Predictions and Best Bets for MLS Games on Saturday, September 25 (2021)
A second Hudson River Derby in the space of four days? Yes, please!
Following a dramatic draw between the New York rivals on Wednesday, NYCFC and RBNY face off again this Saturday, September 25, headlining another jam-packed Major League Soccer schedule.
Elsewhere, New England welcomes struggling Orlando to Gillette Stadium. The Revs have the chance to extend their lead in the Eastern Conference to a mammoth 18 points before second-place Nashville plays on Sunday.
Over in the West, the Rapids will go top if they beat lowly Toronto, with the current frontrunners – Sporting KC and Seattle – going head-to-head on Sunday.
Here is Saturday’s MLS fixture list in full.
- Philadelphia Union vs. Atlanta United
- New England Revolution vs. Orlando City
- DC United vs. FC Cincinnati
- Columbus Crew vs. CF Montreal
- Minnesota United vs. Houston Dynamo
- Colorado Rapids vs. Toronto FC
- New York City vs. New York Red Bulls
- San Jose Earthquakes vs. LAFC
- Vancouver Whitecaps vs. FC Dallas
- Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake
Below, I share my MLS predictions for Saturday, September 25, along with my best bets. Let’s start with the predictions and then finish up by checking out the top MLS picks for Saturday’s games.
Atlanta United to Beat Philadelphia Union
Can anyone stop Atlanta right now!?
The Five Stripes secured their seventh victory in eight matches last weekend, producing another dominant display to see off DC United.
Ezequiel Barco notched a goal and an assist for the second game running, meaning he has now bagged six goals and five assists in his previous nine MLS outings. Josef Martinez also chipped in with his seventh goal in eight appearances.
Don’t get me wrong – Philly isn’t exactly struggling at the moment. The 2020 Supporters’ Shield winners beat Orlando 3-1 last weekend and remain a point inside the playoff spots in the East.
But when you look at what Atlanta has achieved over the past couple of months, it is extremely difficult to bet against them.
New England Revolution to Beat Orlando City
You probably won’t be surprised to learn that New England won AGAIN on Wednesday. The 3-2 victory over Chicago in midweek means the Revs still hold a 15-point lead at the Eastern Conference summit.
Bruce Arena’s men have now won 18 of their 27 MLS games this year – seven more than second-place Nashville and third-place NYCFC. It’s safe to say they’re in a league of their own right now.
Considering the contrasting form of New England and Orlando, all the signs point towards a comfortable home win here.
DC United to Beat FC Cincinnati
Ola Kamara fired a rare blank as DC United lost 3-2 to Atlanta last time out. The Norwegian striker had netted 15 goals in 14 matches before coming up against the high-flying Five Stripes, but he was unable to add to his tally.
Still, the Black-and-Red remain in a strong position. Having lost just four of their previous 12 games, they sit one point outside the top seven in the East.
At the opposite end of the standings, Cincinnati is second from bottom. Not only have Jaap Stam’s men lost five of their last six matches, but they have also managed to win just one of their previous 15!
It goes without saying that DC should come away with all three points on Saturday.
Columbus Crew and CF Montreal to Draw
Following a dismal run of eight defeats in nine games, it finally feels like Columbus has turned the corner.
The Crew ended their barren spell with a victory over the Red Bulls a fortnight ago before impressively holding New England to a draw last time out. If they pick up where they left off against the Revs, they should be able to get something from Saturday’s clash with Montreal.
It won’t be easy, though, as the Canadians have won three of their past four MLS games. On top of that, they claimed a comfortable 3-1 win over HFX Wanderers in the Canadian Championship quarter-finals on Wednesday – extending their winning streak to three matches in all competitions.
But let’s not forget that Columbus is the reigning MLS Cup champion. Having rediscovered some form of late, I can see Caleb Porter’s men snatching a draw this weekend.
Minnesota United to Beat Houston Dynamo
Despite seeing just 34% of the ball, the Loons gave an excellent account of themselves last weekend. They dispatched the Galaxy 3-0 at Allianz Field, with Emanuel Reynoso bagging a brace.
As a result of last weekend’s eye-catching victory, Minnesota has moved back into the top seven in the West. They are still the second-lowest scorers in the conference, but they also boast one of the tightest defenses.
Unfortunately, a tight defense is not something you can associate with Houston. In fact, the Texans have conceded a whopping 39 goals in 26 MLS outings this season – meaning only four teams in the West have a poorer defensive record.
It is worth noting that Houston is enjoying a three-match unbeaten run at the moment. Yet, when you consider the eight-point gap between them and Minnesota, the Loons should win this one.
Colorado Rapids to Beat Toronto FC
The Rapids extended their unbeaten streak to ten games with a draw against Vancouver last weekend. They have now tied four of their past five outings, although they have only lost one of their previous 15.
