Predictions and Best Bets for MLS Games on Friday, September 3, 2021

| September 1, 2021 10:08 am PDT

We have four MLS games to bet on this Friday, September 3, with two Eastern Conference and two Western Conference clashes taking place.

In the East, four of the top five are in action. First-place New England visits fifth-place Philadelphia, while third-place Nashville hosts fourth-place New York City.

Over in the West, Houston will aim to snap a 15-match winless streak when Portland comes to town, while Sporting KC hopes to extend LAFC’s eight-game winless run.

Here is Friday’s Major League Soccer schedule in full.

  • Philadelphia Union vs. New England Revolution (7:30 ET)
  • Nashville SC vs. New York City FC (7:30 ET)
  • Houston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers (8:00 ET)
  • Los Angeles FC vs. Sporting Kansas City (10:00 ET)

If you are looking for some MLS predictions for Friday, September 3, you have certainly come to the right place. I also share my top picks for MLS games this Friday, so make sure you stick around for those!

Philadelphia Union and New England Revolution to Draw

It’s fair to say that Philadelphia has transformed PPL Park into a fortress this season. The 2020 Supporters’ Shield champions have only lost two of their 11 home games this year and head into Friday’s clash on a nine-match unbeaten streak on home soil.

The Union held the Revs to a 1-1 draw at PPL Park back in May before suffering a narrow 2-1 loss in New England last month. If their recent meetings are anything to go by, Friday’s game is destined to be a tight affair.

Having lost just four of their 23 matches this season, the Revs find themselves a whopping 14 points clear of second-place Orlando. Bruce Arena’s men have been operating on a totally different level to most Major League Soccer teams in 2021, picking up 15 wins in the process.

However, they were outclassed by New York City last weekend. Not only did they lose 2-0 at Yankee Stadium, but they also managed to register just a single shot on target.

Considering Philly’s seriously strong home record, I can see this one ending in a draw.

Nashville SC to Beat New York City FC

As I just mentioned, NYCFC claimed a hugely impressive victory over New England last time out. The Boys in Blue have now lost just one of their previous eight MLS matches, securing five wins and two draws along the way.

Valentin Castellanos has been immense throughout the campaign, bagging ten goals and six assists in 20 MLS appearances. Having notched six goals and three assists in his last seven outings, the Argentine will be difficult to stop on Friday.

That said, Nashville boasts the second-best defensive record in the East. Gary Smith’s men have only conceded 20 goals in 21 matches and find themselves one point clear of NYCFC. On top of that, they have lost just two games all year.

The Tennessee team sealed yet another clean-sheet victory last weekend, beating Atlanta United 2-0 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Back on home soil this weekend, I’m backing Nashville to get the better of New York City.

Portland Timbers to Beat Houston Dynamo

Not so long ago, things were looking pretty bleak for the Timbers. A run of one win in seven outings was capped off by a lackluster 3-1 defeat to Austin FC – and any hopes of securing a playoff berth were fading fast.

Last time out, however, Portland moved back into the top seven with an emphatic 2-0 away victory over Seattle. The Sounders crushed the Timbers 6-2 last month and remain atop the West, making last weekend’s win a special one for Portland.

At the opposite end of the standings, the Dynamo find themselves rock bottom. I mean, they head into Friday’s clash on a 15-game losing streak, so they thoroughly deserve to be there.

You have to go all the way back to May 23 to find Houston’s last win. Since then, the Texans have registered eight draws and seven losses – cementing their status as one of the worst teams in Major League Soccer.

Unfortunately, key midfielder Eryk Williamson will miss the rest of the season due to an ACL tear. But even without their star midfielder, the Timbers look set for an easy victory over struggling Houston.

Sporting Kansas City to Beat Los Angeles FC

What has happened to Los Angeles FC?

Bob Bradley’s men lost just four of their opening 13 games this year, picking up six wins and three draws in the process. Since then, however, they have failed to clinch a single victory – recording three draws and five defeats in their past eight matches.

LAFC suffered four straight losses before drawing 3-3 with El Trafico rival LA Galaxy last time out. A Brian Rodriguez brace rescued a point for the Black & Gold, but the Uruguayan can’t be expected to save his side every weekend.

Meanwhile, Sporting KC drew 1-1 with Colorado in the previous round – extending their unbeaten streak to six games. In fact, the Wizards have only lost one of their last 12 MLS matches and now sit two points behind first-place Seattle in the West,

SKC thrashed LAFC 4-1 less than a month ago. If they aren’t careful, Bradley’s boys could be on the receiving end of another embarrassing defeat this time around.

Best Bets for MLS Games on Friday, September 3

Here are my top MLS picks for Friday, September 3. If you like the look of my recommended MLS bets, be sure to place your wagers with the best online sportsbooks.

Nashville SC vs. New York City FC

At 2.50, Nashville is the bookies’ marginal favorite to win this one. New York City (2.63) is the underdog, while the draw is at 3.40. Considering this is a pretty tough matchup to call, I recommend steering clear of the moneyline market here.

Instead, backing under 2.5 goals feels like the right thing to do. Not only do Smith’s men have the second-best defensive record in the conference, but they have also been involved in 12 matches with less than three goals this year. That is almost 60% of their games!

  • Pick: Under 2.5 Goals (1.85)

Houston Dynamo vs. Portland Timbers

I can’t figure out what the bookies are thinking here. Yes, Houston (1.95) is on home soil. Still, having failed to win any of their previous 15 matches, the Dynamo can’t be viewed as the favorite to claim all three points.

Fresh from beating first-place Seattle, the Timbers (3.50) will be brimming with belief. Given that Houston is enduring a woeful winless streak at the moment backing Portland to win on Friday makes perfect sense.

  • Pick: Portland Timbers to Win (3.50)

Los Angeles FC vs. Sporting Kansas City

The bookies seem to have made a mistake here, too. LAFC (1.83) is the home favorite to win this game, leaving SKC (3.80) as the outsider. But when you consider the contrasting form of the two sides, the away win is definitely the best bet.

Across the past ten games, LAFC have only managed to take nine points from a possible 30. Meanwhile, SKC has picked up 17 points. At 3.80, backing the Wizards to beat the Black & Gold is a no-brainer, right?

  • Pick: Sporting Kansas City to Win (3.80)
Ben Morris
Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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