Predictions and Best Bets for MLS Games on Saturday, August 28, 2021

| August 26, 2021 6:00 am PDT

The MLS rivalries just keep on coming this Saturday, August 28, with two more big derbies slated.

Of course, El Tráfico is the main event. The two Los Angeles clubs have produced tons of memorable moments since LAFC joined the league in 2018 – and Saturday’s showdown will almost certainly dish up more!

But before that, Atlanta United and Nashville SC renew their budding rivalry at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

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

  • Atlanta United vs. Nashville SC
  • New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire
  • Los Angeles FC vs. LA Galaxy
  • New York City FC vs. New England Revolution
  • DC United vs. Philadelphia Union
  • Houston Dynamo vs. Minnesota United
  • Sporting Kansas City vs. Colorado Rapids

Aside from the obvious derbies, we have a couple of hugely important battles at the top end of both conferences. Eastern leader New England faces NYCFC, while Sporting KC hosts Colorado over in the West.

Keep reading to find my MLS predictions for Saturday, August 28 – and make sure you stick around for my MLS picks at the end of this post.

Atlanta United and Nashville SC to Draw

We all know that Atlanta and Nashville enjoyed very different starts to the 2021 MLS season. While the Five Stripes struggled at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, Gary Smith’s men enhance their reputation as one of the strongest sides in the division.

But as soon as ATL UTD parted ways with Gabriel Heinze, the team’s fortunes changed.

In fact, across the past ten games, Atlanta has picked up 15 points. Meanwhile, Nashville has claimed 17. Both sides have won four of their previous ten matches, so there isn’t much to separate them at the moment.

Let’s not forget that Nashville has suffered just two defeats in 20 games, though. I can’t see the visitors losing on Saturday, but I’m confident the hosts will be able to earn a point.

New York Red Bulls to Beat Chicago Fire

Having lost nine of their 19 matches this season, the Red Bulls find themselves tenth in the Eastern Conference – two points ahead of third-bottom Chicago. Let’s face it – neither team has enjoyed 2021 so far.

That said, RBNY finally ended a run of seven games without a win last time out. A 1-0 victory over Columbus – the defending MLS Cup champion – would have boosted spirits in the camp.

The Fire, on the other hand, head into Saturday’s clash on the back of two straight defeats. Raphael Wicky’s men suffered a 3-2 loss to Inter Miami before going down 1-0 to Orlando, meaning they have only managed to win two of their last nine outings.

I’m backing the Red Bulls to dispatch struggling Chicago and notch back-to-back wins this weekend.

LA Galaxy to Beat Los Angeles FC

It’s safe to say that fans of LAFC won’t enjoy looking at the Western Conference right now. As things stand, the Galaxy sits fourth, while Bob Bradley’s side is 12 points behind in ninth.

It is also worth remembering that LAFC has lost three of the previous four El Tráfico showdowns. The two rivals have already faced off this year, with the Galaxy securing a 2-1 victory back in May.

Although Greg Vanney’s men have lost each of their last two games, there is no hiding from the fact that LAFC heads into Saturday’s clash on a four-match losing streak.

The Black & Gold haven’t won since mid-July, registering two draws and five losses along the way.

Form generally goes out the window when these teams meet, but I expect the Galaxy to get the better of LAFC this time around.

New England Revolution to Beat New York City FC

Having clinched their fifteenth win of the season last weekend, the Revs now find themselves 15 points (yes, 15 POINTS!) clear of second-place Orlando in the East.

Polish forward Adam Buksa bagged a brace in New England’s 4-1 rout of Cincinnati, taking his tally for the season to ten goals. With Gustavo Bou (12 goals, 3 assists), Tajon Buchanan (6 goals, 5 assists), and Carles Gil (2 goals, 9 assists) also in red-hot form, it feels like Bruce Arena’s men already have one hand on the Supporters’ Shield.

Not so long ago, New York City looked set to challenge New England for the Shield. However, they have only managed to win one of their last five matches and have slipped to fifth as a result.

The Revs claimed a 3-2 road victory over NYCFC in June. If their recent results are anything to go by, they are likely to seal an even bigger win on Saturday.

