MLS Betting: MLS Weekly Rundown & Soccer Picks

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, May 31, 2016 2:00 PM UTC

Tuesday, May. 31, 2016 2:00 PM UTC

Let’s take a modern handicapping look at the matchups and recent, relevant Trends and provide some logical soccer picks for all six of Wednesday’s and Thursday’s games.

MLS has three matches scheduled for Wednesday and three more on Thursday before the league takes a two-week break for the Copa América Centenario tournament (June 3-11) before resuming play on June 18.


Union vs. Crew, Talen Energy Stadium, Pennsylvania, Wednesday, 7 p.m. EDT
The Philadelphia Union (5-5-3, 18 GF-14 GA) have turned into a Draw machine lately with Draws in 5 of their L6 matches but the L8 times these two Eastern Conference clubs have met, somebody has emerged victorious, with the Crew 10-1-5 (27 GF-24 GA) lifetime against the Union in MLS play. With Kei Kamara now shipped to the New England Revolution, Columbus (3-5-4, 16 GF-18 GA) will now look to Ola Kamara (3 goals) for some scoring from that spot and the 26-year-old Norwegian came through in a big way on Saturday night scoring a Hat Trick—something Kei Kamara never did—as the Crew beat Real SLC at Mapfre Stadium in Columbus, 4-3.

The big thing here from a handicapping standpoint is that the L8 meetings in this series have all gone Over the soccer odds' Total, averaging a robust 3.50 gpg with the Both Teams To Score prop (‘Yes’) going a profitable 6-2 in those eight dates. And with Columbus generally playing higher-scoring games this season and coming off that 7-goal match this past weekend and CJ Sapong (5 goals), Chris Pontius (4 goals) and the first-place Union unbeaten in Philadelphia and Chester (4-3-0, 11 GF-4 GA) and having allowed only 4 goals in 7 Home dates, this should be a close and entertaining affair with Philadelphia wanting to protect its Home turf and show the Crew it’s no fluke that it’s in 1st place in the East (despite winning just once in its L6 matches).

The Weather Forecast for Chester on Wednesday night calls for a few Clouds, a Low of 58°, E Winds of 5-10 mph, so a bit brisk for June but still perfect for Soccer with Precipitation and Rain not seeming to be an issue here. Expect the Crew’s new Ola Kamara—signed from FK Austria Wien in the Austrian Bundesliga in February—to get a goal here after his Hat Trick over the weekend (Kamara +210 Anytime Goalscorer, William Hill) and for Sapong (+160 Anytime Goalscorer, William Hill) and possibly teammate Sebastien Le Toux (+190 Anytime Goalscorer, William Hill) to possibly tally for the hosts, who, despite sitting atop the conference by a point with 20 points in 13 games, could really use a Win and the 3 points and not another damn Draw.

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Final Score Prediction: Union 2 Crew 1
Free MLS Picks: Union Draw No Bet -150 & Over 2½ -101 & Both Teams To Score (‘Yes’) -133
Best Line Offered:  at Pinnacle Sports


DC United vs. Sounders, RFK Stadium, Washington, Wednesday, 8 p.m. EDT
When DC United (4-4-5, 14 GF-14 GA) and the Seattle Sounders (4-17, 11 GF-15 GA) have played at RFK Stadium (L5 at RFK: DC 0-1 SEA, DC 0-0 SEA, DC 2-1 SEA, DC 0-1 SEA, DC 1-2 SEA), goals have been fairly scarce with the L2 going well Under the Total with just one goal having been scored. And the L4 games in this series (SEA 1-0 DC, DC 0-1 SEA, SEA 2-0 DC, DC 0-0 SEA, SEA 3-0 DC) have all gone Under with a total of 4 goals being scored in the L4 games with 6 Clean Sheets by GKs over the L5 with the Both Teams To Score ‘No’ prop a perfect 5-0. So whether or not it’s the fact these two sides just don’t play each other that often, the 2,765 miles between the two coastal cities of Washington, DC and Seattle, the 3-Hour Time difference between EDT and PDT, the Travel or a little of all of these things, these two just sort of hump along and seem like they try not to lose when facing the other. Somewhat like turtles.

