Major League Soccer Predictions and Best Bets for Saturday, February 26 (2022)
The wait is finally over!
The 2022 Major League Soccer season gets underway this weekend, with all 28 teams in action. We have nine games to enjoy on Saturday, February 26, before a further five games on Sunday.
I will be focusing on the first batch of games in this piece, sharing my MLS predictions and betting picks for Saturday. Before we go any further, let’s take a quick look at Saturday’s MLS schedule.
- Philadelphia Union vs. Minnesota United
- Los Angeles FC vs. Colorado Rapids
- Columbus Crew vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
- FC Dallas vs. Toronto FC
- Austin FC vs. FC Cincinnati
- San Jose Earthquakes vs. New York Red Bulls
- DC United vs. Charlotte FC
- Inter Miami vs. Chicago Fire
- Portland Timbers vs. New England Revolution
As you can see, there are plenty of tasty matchups on the schedule. So, without further ado, let’s get stuck into my Major League Soccer predictions for Saturday, January 26.
Los Angeles FC to Beat Colorado Rapids
We all know that LAFC endured a campaign to forget last year. The 2019 Supporters’ Shield winners lost 13 of their 34 matches in 2021 and ended up missing out on the playoffs for the first time in the club’s history.
However, I’m backing the Black & Gold to make a resurgence in 2022. With stars such as Carlos Vela, Cristian Arango, and Jose Cifuentes leading the way, I can see LAFC hitting the ground running this year.
With a new head coach at the helm, the LAFC players will be eager to impress on Saturday. That’s why I’m backing Steve Cherundolo’s men to claim all three points at Banc of California Stadium.
Toronto FC to Beat FC Dallas
Just like LAFC, Toronto underachieved last year. In actual fact, the Reds recorded their worst-ever season as a Major League Soccer side – winning just six of their 34 matches to finish second from bottom in the Eastern Conference.
On the flip side, Dallas did not enjoy a successful offseason. The Texans sold their best player (Ricardo Pepi) to German Bundesliga side Augsburg after he was named the 2021 MLS Young Player of the Year.
Let’s not forget that Dallas picked up just a single win more than Toronto last season. I wouldn’t be surprised if Bradley’s TFC gets the better of the Toros this weekend.
DC United and Charlotte FC to Draw
Welcome to Major League Soccer, Charlotte FC!
Of course, it is difficult to predict how the newcomers will fare in their debut MLS match. But one thing is certain: Miguel Angel Ramirez’s boys will give absolutely everything they’ve got to kick off their maiden campaign on a positive note.
I’m confident that Charlotte will give a good account of themselves on Saturday – so much so that I’m backing the debutants to hold DC to a draw.
New England Revolution to Beat Portland Timbers
This tasty matchup brings together the reigning Supporters’ Shield winner and the 2021 MLS Cup runner-up.
The Revs clinched the Shield in record-breaking style last season. They won 22 games and scored 65 goals on their way to registering the largest regular-season points haul in MLS history, with Carles Gil taking home the MVP award.
There is no denying that New England was the best team throughout the previous campaign. Having strengthened their roster with the signings of Sebastian Lletget and Jozy Altidore during the offseason, the Revs should be too strong for Portland.
More MLS Predictions for Saturday, February 26
Here are the rest of my Major League Soccer predictions for Saturday, February 26.
- Philadelphia Union to Beat Minnesota United
- Columbus Crew to Beat Vancouver Whitecaps
- Austin FC and FC Cincinnati to Draw
- New York Red Bulls to Beat San Jose Earthquakes
- Inter Miami to Beat Chicago Fire
Last season, Philadelphia secured second place in the East after winning the 2020 Supporters’ Shield. I expect Jim Curtin’s men to make a winning start to 2022 with a victory over Minnesota.
I’m also backing Columbus to beat Vancouver, RBNY to beat San Jose, and Inter Miami to beat Chicago. Following a couple of below-par seasons, I can see Inter Miami becoming a dominant force this year – especially if Gonzalo Higuain starts firing.
Cincinnati collected a third successive Wooden Spoon last year. Given that Austin finished second-bottom in the West, the draw feels like the most probable outcome when those two sides meet.
My Top MLS Betting Picks for Saturday, February 26
Since this is the opening weekend of the season, I decided to keep things simple when it came to picking my best MLS bets for Saturday, February 26.
While scouring the top Major League Soccer betting sites, the following picks caught my eye.
- Philadelphia Union vs. Minnesota United – Philadelphia Union to Win (1.62)
- Columbus Crew vs. Vancouver Whitecaps – Columbus Crew to Win (1.57)
- Los Angeles FC vs. Colorado Rapids – Los Angeles FC to Win (1.65)
As you can see, I have opted for three home wins here. Until the season starts to unfold and trends begin to emerge, there is no point in trying anything extravagant.
In my eyes, Philly, Columbus, and LAFC are pretty safe bets. They all have relatively favorable home fixtures on the opening weekend, so that explains why the odds are not overly exciting. Still, I’m confident that we can make some money!
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