Predictions and Best Bets for MLS Games on Saturday, August 7, 2021
Following a jam-packed midweek schedule, we have seven Major League Soccer games to bet on this Saturday, August 7.
Twelve matches took place on Wednesday, and there were plenty of notable results. Sporting Kansas City thrashed LAFC 4-1, DC United secured a shock 4-2 victory over Columbus, while Austin got the better of Texas rival Houston.
Anyway, that was Wednesday. Let’s look ahead to the MLS games on Saturday.
- Columbus Crew vs. Atlanta United
- FC Cincinnati vs. Orlando City
- Minnesota United vs. Houston Dynamo
- Toronto FC vs. New York City FC
- FC Dallas vs. Austin FC
- Colorado Rapids vs. Sporting Kansas City
- Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake
With Seattle not returning to MLS action until August 16, Sporting KC could open up a three-point lead at the top of the Western Conference if they beat Colorado.
Over in the East, second-place Orlando can move to within five points of the high-flying Revs with a win over Cincinnati.
Below, I take you through my MLS predictions for Saturday, August 7. I also share my top MLS betting picks for Saturday’s games.
Columbus Crew to Beat Atlanta United
Despite suffering a surprise 4-2 loss to DC United on Wednesday, Columbus is still in a strong position. The reigning MLS Cup champions have only lost five of their 17 league games this year and remain on course to secure a playoff berth.
Atlanta, on the other hand, sits just two points ahead of last-place Inter Miami in the East. The Five Stripes have only managed to win two matches all season, leaving inexperienced interim head coach Rob Valentino with plenty of work to do.
Atlanta recorded a 2-2 draw with Montreal in midweek, but a red card for Josef Martinez means they will be without their star striker on Saturday.
Even with Martinez in the side, Atlanta would have struggled to compete with the Crew. But with Martinez suspended, the Five Stripes are heading towards another defeat this weekend.
Orlando City to Beat FC Cincinnati
This matchup brings together two teams battling at opposite ends of the Eastern Conference.
Orlando (8-5-4) is second in the standings and has been one of the standout teams in MLS this year. At the other end of the table, Cincinnati (3-6-7) sits tenth – two points off the bottom.
Granted, the Lions were held to a 1-1 draw by Florida rival Inter Miami on Wednesday. But having racked up 14 shots and dominated possession, they should have come away with all three points.
On the flip side, Jaap Stam’s men head into Saturday’s clash on a seven-game winless run after tying with the New York Red Bulls in midweek. They have also failed to find the back of the net in each of their previous three outings.
Orlando beat Cincy 3-0 back in May – and I expect a similar result this time around.
Minnesota United to Beat Houston Dynamo
I really can’t see Houston getting anything from this match, especially when you consider Minnesota has only suffered one defeat in the past 12 games.
The Loons have been scoring goals for fun recently, too. They have netted exactly two goals in each of their last three matches and have scored over 1.5 goals on five occasions in their previous eight encounters.
By contrast, Tab Ramos’ men are among the lowest scorers in the West. Only the bottom two sides have bagged fewer goals than Houston, so the Texans aren’t likely to cause Minnesota too many problems on Saturday.
Robin Lod is the Loons’ danger man. The Finland international has chalked up three goals and one assist in four appearances since returning from the European Championship.
New York City FC to Beat Toronto FC
Following impressive victories over Montreal, Orlando, and Columbus, New York City extended their unbeaten streak to four games with a goalless draw against Chicago last time out.
Jesus Medina (7 goals, 1 assist), Valentin Castellanos (6 goals, 4 assists), and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi (6 goals, 1 assist) have fired NYCFC to fifth in the Eastern Conference – two points shy of second-place Orlando.
Although Toronto continued to show signs of improvement on Wednesday, they were ultimately outclassed in a 3-0 loss to Philadelphia. That was the Reds’ first defeat in six matches, leaving them second from bottom in the standings.
