Predictions and Top Betting Picks for MLS Games on Saturday, July 17, 2021

| July 16, 2021 3:35 am PDT

In total, we have 12 Major League Soccer games to bet on this weekend – 11 of which take place on Saturday, July 17. This piece centers around MLS predictions for every game this Saturday, along with all the best MLS bets for this weekend.

Atlanta and New England kick off a jam-packed day of Major League Soccer action before Inter Miami travels to Red Bull Arena. Later in the day, Toronto and Orlando go head-to-head, with LAFC hosting RSL.

Here is the full MLS schedule for Saturday, July 17.

  • Atlanta United vs. New England Revolution
  • New York Red Bulls vs. Inter Miami
  • Columbus Crew vs. New York City FC
  • Philadelphia Union vs. DC United
  • CF Montreal vs. FC Cincinnati
  • Toronto FC vs. Orlando City
  • Nashville SC vs. Chicago Fire
  • Colorado Rapids vs. San Jose Earthquakes
  • Vancouver Whitecaps vs. LA Galaxy
  • Los Angeles FC vs. Real Salt Lake
  • Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas

Can the Revs hold onto top spot in the Eastern Conference? Will Vancouver move off the bottom in the West? And can Inter Miami finally end their lengthy losing streak?

Let’s find out as we go through my MLS predictions for Saturday, July 17.

Atlanta United and New England Revolution to Draw

Having tied seven of their 12 MLS games in 2021, the Five Stripes are this season’s undisputed draw specialists. Although they have failed to win any of their last seven outings, they have only suffered two defeats in the process.

Still, Atlanta must start turning draws into wins soon. Gabriel Heinze’s men currently sit twelfth in the East – 11 points behind first-place New England.

The Revs have hit a rough patch of their own lately, recording one draw and two losses in their previous three matches. But after winning seven of their opening ten games, they remain in a strong position.

Considering New England has tailed off slightly in recent weeks, I can see Atlanta picking up another draw this weekend.

New York Red Bulls to Beat Inter Miami

It’s fair to say that RBNY has been one of the most unpredictable sides in the Major League Soccer this year. In fact, a record of 5-2-5 underlines the team’s inconsistency.

That said, the Red Bulls have already claimed a series of notable scalps this season. They have secured back-to-back victories over Orlando, impressive wins against Toronto and Nashville, plus they have only lost one of their last six matches.

On the flip side, Inter Miami has become predictable for all the wrong reasons. The Herons have only managed to win two of their 11 games this season and head into Saturday’s clash on the back of five successive defeats.

I’m backing the Red Bulls to make light work of Inter Miami.

Columbus Crew and New York City FC to Draw

Eighth-place Columbus and sixth-place New York City find themselves locked on 17 points in the Eastern Conference, although NYCFC does have a game in hand over the Crew.

Following a below-par start to the campaign, the defending MLS Cup champions have upped their game of late – losing just one of their previous seven matches (three wins, three draws).

Meanwhile, Ronny Deila’s men have enjoyed mixed fortunes recently. Having registered three wins and three losses in the last six outings, it is difficult to predict exactly how they will fare in Ohio.

With the two sides on level terms, I think the draw is the most likely outcome here.

Philadelphia Union to Beat DC United

All of sudden, Philadelphia looks ready to defend their Supporters’ Shield crown. After only managing to win one of their opening five games this year, the Union has since lost just once in ten matches (five wins, four draws).

Sure, there is a lot of hype around New England at the moment. But let’s not forget that third-place Philly sits just four points shy of the conference leaders.

Following a disastrous 2020 campaign, DC United is definitely headed in the right direction again. The Black-and-Red destroyed Toronto 7-1 a fortnight ago, although TFC was in a real mess back then.

Without key forward Paul Arriola, DC could struggle to compete with the U. The 26-year-old is away with the USMNT on Gold Cup duty, handing Philadelphia a significant edge.

CF Montreal to Beat FC Cincinnati

Believe it or not, Montreal and Cincinnati are among Major League Soccer’s most in-form teams right now. While the Canadians have taken 11 points from their last five games (three wins, two draws), Cincy has sealed two wins and two draws since their last loss.

Djordje Mihailovic has been the star of the show for Montreal, chalking up an assist in each of his last three appearances. As for Cincinnati, Lucian Acosta has bagged two goals and one assist during the same period.

Still, there is no hiding from the fact that fourth-place Montreal sits seven points clear of eleventh-place Cincy in the East. Wilfried Nancy’s men have only suffered three defeats this year, while the Orange & Blue has only recorded three wins.

For that reason, I expect Montreal to get the better of Cincinnati this weekend.

Orlando City to Beat Toronto FC

After winning just one of his first 11 MLS games as Toronto head coach, Chris Armas was fired earlier in the month, with the 7-1 thrashing to DC proving to be the final nail in the coffin.

Remarkably, the Reds managed to snap a six-match losing streak by beating high-flying New England 3-2 last time out. But they are likely to find it difficult to compete with a well-organized Orlando outfit on Saturday.

Ex-Manchester United star Nani (six goals, three assists) has been immense for the Lions this year, while Tesho Akindele (three goals, four assists) and Chris Mueller (two goals, four assists) have also helped their team to become the second-highest scorers in the East.

