Predictions and Betting Picks for MLS Games on Saturday, August 21, 2021

| August 20, 2021 6:07 am PDT

The relentless Major League Soccer schedule continues this weekend, with a whopping 12 games taking place on Saturday, August 21.

Oh, and we have a couple of massive rivalries to enjoy. The New York clubs face off in the Hudson River Derby before Houston Dynamo, and FC Dallas go head-to-head in the Texas Derby.

Before we get stuck into my MLS predictions for Saturday, August 21, let’s take a look at the fixtures.

  • Minnesota United vs. Sporting Kansas City
  • Columbus Crew vs. Seattle Sounders
  • New England Revolution vs. FC Cincinnati
  • Philadelphia Union vs. CF Montreal
  • Inter Miami vs. Toronto FC
  • DC United vs. Atlanta United
  • Orlando City vs. Chicago Fire
  • New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC
  • Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas
  • Colorado Rapids vs. Real Salt Lake
  • Austin FC vs. Portland Timbers
  • Vancouver Whitecaps vs. LAFC

Of course, the derbies take center stage this weekend. But Seattle’s trip to Columbus is destined to be a tasty encounter, too. I’m also excited to see how struggling Cincinnati fares against high-flying New England.

So, join me as I share my predictions for every MLS match this Saturday – and make sure you stick around for my MLS betting picks at the end.

Sporting Kansas City to Beat Minnesota United

Having enjoyed a whopping 70% possession on Wednesday, it’s safe to say that Sporting KC deserved to beat Portland. As it turned out, Peter Vermes’ men were held to a 1-1 draw by the Timbers, with Daniel Salloi netting a stoppage-time equalizer.

Salloi has now bagged 12 goals and seven assists in 19 MLS appearances this season, keeping his side within one point of first-place Seattle in the Western Conference. The Wizards have only lost four of their 20 matches this year!

Although the Loons sit sixth, they still find themselves 11 points behind second-place SKC. A record of 7-6-6 underlines their inconsistency – and Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with San Jose didn’t exactly help their cause.

I expected Minnesota to put up a fight on Saturday, but I’m confident that in-form SKC will come away from Allianz Field with all three points.

Seattle Sounders to Beat Columbus Crew

It is no exaggeration to say that Columbus has lost the plot. Following a 1-0 defeat to the Red Bulls in midweek, the 2020 MLS Cup champions have now lost each of their previous five games – conceding 13 goals in the process.

Meanwhile, Seattle returned to the Western Conference summit with a 1-0 victory over Dallas on Wednesday.

The Sounders heads into Saturday’s clash on a three-match winning streak, having netting ten goals along the way.

You probably won’t be surprised to learn that I’m backing Seattle to pick up a fourth straight victory this weekend, inflicting a sixth consecutive defeat on the Crew.

New England Revolution to Beat FC Cincinnati

The Revs extended their lead in the East to a mammoth 14 points with a hard-fought win over DC United on Wednesday. Goals from Tommy McNamara, Tajon Buchanan, and DeJuan Jones handed New England a 3-2 victory, despite Arnor Ingvi Traustason’s red card.

Bruce Arena’s men have lost just three of their 21 outings this year, clinching 14 wins and four draws. They are also averaging almost two goals per game, having netted 40 goals in 2021.

Cincinnati, on the other hand, has scored a measly 18 goals this season. As a result, the Orange & Blue have only registered three wins all year. The gap between them and last-place Toronto is two points – and there is a colossal 29-point gap between them and the Revs.

It goes without saying that New England should win this one with ease.

Philadelphia Union to Beat CF Montreal

Following a poor run of one victory in six matches, Philadelphia returned to winning ways last time out – beating high-flying New York City 1-0. The defending Supporters’ Shield champs remain in a strong position, though, sitting seven points inside the playoff spots.

Four points behind, Montreal is hanging onto the seventh and final playoff place in the East. The Canadians were held to a disappointing goalless draw by Cincy in midweek, meaning they have only managed to win one of their previous seven games.

The Union will be fired up following their impressive win over NYCFC, so I’m backing them to get the better of Montreal on Saturday.

Inter Miami to Beat Toronto FC

After months of turmoil, it finally feels as though Phil Neville is making things work at Inter Miami. The Herons suffered six straight defeats across June and July, but they have only lost one of their last six matches since then.

On the flip side, Toronto enjoyed an upturn after parting ways with Chris Armas last month. However, the Reds returned to their old ways in recent weeks – recording two draws and three losses in their past five outings.

Inter Miami currently holds a four-point lead over Toronto and also has two games in hand over the last-place side. This is likely to be a scrappy affair, but I can see Neville’s men edging out lowly TFC.

Atlanta United to Beat DC United

Believe it or not – Atlanta now sits just three points behind DC United. The two clubs enjoyed contrasting fortunes at the begging of the campaign, with Atlanta struggling and DC flying. But those roles have been reversed.

Atlanta heads into Saturday’s clash on a three-game winning streak, seeing off Columbus, LAFC, and Toronto this month. With a conference-high nine draws to their name, only four teams in the East have lost fewer games than ATL UTD.

DC, meanwhile, has suffered two heavy defeats in that. Hernan Losada’s men lost 5-2 to Nashville before going down 3-2 to New England in midweek, meaning they now find themselves just three points inside the top seven.

I’m going with the form guide and backing Atlanta to win this one.