Philadelphia Union to Beat DC United

There was a time earlier in the season when it looked as though DC United would secure a top-seven spot without any real issues. But after suffering three consecutive defeats, the Black-and-Red are in a precarious position.

DC was thrashed 5-2 by Nashville before losing 3-2 to New England. Last weekend, Hernan Losada’s side was unable to prevent a 2-1 defeat to Atlanta.

On the flip side, the Union have only lost one of their previous six MLS outings and now sit five points ahead of DC. When you look at the bigger picture, the 2020 Supporters’ Shield champs have lost just five matches all year, while the Black-and-Red have lost ten.

Even without Kacper Przybylko (11 goals, 3 assists) firing on all cylinders, Philadelphia is dangerous. Just imagine how good they will be when their star striker finds his feet again!

Considering the contrasting form of Philly and DC, I expect the hosts to suffer a fourth straight loss this weekend.

Houston Dynamo and Minnesota United to Draw

Will Houston win another game this year?

The Texans enjoyed a promising start to the 2021 season, recording three wins, two draws, and two losses across their opening seven matches. But since then, they have failed to pick up a single win – registering eight draws and six defeats in the process.

That said, Minnesota hasn’t exactly impressed a lot of people recently. The Loons have only managed to win one of their last six games and head into the weekend on a three-match winless run.

In my eyes, this matchup provides the Dynamo with an excellent chance of adding another point to their tally. I can’t see them coming away with all three points, but they should be able to hold off-form Minnesota to a draw.

Sporting Kansas City and Colorado Rapids to Draw

Second-place Sporting KC sits two points ahead of third-place Colorado in the West. As you can see from the table below, the two sides have very similar records.

SPORTING KC AND COLORADO – 2021 MLS RECORDS
Team Games Wins Draws Losses Points
Sporting KC 21 11 6 4 39
Colorado 19 11 4 4 37

Both teams have recorded 11 wins and four losses this year, while SKC has picked up two draws more than Colorado. If the Rapids win their two games in hand, they will leapfrog the Wizards.

The Rapids have only lost one of their last ten matches and head into the weekend on a three-game winning streak. As for Peter Vermes’ men, they have lost just one of their previous 11 MLS outings.

You get the picture, right? Ultimately, there is very little to separate SKC and Colorado – so the draw feels like the most probable outcome here.

My Top MLS Picks for Saturday, August 28

That concludes my MLS predictions for Saturday, August 28. If you plan to bet on Major League Soccer this weekend, make sure you check out my MLS picks below.

Los Angeles FC vs. LA Galaxy

This matchup is renowned for goals. In fact, LAFC has faced the Galaxy 11 times over the years – and 50 goals have been scored! Considering El Tráfico averages 4.5 goals per game, we are destined to see plenty of drama on Saturday.

It is also worth noting that 15 of the Galaxy’s 21 matches have produced over 2.5 goals this year. Although Vanney’s men are the third-highest scorers in the West, they also have the joint-worst defensive record.

  • Pick: Both Teams to Score and Over 2.5 Goals (1.90)

New York City FC vs. New England Revolution

All the betting sites view New York City (1.75) as the favorite to win this one, leaving New England (4.00) as the rank outsider. But when you consider the contrasting records of the teams, all the signs point towards an away win.

Yes, the Boys in Blue have the home-field advantage on Saturday. But they also trail New England by 18 points. The Revs have won each of their previous four matches and thrashed Cincinnati 4-1 last time out, so backing them at 4.00 is a no-brainer here.

  • Pick: New England Revolution to Win (4.00)

Sporting Kansas City vs. Colorado Rapids

As we know, there is very little between Sporting KC at Colorado right now. Although I predicted that this game will end in a draw, backing the draw is always a risky option. For that reason, I recommend going for the under 2.5 goals market.

SKC and Colorado have played a combined total of 40 matches this year – and 18 of those (45%) have produced less than three goals. The Rapids also have the second-best defensive record in the West, meaning the Wizards could struggle to break down their backline.

  • Pick: Under 2.5 Goals (2.10)
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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