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MLS Week 18 Rundown: Grab Valuable Soccer Picks


New England Revolution vs. NYCFC
Improving NYCFC (7-6-5, 29 GF-31 GA, 27 points, 1st place in Eastern Conference) has played very well on the Road this Regular Season (3-1-2, 13 GF-10 GA) and with David Villa (12 goals), Jack Harrison (2 goals), Thomas McNamara (3 goals), Frank Lampard (2 goals) and Andrea Pirlo coming into form and the Defense playing better, this is a tough spot for host New England (4-7-6, 23 GF-31 GA) which got 2 goals from new-acquiree Kei Kamara (2 goals) last week in a 3-2 Loss at Montreal. The L4 (and only 4) meetings in this series (NYCFC 1-1 NE, NYCFC 1-3 NE, NE 1-0 NYCFC, NYCFC 2-0 NE) reveals that New England is 2-1-1 with the Under 3-1. However, those were better Revolution (WLWWLL) squads then and this NYCFC (LDLWWW) side is on the upswing now, especially after shutting out their rivals, the New York Red Bulls, 2-0 in Yankee Stadium in the Hudson River Derby on Friday. With Lee Nguyen (4 goals) and the Revs having more Draws than anything at Home (3-4-1, 11 GF-9 GA) and only 4 Wins in their first 17 matches, taking a shot on Road-savvy NYCFC in the Draw No Bet marketplace for a small amount seems wise here (NYCFC Draw No Bet +214, Marathon).

Final Score Prediction: Revolution 1 NYCFC 2
Free MLS Pick: NYCFC Draw No Bet +234 
Best Line Offered: at Marathon


Orlando SC vs. Houston Dynamo
Orlando SC returns home to the Sunshine State after getting rolled by FC Dallas, 4-0 on the Fourth of July in Frisco, Texas, only to find another club from the Lone Star State, the Houston Dynamo (4-5-8, 23 GF-25 GA) waiting for them. Luckily for Cyle Larin (8 goals), Kevin Molino (6 goals), Kaká (3 goals) and Orlando City (4-8-4, 28 GF-29 GA), Houston is the 10th-place team in the Western Conference and winless on the Road (0-2-7, 9 GF-17 GA). With OCSC expanding into the MLS last season, these two teams have only played once, with Orlando SC winning 1-0 at BBVA Compass Stadium last season on a Tyler Deric own goal. The Home Site should prove to be an edge here as well as the reality this will be Will Bruin (4 goals) and the Dynamo’s first official match at the Citrus Bowl, another edge for the hosts on Friday night (MLS Live, UniMás (US), Sky Sports 1/HD (UK)).

Final Score Prediction: Orlando SC 2 Dynamo 1
Free MLS Pick: Orlando SC -118 
Best Line Offered: at Marathon 


San Jose Earthquakes vs. FC Dallas
FC Dallas (10-4-5, 30 GF-24 GA) became the first MLS club to reach the 10-win mark on Monday, shutting out Orlando SC, 4-0 at Home at Toyota Stadium in in Frisco, Texas, and this team without an MLS Cup title (FC Dallas +1200 to win MLS Cup, NetBet) might be worth a gander now in the Futures Bet marketplace while this team is still in double-digits (American odds; 12/1 Fractional odds, 12 Decimal) odds. Here on Friday night (MLS Live, UniMás), host San Jose (5-7-5, 19 GF-20 GA) and Chris Wondolowski (7 goals) will face FCD (WWDDLW) in a game much more important to the 8th-place Quakes (DDLDDL). The L5 meetings in this series (SJ 0-0 DAL, DAL 2-2 SJ, DAL 2-1 SJ, SJ 0-0 DAL, DAL 1-0 SJ) reveals the Home team is an unbeaten 2-3-0 (W-D-L), 3 Draws and two consecutive 0-0 Draws here at Avaya Stadium where the hosts will have to focus much of their energy on Defense to stopping guys like Tesho Akindele (5 goals), Michael Barrios (5 goals), Fabian Castillo (5 goals) and Max Urruti (3 goals). Easier typed than done.

Final Score Prediction: Earthquakes 1 FC Dallas 1
Free MLS Pick: Under 3½ 225 
Best Line Offered: at StanJames 


Seattle Sounders vs. LA Galaxy
The LA Galaxy (6-8-3, 30 GF-18 GA) always seem to go on a tear about this time each Summer for Head Coach Bruce Arena and after snapping an 9-game unbeaten run of the Fourth of July with a 2-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps at the StubHub Center in Carson and getting Robbie Keane (5 goals) and Gyasi Zardes (4 goals) back from their service for their native countries in the EURO 2016 (Republic of Ireland) and the Copa América (USA) respectively, this club is possibly poised to go on that Summer Roll and sports gamblers should take note: July and August may be great months to back the LA Galaxy.