The 13-point gap separating NYCFC and TFC tells you everything you need to know about the gulf in quality between these two sides at the moment. With that in mind, New York City should dispatch Toronto without any real issues.
Austin FC to Beat FC Dallas
Two Texas derbies in the space of four days? Yes please!
It’s safe to say that Austin will be brimming with belief after beating Houston 3-2 in midweek. Los Verdes’ Designated Players rose to the occasion, with Tomas Pochettino bagging a brace and Cecilio Dominguez netting the third.
Dallas picked up a positive result on Wednesday, too, registering a 1-1 draw with Seattle. Franco Jara equalized in the 91st minute to snatch a precious point for his team.
Both sides have struggled this year, with second-bottom Austin trailing ninth-place Dallas by two points. Josh Wolff’s team does have a game in hand over Dallas, though.
After seeing off the Dynamo, I’m backing confidence-filled Austin to do the Texas double this weekend.
Sporting Kansas City to Beat Colorado Rapids
Sporting KC leapfrogged the Sounders atop the West with a resounding 4-1 thrashing of LAFC last time out. Alan Pulido, Luis Martins, Daniel Salloi, and Gadi Kinda all got on the scoresheet before Danny Musovski netted a late consolation for the hosts.
The Wizards have now won five of their last seven games and even beat Colorado 3-1 at the start of that run. In fact, across the past ten matches, no team in Major League Soccer has accumulated more points than SKC.
Having said that, Colorado won’t go down without a fight on Saturday. The Rapids have lost just one of their last six outings and boast the second-best defensive record in the conference.
While I expect Colorado and SKC to produce a tight affair, I’m confident that Peter Vermes’ men will come out on top.
Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake to Draw
Just one point separates seventh-place Real Salt Lake (5-6-5) and eighth-place Portland (6-2-8) as the two sides prepare to do battle at Providence Park.
Neither team has established a rhythm this year, with both sides recording a mixture of impressive wins and disappointing losses.
Despite notching a whopping 21 shots on Wednesday, the Timbers were held to a 1-1 draw by struggling San Jose. On top of that, Diego Chara was sent off, meaning he will miss Saturday’s clash through suspension.
RSL, meanwhile, suffered a 1-0 defeat to the LA Galaxy in midweek. Interestingly, Freddy Juarez’s men also registered the lion’s share of attempts but failed to come away with any points.
Judging by the recent form of both Portland and RSL, the draw feels like the most probable outcome here.
My Top MLS Picks for Saturday, August 7
Here are my best MLS bets for Saturday, August 7.
FC Cincinnati vs. Orlando City
Many of the betting sites view Cincinnati (2.40) as the slight favorite to win this one. Yes, the Ohio outfit has the home-field advantage. But there is no denying that Orlando (2.63) is by far the better team here.
The Lions find themselves second in the East and a mammoth 14 points clear of tenth-place Cincy. With that in mind, the generous odds for the away win must be taken advantage of.
- Pick: Orlando City to Win (2.63)
Toronto FC vs. New York City FC
Sitting eight places and 13 points behind New York City (1.87), Toronto (3.50) is the clear outsider here. While backing the away win is a solid bet in itself, I recommend backing NYCFC to win both halves.
Ronny Deila’s men have won both halves in five of their 16 matches this season – the joint-second best record in the conference. They should be able to do the same against struggling TFC.
- Pick: New York City FC to Win Half Time/Full Time (3.10)
Colorado Rapids vs. Sporting Kansas City
Although I predicted that Sporting KC (2.90) will beat Colorado (2.25) on Saturday, backing the away win feels a bit risky. The Wizards have been immense recently, but the Rapids have also performed well.
For that reason, I suggest opting for the over 2.5 goals market for this game. Not only are the Wizards the top scorers in the West, but 12 of their 17 matches have produced three or more goals.
- Pick: Over 2.5 Goals (1.90)