Over in the East, Toronto sits two points adrift at the bottom of the standings. Although they ended a run of six straight losses by securing a rare win over Nashville in the previous round, the Reds still find themselves in a mess.
While TFC has conceded 51 goals in 25 MLS games this year, Colorado has let in just 24. Need I say more?
New York City to Beat New York Red Bulls
Well, Wednesday’s Hudson River Derby didn’t disappoint, did it?
Valentin Castellanos put New York City ahead inside 31 minutes, netting his ninth goal in 11 MLS matches. The Bronx Blues then led until the 112th minute, with Patryk Klimala converting a late, LATE penalty to level to score.
Overall, the encounter produced 44 fouls and two red cards – both of which were shown to NYCFC players. From a neutral perspective, the game was a thriller!
Although NYCFC will be without the suspended duo of Keaton Parks and Maxime Chanot for the reverse fixture on Saturday, I still think Ronny Deila’s side has the edge over their rivals.
There is no hiding from the fact that third-place NYCFC leads eleventh-place RBNY by 12 points in the standings. With Castellanos in red-hot form, I’m backing Deila’s men to get the better of the Red Bulls this time around.
San Jose Earthquakes and LAFC to Draw
Just when it looked as though Los Angeles FC had turned the corner, they went and lost to Portland. The Black & Gold were enjoying a three-match winning streak before meeting the Timbers, but they returned to losing ways last weekend.
LAFC has now lost five of their previous nine games and has slipped out of the top seven in the West. If they don’t establish some consistency soon, they could find themselves missing out on the postseason altogether.
Sitting in tenth place, San Jose is three points behind LAFC. The Earthquakes came from behind to crush Austin 4-3 in the previous round, having lost to Real Salt Lake by the same scoreline three days earlier.
The Quakes have only lost two of their past 14 matches, registering eight draws in the process. With that in mind, I can see them holding LAFC to a draw at PayPal Park.
FC Dallas to Beat Vancouver Whitecaps
FC Dallas parted ways with Luchi Gonzalez following last weekend’s 3-0 Texas Derby defeat. The Toros have only managed to win one of their last eight games – and their head coach paid the price.
Still, I wouldn’t be surprised if Dallas goes out and beats Vancouver on Saturday. You always see clubs fire their coach and then respond by winning their next match, so it wouldn’t be a shock if the Texas outfit did the same.
Dallas only trails Vancouver by three points in the standings, too. The Whitecaps head into Saturday’s clash on a two-game winless streak, having lost to Portland and tied with Colorado.
With gifted forwards such as Ricardo Pepi, Jader Obrian, Jesus Ferreira, and Franco Jara leading the way, the Toros are more than capable of downing the Caps.
Portland Timbers to Beat Real Salt Lake
As we know, the Timbers extended their unbeaten streak to five games with a 2-1 victory over LAFC last time out. They have now won four of their previous five matches, keeping three clean sheets in the process.
In fairness to Real Salt Lake, they are also in a strong position. The Utah club is only a point behind Portland and heads into the weekend on the back of two straight wins.
That said, Real Salt Lake has suffered defeats to LAFC, Vancouver, and Colorado in the past six games. Given that Portland is flying at the moment, a four-loss in seven matches is on the cards for RSL.
Top MLS Picks for Saturday, September 25
That concludes my MLS predictions for Saturday’s matches – but I haven’t finished just yet. Having scoured the Major League Soccer odds, I have found three top MLS betting picks for Saturday.
Here are Saturday’s best MLS bets.
Philadelphia Union vs. Atlanta United
Yes, I know that I just predicted that Atlanta (3.30) will beat Philadelphia (2.05) on Saturday. But when you look at the strength of both these sides, this is destined to be a tight match between two top teams.
Philly’s MLS games have produced an average 2.3 goals this season, while Atlanta is averaging 2.6 goals per game. Considering both teams boast an impressive defensive record, I’m backing under 2.5 goals for this clash.
- Pick: Under 2.5 Goals (2.10)
New England Revolution vs. Orlando City
All the top-rated MLS betting sites view New England (1.57) as the clear favorite to win this one, with Orlando (5.00) coming in as the outsider. I expect the Revs to dominate Orlando, so giving the hosts a –1 handicap feels like a good move.
The Lions have lost each of their previous three games, while the Revs have won 11 of their past 14. On top of that, Arena’s men are the top scorers in Major League Soccer – meaning they should win by at least two goals.
- Pick: New England Revolution -1 (2.60)
New York City vs. New York Red Bulls
Following the mayhem of Wednesday’s Hudon River Derby, backing both teams to score on Saturday is a no-brainer. The New York rivals drew 1-1 last time around, but they should have scored more, as they racked up a combined total of 27 shots.
I also recommend checking out the bookies’ card-based markets for this matchup. The teams made 44 fouls between them on Wednesday, forcing the referee to show nine yellow cards and two reds.
- Pick: Both Teams to Score (1.70)