Here in the Emerald City on Saturday (ESPN, MLS Live) against Clint Dempsey and a flailing Sounders (5-2-9, 14 GF-20 GA)—who have scored an MLS-low 14 goals—taking a shot on the galaxy in the Three-Way market in this spot with the nice plus seems Wise. The L5 meetings in the series (SEA 3-2 LA, SEA 1-1 LA, LA 3-1 SEA, LA 1-0 SEA, SEA 2-1 LA) reveals the Home side is an unbeaten 4-1-0 with the Sounders winning both meetings here in Seattle in two Overs, but Timing is sometimes everything in gambling as is gambling itself once in awhile and taking a shot on LA in this spot is what the good doctor has ordered for those interested in this Western Conference affair between two team with just 2 combined Wins in their L12 matches. This is your wake up call, pal. Go to work. (Gordon Gekko, Wall Street, 1987)

Final Score Prediction: Sounders 1 LA Galaxy 2
Free MLS Pick: LA Galaxy +214, LA Galaxy Draw No Bet +125 
Best Line Offered: at Marathon 


Philadelphia Union vs. DC United
The Philadelphia Union (7-5-6, 29 GF-26 GA) are one of those enigmatic MLS sides which seem hard to peg down. When you think the Union will Win, they often Draw, When you think they might Draw, they sometimes Lose. And when you know that Philadelphia is going to lose, they sometimes get a Win or get a result (a Draw). Gaaaah. These are the types of clubs that can drive gamblers mad. (The Boston Red Sox are like that for me in MLB.) Anyway, we’re (trying) to talk Soccer and not Baseball here, Bubba and we’re also trying to figure out if this Eastern Conference affair from suburban Philadelphia on Saturday night (MLS Live, News Channel 8, The Comcast Network) is worth as bsoccer pick. So snap out of it. With the Home side have W5 straight, the answer is a semi-resounding “Yes” for the Trend bettors.

And under the microscope, you see three straight 1-0 Wins by the Union here at Home (PHI 1-0 DCU, DCU 3-2 PHI, DCU 2-1 PHI, PHI 1-0 DCU, DCU 1-0 PHI), so the Under (6-2 L8 in series) may be worth consideration although the L3 games the Union have played at Home (MLS: PHI 4-3 CHI, MLS: PHI 2-3 VAN, US Open Cup: PHI 2-1 RBNY) have all gone Over, averaging a robust 5.0 gpg. It’s hard to trust Chris Pontius (6 goals), CJ Sapong (5 goals) Roland Alberg (5 goals) and the Union (6-2-1, 20 GF-12 GA) even with one Home Loss and a 2nd-place standing in the Eastern Conference (26 points, 1 point behind NYCFC). But it does seem that with Costa Rican Álvaro Saborío (4 goals) and Fabian Espindola (3 goals), DC United (5-6-6, 17 GF-17 GA), each teams should be able to score at least once here (Both Teams To Score (‘Yes’) -125, Stan James) in the steamy Pennsylvania Summer heat.

Final Score Prediction: Union 1 DC United 1
Free MLS Pick: Both Teams To Score (‘Yes’) -125 
Best Line Offered: at StanJames 


Toronto FC vs. Chicago Fire
The Chicago Fire (3-5-7, 15 GF-20 GA) have had a miserable start to the season, and currently sit in 10th-place in the Eastern Conference with just 3 Wins and only 15 goals scored in 14 matches—although that latter thing (15 GP) may be a good thing for the Fire with some other MLS clubs having already played as many as 18 times. So that’s a theoretical 9 points which can be made up real quickly by the Fire in a league where parity is part of the pie. Last place to first place ain’t no big thang in the janky-ass MLS, brother. The L5 meetings in this series reveals the Both Teams To Score is a perfect 5-0 (TOR 3-2 CHI, CHI 3-2 TOR, CHI 1-1 TOR, TOR 1-1 CHI, CHI 1-1 TOR)—and the BTTS (‘Yes’) is 9-1 in the L10 meetings—with 3 Draws in the 5 matches and 9 goals scored in the 2 meetings in Toronto.