With a whopping 13-point gulf between second-place Orlando and last-place Toronto, I’m backing the hosts to dispatch the visitors at Exploria Stadium.

Nashville SC to Beat Chicago Fire

In fairness to the Fire, they have upped their game in recent weeks. After losing seven of their opening nine matches this term, Raphael Wicky’s men have taken seven points from their last three outings – drawing with Philly before beating Atlanta and Orlando.

It is also worth noting that Chicago has scored exactly three goals in each of their previous three games, with Bris Sekulic and Ignacio Aliseda both bagging two goals along the way.

Now, Chicago should be confident of extending their unbeaten run this weekend. But only one team has beaten Nashville this year – and the Boys in Gold boast one the best defensive records in the league.

Not only have Gary Smith’s men lost just one of their 12 games this season, but they have also kept five clean sheets in the process. With that in mind, I’m confident that Nashville will overcome Chicago.

Colorado Rapids to Beat San Jose Earthquakes

Only two sides – Seattle and Montreal – have taken more points from their last five outings than Colorado. The Rapids have climbed to fourth in the Western Conference and even have two games in hand over a number of teams in the conference.

At the opposite end of the standings, the Earthquakes find themselves third from bottom, having claimed just two points from their previous five matches.

In fact, San Jose hasn’t tasted victory for over two months. The Quakes’ last win came all the way back in early May. Since then, they have recorded two draws and five defeats – leaving them nine points behind Colorado.

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that I’m siding with the Rapids on this occasion.

LA Galaxy to Beat Vancouver Whitecaps

The Galaxy is STILL the only team in Major League Soccer that has yet to register a draw in 2021. Eight wins and four losses have kept the club fighting at the top end of the West, with three wins coming in their last four outings.

Although Greg Vanney’s men are the third-highest scorers in the conference (20), they also have one of the poorest defensive records (18). Indeed, only five teams have conceded more goals in the West.

Thankfully for the Galaxy, the Whitecaps are the second-lowest scorers in the division and currently find themselves two points adrift at the bottom. Across their past eight games, they have registered two draws and six losses.

Even if star striker Chicharito fails to recover from injury in time to face Vancouver, the Galaxy shouldn’t struggle to claim all three points on Saturday.

Los Angeles FC and Real Salt Lake to Draw

When Real Salt Lake hosted Los Angeles FC at Rio Tinto Stadium earlier in the month, the visitors came away with a narrow 1-0 win. Jose Cifuentes’ goal proved to be the difference between the teams back then – and I expect another tight encounter this time around.

LAFC’s inconsistency is underlined by a record of 5-3-4, although Bob Bradley’s men have moved up to fifth in the standings after losing just one of their last five games (three wins, one draw).

We mustn’t forget that RSL only sits one place and two points behind LAFC, though. Damir Kreilach (seven goals, three assists) and Rubio Rubin (four goals, three assists) have transformed their team into a feared opponent this season.

There really is very little to separate these two sides at the moment, so I can see this one ending in a draw.

Portland Timbers and FC Dallas to Draw

Portland just can’t get going this year. A run of three wins in four matches across May and June pointed towards an upturn, yet the Timbers head into the weekend on a three-game winless run, having suffered a humiliating 4-1 crushing to Austin last time out.

Meanwhile, Dallas has also made a woeful start to the season. The Texans have only managed to win two of their 11 matches in 2021 and currently sit second from in the West – two points behind ninth-place Portland.

Only one team – Houston – has drawn more games than Dallas this year. Luchi Gonzalez’s men know how to avoid defeat, but they can’t seem to win matches at the moment.

For that reason, I wouldn’t be surprised if Portland and Dallas cancel each other out.

Top MLS Betting Picks for July 17, 2021

That’s it for Saturday’s MLS predictions. If you fancy making some money this weekend, be sure to check out my best MLS bets for Saturday, July 17.

CF Montreal vs. FC Cincinnati

With Montreal returning to Saputo Stadium this weekend, the Canadians are bound to get a huge boost. Nancy’s men performed well at their temporary home in Florida, but they will surely up their game on home soil.

Let’s not forget that no team has taken more points from their last five games than Montreal. With that in mind, odds of 2.10 for the home win are definitely worth taking advantage of here.

  • Pick: CF Montreal to Win (2.10)

Nashville SC vs. Chicago Fire

Nashville is priced at 1.67 to win this game, leaving Chicago as the clear underdog (4.50). While backing the home win is a decent bet on its own, I recommend adding the over 1.5 goals market into the mix to boost the value.

Both Nashville and Chicago have been involved in eight games that have produced over 1.5 goals this year. Considering they have only played 12 matches in 2021, both teams look set to produce many more high-scoring games this season.

  • Pick: Nashville SC to Win and Over 1.5 Goals (2.00)

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. LA Galaxy

75% of the Galaxy’s MLS encounters have dished up over 2.5 goals this term, while eight of Vancouver’s 12 matches have produced at least three goals. Needless to say, this matchup is destined to generate goals.

LA Galaxy (2.00) is the bookies’ favorite to win this one, with Vancouver (3.25) as the outsider. But in my eyes, the over 2.5 goals market is the best value bet for Vancouver Whitecaps vs. LA Galaxy.

  • Pick: Over 2.5 Goals (1.60)
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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