Predictions and Best Bets for MLS Games on Wednesday, August 18, 2021
We have another jam-packed midweek MLS schedule to get our teeth into this week, with no fewer than 11 games taking place on Wednesday, August 18.
Seattle returns to action against Dallas, having crushed Portland 6-2 on Sunday. Elsewhere, Nashville hosts Orlando just three days after thrashing DC United 5-2.
Here is Wednesday’s MLS schedule in full.
- Atlanta United vs. Toronto FC
- New England Revolution vs. DC United
- FC Cincinnati vs. CF Montreal
- Inter Miami vs. Chicago Fire
- Philadelphia Union vs. New York City FC
- New York Red Bulls vs. Columbus Crew
- FC Dallas vs. Seattle Sounders
- Nashville SC vs. Orlando City
- Sporting Kansas City vs. Portland Timbers
- Austin FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
- Real Salt Lake vs. Houston Dynamo
Can the Revs extend their mammoth lead atop the Eastern Conference? Will Sporting KC hold onto the top spot in the West? Or can the Sounders reclaim first place?
I answer all those questions – and many more – throughout my MLS predictions for Wednesday, August 18. I also share my best MLS bets for the midweek action.
If that sounds good to you, let’s get going!
Atlanta United to Beat Toronto FC
Atlanta handed new head coach Gonzalo Pineda a winning start to his reign, beating LAFC 1-0 on Sunday. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that Josef Martinez netted the only goal of the game.
Following a wretched run of just one win in their opening 14 MLS matches this year, the Five Stripes now head into Wednesday’s clash on a three-game unbeaten streak – and back-to-back victories!
Meanwhile, Toronto suffered a 2-1 loss to New England last time out. The Reds have recorded two draws and two losses in their previous four outings and remain one point adrift at the foot of the Eastern Conference.
I’m backing Atlanta to heap more misery on TFC by notching three straight wins for the very first time this season.
New England Revolution to Beat DC United
Can anyone stop New England right now?
An outrageous run of six wins in seven games has seen the Revs open up a colossal 12-point lead at the summit. Boasting a record of 13-4-3, Bruce Arena’s men are on course to clinch the Supporters’ Shield with ease.
On the other hand, DC United suffered a humbling 5-2 thrashing at the hands of Nashville last weekend. The Black-and-Red headed into that game on a five-match unbeaten streak, but they were totally outclassed by the Tennessee team.
Don’t get me wrong; I love what DC is doing this year. However, New England shouldn’t struggle to claim all three points on Wednesday – especially with MVP-elect Carles Gil on fire.
FC Cincinnati and CF Montreal to Draw
This matchup brings together two sides languishing at the bottom end of the form table. Both teams have taken just four points from their previous five games, while Cincinnati hasn’t won since June 27.
Granted, Jaap Stam’s men have only lost twice since then. But six draws in their past eight matches have prevented them from moving up the standings. In fact, they remain second from bottom in the East.
Montreal’s flying start to the season means they find themselves in seventh place. However, the Canadians have only managed to win one of their last six outings – suffering four defeats along the way.
With both sides struggling for form, I can see this one ending in a draw.
Inter Miami and Chicago Fire to Draw
Led by Gonzalo Higuain, Inter Miami appeared to have turned the corner. The veteran striker netted three goals in three games earlier in the month, seeing off Montreal and Nashville in the process.
But the Herons returned to their old ways last time out, going down 2-0 to New York City. They have now lost nine of their 17 matches this season, with four wins and four draws, keeping them just one point ahead of last-place TFC.
Chicago isn’t exactly doing much better, though. Raphael Wicky’s men have also suffered nine defeats this year, although they have five wins and five draws to their name.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Inter Miami and Chicago Fire cancel each other out in Florida.
New York City FC to Beat Philadelphia Union
New York City extended their unbeaten streak to six games with an easy 2-0 win over Inter Miami on Sunday, benefitting from a Valentin Castellanos brace. The Argentine now has nine goals and six assists under his belt in 2021.
Across the past ten matches, no team in Major League Soccer has claimed more points than NYCFC. Ronny Deila’s men have taken 20 points from a possible 30, registering six wins, two draws, and two losses.
Unfortunately, Philadelphia has only managed to pick up 13 points in that time. The defending Supporters’ Shield champions have won just one of their previous six outings and head into Wednesday’s clash on the back of two straight defeats.
Considering the contrasting form of these two sides, I’m backing New York City to dispatch the Union.
New York Red Bulls to Beat Columbus Crew
In another season, this matchup would be hailed as a heavyweight clash. But right now, neither team has anything to shout about.
The Red Bulls haven’t won since July 4 and are currently enduring a woeful seven-game winless run (three draws, four losses). As for the Crew, they come into this clash on a four-match losing streak.
While it is difficult to imagine either one of these sides winning a game of soccer at the moment, I can see RBNY getting the better of Columbus on Wednesday. Of course, both teams are in dismal form. But Caleb Porter’s men have lost each of their last four matches.