Orlando City to Beat Chicago Fire

Including their Leagues Cup defeat to Santos Laguna, the Lions have failed to win any of their previous four matches. In fact, three straight 1-1 draws in Major League Soccer have seen them slip to fifth in the East.

That said, Orlando is still 11 points clear of eleventh-place Chicago. The Fire appeared to have turned things around earlier in the month, enjoying a run of two wins and two draws. But Wednesday’s loss to Inter Miami exposed their weaknesses once again.

We all know that Oscar Pareja’s men are not firing on all cylinders at the moment. Still, they shouldn’t struggle to overcome Chicago.

New York Red Bulls and New York City FC to Draw

Although the Red Bulls head into the latest edition of the Hudson River Derby nine points behind their bitter rivals, they can take confidence from their midweek win over the Crew.

RBNY snapped a seven-match winless streak on Wednesday, ending a run of three draws and four defeats. 19-year-old John Tolkin scored the only goal of the game, popping up from left-back on his fifteenth MLS appearance this year.

By contrast, a run of four wins and two draws saw New York City head into Wednesday’s clash on a six-match unbeaten streak. However, Ronny Deila’s men were beaten 1-0 by Philly.

We all know that NYCFC has been the best team in the Big Apple this year, but RBNY should rise to the occasion on Saturday. With that in mind, I can see the derby ending in a draw.

FC Dallas to Beat Houston Dynamo

It wouldn’t be unfair to say that Houston has endured a torrid time in the Texas Derby over the past few years. In fact, the Dynamo have only managed to win two of their last 17 meetings with Dallas – suffering seven defeats along the way.

Sure, this fixture has produced a lot of draws in recent times. But there is no denying that Dallas has the upper hand heading into Saturday’s showdown.

Tab Ramos’ men have failed to win any of their previous 13 MLS matches and are currently on a four-game losing streak. As for Dallas, they have won three of their last six outings.

Having taken everything into account, I’m backing Dallas to claim the Texas bragging rights this weekend.

Colorado Rapids and Real Salt Lake to Draw

Fourth-place Colorado and fifth-place Real Salt Lake are currently separated by seven points in the West – and both sides have enjoyed a string of positive results lately.

The Rapids have only lost one of their previous nine games and head into Saturday’s match on a four-game unbeaten streak. On the flip side, RSL has lost just two of their last seven matches and comes into this one on the back of two straight victories.

There really is very little between Colorado and RSL at the moment. For that reason, the draw feels like the most probable outcome here.

Austin FC to Beat Portland Timbers

Remember what happened the last time Austin hosted Portland at Q2 Stadium? If you don’t, then let me remind you.

The Texans crushed the Timbers 4-1 at the beginning of July, producing a totally dominant performance. The hosts enjoyed 70% possession on that occasion, with Jon Gallagher, Diego Fagundez, Alexander Ring, and Hector Jimenez all getting on the scoresheet.

Granted, Austin hasn’t had much to shout about since then.

Los Verdes have only managed to win one of their previous seven MLS games, suffering six losses in the process. But they have to win again at some point, right?

The Timbers have won just once in their past six outings and were hammered 6-2 by Seattle last weekend. In my eyes, this matchup provides Austin with an ideal opportunity to return to winning ways.

Vancouver Whitecaps to Beat LAFC

What has happened to LAFC?

The return of Carlos Vela was supposed to resolve the team’s inconsistent form, but that just hasn’t happened. Instead, Bob Bradley’s men have lost each of their last three matches – extending their winless run to six games.

The Whitecaps, on the other hand, have only lost one of their previous ten outings. Wednesday’s 2-1 victory over Austin extended their unbeaten streak to seven matches, and they now trail LAFC by just three points in the West.

When you consider the contrasting form of these two sides, all signs point towards a home win here.

Best MLS Bets for Saturday, August 21

That concludes my MLS predictions for Saturday, August 21, so it’s now time to check out the top MLS betting picks for this weekend.

Columbus Crew vs. Seattle Sounders

I can’t quite figure out why the bookies keep pricing Seattle so high. You could get odds of 3.00 for the Sounders to beat Dallas on Wednesday – and they did! This weekend, you can get the same price for them to beat Colombus.

Considering the Crew heads into Saturday on a five-match losing streak, backing Seattle to secure a fourth consecutive win feels like a no-brainer.

  • Pick: Seattle Sounders to Win (3.00)

New England Revolution vs. FC Cincinnati

Let’s face it – anything other than a comfortable New England win would be a huge shock here. But at odds of 1.33, backing the Revs to beat Cincinnati doesn’t get me excited.

If you’re looking for better value, throw the over 2.5 goals into the mix to enhance the price. After all, the Revs are the highest scorers in the East, while Cincy has one of the worst defensive records in the conference.

  • Pick: New England Revolution to Win and Over 2.5 Goals (1.95)

New York Red Bulls vs. New York City FC

Although I predicted that RBNY and NYCFC will produce a draw on Saturday, anything can happen in the Hudson River Derby. For that reason, I recommend steering clear of the moneyline market for this matchup.

Instead, I think backing over 2.5 goals is the way to go here. Five of the last eight meetings between these two sides have produced three or more goals – and the Boys in Blue are currently the second-highest scorers in the East.

  • Pick: Over 2.5 Goals (1.80)

If you’re looking for further MLS betting advice, check out our guide to betting on Major League Soccer.

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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