But the big problem here for the host Reds (2-3-1, 7 GF-6 GA at Home)—who have been less than impressive at Home to date in low-scoring matches—on Saturday (CSN-Chicago, TSN4, MLS Live) is the mounting Injuries, making this one almost not worthy of a bet as here against Chicago (0-2-5, 6 GF-12 GA on Road), TFC will be without key cogs Jozy Altidore, Bob Bradley, GK Clint Irwin and Will Johnson here, so maybe the best look is in the Total (Goals) marketplace and at the Under in a potentially boring affair with few quality shots on target. Kennedy Igboananike (4 goals) and the flickering Fire have scored just 6 Road goals to date.

Final Score Prediction: Toronto FC 2 Chicago Fire 0
Free MLS Pick: Under 2½ +125 
Best Line Offered: at PaddyPower


New England Revolution vs. Columbus Crew
The (say you want a) Revolution will be playing their second match in the L4 days, but luckily for New England, it’s at Home again and luckily for them, the 9th-place Columbus Crew (3-7-6, 21 GF-25 GA) are coming to Foxborough-town on Saturday night (MLS Live, CSN-New England, TWCSC-Ohio, CW-Columbus). The L5 meetings in this series reveals (CLB 2-1 NE, NE 0-0 CLB, NE 3-1 CLB, CLB 2-4 NE, NE 2-1 CLB) the Both Teams To Score (‘Yes’) is 4-1 while the Home club is 3-1-1 with 4 of the 5 games going Over (3.20 gpg). This is a tough call, but a slower start could be expected with the Crew so anemic now and relying heavily on Ola Kamara (7 goals) with Kei Kamara gone this New England team and the Revolution getting just 2 Days Rest (Thursday, Friday) between matches. So maybe Kei Kamara has something special in store for his old mates? A game-winning goal perhaps?

Final Score Prediction: Revolution 2 Crew 1
Free MLS Pick: Revolution -118 at 888Sport, Both Teams To Score (‘Yes’) -120 at StanJames
Best Line Offered:


Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Colorado Rapids
The Vancouver Whitecaps (7-3-8, 27 GF-31 GA) play host to the most improved team in MLS, the Colorado Rapids (9-6-2, 19 GF-11 GA) on Saturday night (TSN, MLS Live, Altitude). Already boasting the best Defense in the league the Rapids (2-4-2, 7 GF-7 GA on Road) added GK Tim Howard (Everton) to their Roster and the Under has been a good look in Colorado (10/1 to win MLS Cup, BetVictor) matches so far this MLS Regular Season.

In the L5 meetings in this Western Conference series (VAN 2-0 COL, COL 2-1 VAN, COL 1-0 VAN, VAN 1-0 COL, COL 2-0 VAN), you can see that the Home tams is a perfect 5-0 with the Road team just scoring once and 4 of the 5 meetings going Under the posted Total (almost always 2½ in the MLS). With the 6th-place Whitecaps (4-3-2, 13 GF-9 GA at Home) needing the “W” more than the 2nd-place Rapids and the game in Ogopogo-ville, lean homeboys here but the biggest suggestion is the Under in a (now) typical Rapids pitchers’ duel, to use a Baseball parlance. Vancouver (18/1 to win MLS Cup, NetBet) should find a late winning score.

Final Score Prediction: Whitecaps 1 Rapids 0
Free MLS Pick: Under 2½ +125, Whitecaps +120 
Best Line Offered: at PaddyPower 


Real Salt Lake vs. Montreal Impact
When a Canadian club (Montreal) from the province of Quebec and the Eastern Time Zone travels all the way down to suburban Salt Lake City and the Mayberry RFD-ish Beehive State of Utah and the Mountain Time Zone (2 Hours difference) and the problematic Altitude (4,450 feet), is sort of like going to another planet, even with Ignacio Piatti (10 goals), Dominic Oduro (4 goals) and Chelsea legend and Ivorian Didier Drogba (5 goals) aboard your spaceship. On Saturday night (MLS Live, KMYU, TVA Sports), the Site and the fact that host Real Salt Lake (8-4-5, 28 GF-27 GA) is coming off a disappointing Draw (1-1) to DC United after allowing a Jared Jeffery goal in Stoppage time gives RSL some emotional edge. Bitterness is often good for fueling internal Fires in professional Sports.

The L4 meetings in this series (MTL 4-1 RSL, RSL 3-1 MTL, MTL 3-2 RSL, RSL 1-0 MTL) shows how important being the Home team is in this series is (4-0), although with the Impact being a fairly new MLS franchise and RSL playing in the West, they’ve only met those four times. Advantage Yura Movsisyan (6 goals), Juan Manuel “El Burrito” Martínez (6 goals) and Joao Plata (5 goals). The homeboys are the pick here, even with the Impact having the prolific scorers in Drogba, Piatti and Oduro and now Belizean Rookie Michael Salazar (2 goals), who had a brace in a 3-2 win over the Revolution in their last outing.

