to watch this year. Withstanding the Five Stripes pressure was a tough task for Dallas, but they stood resolute until a consolation penalty deep in stoppage time and proved that they are definitely one of the teams to beat.
Confidence will be high in the San Jose team after the last few weeks, but Dallas is by far the more accomplished side and should win this easily.
Philadelphia Union at Vancouver Whitecaps
Philadelphia cruised to a win over Montreal last week, but there is a big worry about how long keeper Andre Blake will be out for after he left the field with a groin injury. But the Union will believe that they still have enough strength in depth to beat a Whitecaps side that is still in transitional mode.
The win over LAFC was unexpected as it was welcome for a Vancouver side that still seems to be getting to know each other after a very busy close season. The late goal in Orlando was a disappointment after such a good performance in California, and now the Whitecaps will have to regroup once again to try to beat a good Philly side.
Vancouver has already shown us that they can spring a surprise every now and again, and I feel that they could get a second win of the season at home here.
Colorado Rapids at Atlanta United
Colorado is still winless this season, and Kei Kamara’s goal against Chicago was a solitary bright spot in what has been a woeful campaign so far. A major concern for coach Anthony Hudson will be the number of goals Colorado is conceding, and it’s difficult to see what can be done to change their form at the moment.
Atlanta fans are not happy. After the euphoria of the MLS Cup last season, this year has been an entirely different experience — with just one win from the first six games. The visit of the Rapids could be just the thing, therefore, and Josef Martinez must be looking forward to this one.
Another matchup between two poor teams should end with a home victory that may just kick-start Atlanta’s season.
FC Cincinnati at New York Red Bulls
Back-to-back victories in March suggested that Cincinnati would be okay in the big league, but April has been difficult for the expansion team. This is the first of three games away from home, and although three defeats would not be a disaster as far as the season goes, it could damage morale in the squad.
New York has looked nothing like the seemingly perennial Supporters’ Shield winners so far and was beaten by a far-from-impressive New England team last time out. Things just are not clicking for the Red Bulls at the moment, and head coach Chris Armas needs to turn things around quickly to get this campaign going.
Nothing has worked for New York as of yet, and one win from seven tells its own tale. There might be more misery for the Red Bulls here as Cincinnati could pick up three more vital points.
Columbus Crew at Houston Dynamo
The Crew’s shock defeat to the previously winless Timbers followed a defeat to Montreal, so Columbus will be hoping they can get something from the home game against DC United ahead of the trip to Texas. Goals have still not been too plentiful so far, and Houston could cause Caleb Porter’s team some difficulty.
Houston may have lost their first game of the season against the LA Galaxy, but that is nothing to worry about because the Dynamo is still looking like one of the most accomplished sides in the league. Wilmer Cabrera’s side has scored in every game so far, and I fully expect that to continue against Columbus.
Houston looks good and scores goals while Columbus looks good but doesn’t score enough. This should be another three points for the Dynamo.
New England Revolution at Sporting Kansas City
New England ground out the win over the Red Bulls last weekend and then lost to Montreal in midweek before the trip to Kansas City.
SKC was thoroughly beaten by San Jose last week in one of the surprise results of the round. After previously only going down to LAFC, it was not the result that most MLS fans expected. That wrong can be righted here, as New England has not looked good for the majority of the season.
SKC should get back to winning ways against a limited Revolution side and start climbing the Western Conference standings.
Chicago Fire at Montreal Impact
The Fire is now unbeaten in four and has posted some impressive results as the team quietly goes about its business. An Eastern Conference playoff spot is there for the taking if Chicago can keep up this kind of form. It is early days, but coach Veljko Paunovic must be fairly happy with his side so far.
Montreal is undoubtedly missing their star player — Ignacio Piatti — and the sooner the Argentinian is able to recover from injury, the better it will be for the Canadian side. A win here would certainly ease the pressure, but it will be a tough ask for the Impact.
Without Piatti, Montreal doesn’t look like the same team — but they did win in midweek and a point might be possible for this one.
DC United at Minnesota United
DC’s loss to NYCFC at Audi Field was a big blow for Ben Olsen’s side, as both Wayne Rooney and Luciano Acosta were kept quiet by New York’s new-look defense. Home form has not been good recently for the Black and Red, so maybe a road trip could be just the ticket.
Minnesota continues to rack up the goals — the Loons have scored three or more goals in four games this season. But the defense needs to tighten up if Adrian Heath’s team is going to be known for more than just being a good team for the neutral to watch. A trip to LA Galaxy preceded this in midweek, so it could be a tough few days for Minnesota.
Fans could be in for a treat as there should be a fair number of goals between these two, and I think DC will capitalize on Minnesota’s defensive problems to take the points.
LAFC at Seattle Sounders
I really didn’t expect it to be Vancouver that dealt Bob Bradley’s side its first defeat of the season, but MLS is full of surprises, and LAFC then came back spectacularly to demolish the Sounders. Carlos Vela has looked a level above most defenses this season and will be the main threat again here.
Seattle was no doubt missing Chad Marshall and Raul Ruidiaz when they were thrashed by LAFC in California last week and will be happy to see the pair back for this return game. CenturyLink Field is a tough place to go, and the fans will be desperate for the win against LA.
With their best players back, I feel that the Sounders will take all three points here to continue to make the West the place to be in MLS.
Real Salt Lake at LA Galaxy
The 3-0 win at Nippert Stadium was something of a surprise last week as RSL finally came up with a win on the road. Although the scoreline suggests otherwise, it did come slightly against the run of play, and that luck will have to be with Mike Petke’s side again if they are to get anything from the trip to Carson.
LA Galaxy could close the gap to just one point behind LAFC if they win in midweek, and the most successful team in MLS history has looked in good form this season. But a lot has come down to the brilliance of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and if the Galaxy is to carry on pushing for the top spot, the rest of the side will need to step up.
When Zlatan plays, the Galaxy wins, so this will be another three points for LA.
Some surprise results over the past few weeks have made it more difficult to predict this league, and with such a long season, we could be in for some more shocks along the way.
The Western Conference is definitely where the action is at the moment, though, so it will be interesting to see if Seattle can bite back against LAFC this weekend.
Let me know what you think of my predictions and picks, and enjoy the games. Remember to stick with reputable betting sites if you’re placing your wagers online.