Seattle Sounders to Beat FC Dallas
Following a shaky period, the Sounders are back on track.
After going 13 games without defeat at the beginning of the year, Seattle went on a run of just one win in five games earlier in the month. However, they flexed their muscles last time out – hammering Portland 6-2.
Fredy Montero and Raul Ruidiaz both bagged a brace, with the latter taking his tally to 14 goals for the season. Good luck dealing with those two, Dallas!
The Texans have only managed to win five of their 19 matches this year, conceding 27 goals along the way. Considering the Sounders have scored 32, I can’t help but fear the worst for Dallas.
Nashville SC to Beat Orlando City
Doubles from CJ Sapong and Alex Muyl, along with a Hany Mukhtar strike, saw Nashville demolish DC 5-2 on Sunday. Gary Smith’s men have only lost two games all season, picking up seven wins and ten draws to keep themselves third in the East as a result.
Granted, Orlando is just one place and one point behind Nashville. But the Lions have only managed to secure one win in their past five outings and are currently on a three-game winless run.
Not only are Smith’s men the third-highest scorers in the East, but they also boast the second-best defensive record in the division. With firepower in every department, Nashville should get the better of Orlando.
Sporting Kansas City to Beat Portland Timbers
After fielding a second-string team against Leon in the Leagues Cup, Peter Vermes recalled his big guns to the starting XI for Sunday’s clash with Dallas – and they did not disappoint!
Alan Pulido and Daniel Salloi netted in the 2-0 victory over the Toros, enhancing their growing reputations. Pulido now has eight goals to his name this term, while Salloi has a whopping 11 goals and six assists under his belt.
Portland, meanwhile, was completely humiliated by Seattle last time out. The Timbers went down 6-2 to the Sounders on Sunday, meaning they have lost three of their previous five outings.
With a 14-point gulf between first-place SKC and seventh-place Portland, I expect the Wizards to beat Portland without any real problems.
Austin FC to Beat Vancouver Whitecaps
The bottom two sides in the Western Conference will obviously be desperate to avoid defeat on Wednesday. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Austin claimed all three points here.
The Whitecaps have managed to win just one of their last 14 games and are currently on a run of five consecutive draws. On the flip side, Los Verdes have won two of their previous seven outings.
Both of Austin’s recent wins have come on home soil, so the Texans clearly enjoy playing at Q2 Stadium. With the backing of the home crowd behind them, Josh Wolff’s men will fancy their chances of overcome off-form Vancouver.
Real Salt Lake to Beat Houston Dynamo
There is no hiding from the fact that Houston is the worst team in Major League Soccer at the moment. I mean, Tab Ramos’ men have failed to win any of their past 12 matches, registering seven draws and five losses in the process.
Sunday’s 3-1 defeat to Colorado also means the Dynamo head into Wednesday’s clash on a three-game losing streak.
Sixth-place Real Salt Lake sit six points ahead of Houston in the West, having recorded six wins, six draws, and six losses this year. Yes, Freddy Juarez’s men have struggled for consistency in 2021. But they have performed far better than the Dynamo.
It goes without saying that a home win is on the cards here.
My Top MLS Picks for Wednesday, August 18
Now that I’ve shared my MLS predictions for Wednesday, it’s time to go over the best MLS bets for August 18.
Philadelphia Union vs. New York City FC
Although I predicted that New York City (2.70) will beat Philadelphia (2.50), this is likely to be a close game. Both sides have only lost five matches this year – and NYCFC leads Philly by just three points as a result.
It is also worth noting that NYCFC has the best defensive record in the East, with the Union has only conceded one goal more. With that in mind, the under 2.5 goals market looks very attractive.
- Pick: Under 2.5 Goals (2.10)
FC Dallas vs. Seattle Sounders
I can’t quite understand why Seattle is priced at 3.00 to win this one. I mean, the Sounders currently hold a 15-point lead over Dallas (2.25) and have only lost three games all year.
Granted, Dallas managed to hold Seattle to a 1-1 draw earlier in the month. But since then, the Sounders have crushed UANL Tigres 3-0 in the Leagues Cup and annihilated Portland 6-2.
In my eyes, the huge odds for the away win seem too good to be true here.
- Pick: Seattle Sounders to Win (3.00)
Sporting Kansas City vs. Portland Timbers
While Sporting KC (1.62) should be Portland (4.85), the price for the home victory isn’t too appealing. For that reason, I recommend adding the over 2.5 goals market into the mix to enhance the odds.
The Wizards are the highest scorers in the West, while the Timbers have the worst defensive record. On top of that, 13 of Portland’s 18 games this year have produced over 2.5 goals.
Considering 12 of SKC’s matches have dished up three or more goals, I’m confident the home side will chalk up a high-scoring victory on Wednesday.
- Pick: Sporting Kansas City to Win and Over 2.5 Goals (2.35)
If you’re betting on Major League Soccer, check out the top-rated soccer gambling apps to find the best odds.