Final Score Prediction: Real Salt Lake 2 Impact 1
Free MLS Pick: Real Salt Lake -135 
Best Line Offered: at 888Sport 


New York Red Bulls vs. Portland Timbers
Bradley Wright-Phillips (9 goals), Mike Grella (6 goals) and the New York Red Bulls (7-2-9, 28 GF-25 GA) will play host to Nat Borchers and the defending MLS champion Portland Timbers (6-6-6, 28 GF-29 GA) on Sunday afternoon (ESPN2, MLS Live) in a nice nationally televised inter-conference showdown between two sides which could really use the Win here and all 3 points. The L5 meetings in this series reveals (POR 0-2 RBNY, RBNY 1-2 POR, POR 3-3 RBNY, RBNY 3-2 POR, RBNY 2-0 POR) no real distinct patterns, with the Road team unbeaten the L3 and the Over in 3 of the L4 the closest things to Trends.

The three biggest things here seem to Portland’s winless 0-5-4 (9 GF-13 GA) mark on the Road, RBNY and 32-year-old GK Luis Robles probably being a bit mad after losing to their city rivals, NYCFC (2-0) for the first time ever in their last outing in the Hudson River Derby, and, most importantly, the huge Travel (2,884 miles) and Time Differences (PDT to EDT means losing 3 Hours) for Fanendo Adi (9 goals) and the Timbers. Plus, no Timber Joey cutting logs in Jersey, bruh. That has to be worth at least an eighth of a goal. And it seems like goals could be few and far between here with the Red Bulls scuffling a little on the attack and Portland a long, long way from home, Dorothy. This one could be fun if there are enough quality attempts on goal. If not, we will all snore and drool like sleeping dogs on Sunday afternoon (ESPN2, MLS Live (US), Sky Sports 1/HD (UK)).

Final Score Prediction: Red Bulls 1 Timbers 0
Free MLS Pick: Under 2½ +112, Red Bulls -122, Under 3½ -225 
Best Line Offered: Under 2½ +112, Red Bulls -122 at Marathon, Under 3½ -225 at StanJames


Sporting Kansas City vs. NYCFC
Sporting Kansas City (7-4-8, 21 GF-22 GA) got a huge Win 3-2 win over the Columbus Crew here in Missouri in its last outing on a late header from Matt Besler and it seems time for Dominic Dwyer (8 goals), Besler, leader Graham Zusi, Benny Feilhaber (4 goals) and veteran Brad Davis (2 goals) to start making their move in the standings. But playing in the Western Conference makes that harder and with clubs like this NYCFC side on the upswing with older veteran European studs and young sparkplugs like Rookie Jack Harrison (2 goals) and Tommy McNamara (3 goals), winning, even on one’s sacred Home Soil, is never a foregone conclusion in the MLS. With New York City Football Club just expanding into the MLS last season, these two teams have only played once (NYCFC 0-1 SKC), with Graham Zusi and SKC shutting out NYCFC at Yankee Stadium, 1-0 in March of 2015. So, unfamiliar foes yet both seem to be on the upswing now and this is a great match to have to wrap up the week’s play, with NYCFC having W3 straight and SKC unbeaten in its L4 (DWDW) matches.

And SKC is always tough in the Sunflower State (5-1-4, 14 GF-13 GA), although the 3 Losses here at Home already has to be stuck in the team’s collective craw. With this being the 2nd match in the L5 days for NYCFC and second straight on the Road, expect Designated Players David Villa (12 goals), Andrea Pirlo and Frank Lampard to all be a little tired here on Sunday night (FS1, MLS Live), because, after all, these guys are getting a little older—Villa (34 years old), Pirlo (37), Lampard (38)—and 3 Days rest (Thursday, Friday, Saturday) ain’t much when you toss in Travel and the wearing-down heat of the Summer. NYCFC is great on the Road (4-1-2, 13 GF-10 GA) and playing better, but with NYCFC now in 1st place in the East and SKC sitting precariously in 5th place in the togher West, this is a much more important game for well-rested Sporting Kansas City, but a match in which to tread lightly if choosing to get involved with NYCFC starting to feel good about themselves and starting to jell as a team. Keep your eye on NYCFC and Harrison.

Final Score Prediction: Sporting Kansas City 1 NYCFC 1
Free MLS Pick: None