Jordan Morris (4 goals), Chad Marshall (2 goals) and Seattle—which got off to one of the worst starts in franchise history this season—have held the upper hand in the series overall (6-2-2, 16 GF-9 GA), but those numbers reflect seasons with stronger Sounders squads and Álvaro Saborío (4 goals), Patrick Nyarko (3 goals), Fabian Espindola (3 goals) and Lamar Neagle (2 goals) and DCU (3-1-3, 10 GF-7 GA at Home) are the only MLS club currently dead-even on Goal Differential (14 GF-14 GA). Despite the fact these two teams have played only one Draw in their L12 games combined, this one actually fits the Draw mold although the Under seems like a slightly better look despite the fact Seattle scored 7 minutes in (Aaron Kovar) at Gillette Stadium against the say-you-want-a Revolution. The Sounders stayed on the East Coast after playing New England this past weekend so Seattle won’t have to deal with the Travel (again) and their Bodies should be well adjusted to EDT. But the Sounders will be without the services of American national Clint Dempsey (2 goals) and Paraguayan Nelson Valdez here, both away on International duty.

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Final Score Prediction: DC United 1 Sounders 1
Free MLS Pick: Under 2½ -123
Best Line Offered:  at Pinnacle Sports


Timbers vs. Earthquakes, Providence Park, Portland, Wednesday, 9:30 p.m. EDT
This Western Conference matchup sees Fanendo Adi (8 goals), Diego Valeri (5 goals), Jack McInerney (4 goals), Nat Borchers (1 goal) and the defending MLS champion Portland Timbers (4-4-6, 22 GF-25 GA) hosting the San José Earthquakes (5-5-3, 16 GF-15 GA) in the City of Roses where the Weather Forecast for Portland on Wednesday evening calls for Mostly Cloudy conditions with a few Showers late (30% chance Rain), a Low of 58° with NNW Winds of 5-10 mph, so, typical Pacific Northwest.

The biggest handicapping things here are that the Timbers (4-1-2, 15 GF-12 GA at Home) have never lost to Chris Wondolowski (+150 Anytime Goalscorer, Betfred) and the Quakes here at Home in Portland (5-3-0, 15 GF-7 GA) and have allowed just 7 goals in 8 meetings, and that Wondolowski (7 goals) will be playing for the USMNT (11/1 to win Copa América, Betfair) which faces Colombia (11/1 to win Copa América, Bet365) in its Copa América Centenario opener on Friday night (FS1, 9:30 p.m. EDT; COL +170, US +160, Draw +225, Bet365). The L5 meetings in this series (POR 3-1 SJ, SJ 2-1 POR, SJ 0-0 POR, POR 1-0 SJ, POR 3-0) reveals the Home side to be an unbeaten 4-1-0 with two straight Overs and at Providence Park, the Over is 3-1 the L4 with an average of 3.50 gpg being scored. The Timbers looked pretty good at Home against Vancouver in a 4-2 but looked a little stale at Chicago this weekend in a 1-1 Draw with the Fire. The Site, the fact San José hasn’t won on the Road yet this season (0-3-3, 6 GF-12 GA on Road), have never won in Portland in MLS play and are likely going to be without top gun Wondolowski seem to be the most important things here and the host Timbers and log-cutting Timber Joey should find a way to win this soccer pick in a low-scoring slog.

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Final Score Prediction: Timbers 1 Earthquakes 0
Free MLS Picks: Timbers -125 & Under 2½ +110
Best Line Offered:  at Pinnacle Sports


NYCFC vs. Real Salt Lake, Yankee Stadium, The Bronx, Thursday, 4 p.m. EDT
NYCFC (4-6-4, 20 GF-26 GA) have won just one time at Home in The Big Apple so far this MLS Regular Season (1-5-2, 9 GF-16 GA), so Spanish playmaker David Villa (MLS-leading 9 goals) and the hosts have a real problem at Yankee Stadium with the calendar turning to June and a two-week International break on the immediate horizon. There have been 11 goals scored in the L2 matches played here at The House That Ruth Built in The Bronx (NYCFC 2-2 OCSC, NYCFC 0-7 RBNY), so with the tight confines of a stadium built for MLB and these two teams going at it, the Over is highly recommended in this spot and there very well could be 3 goals on the scoreboard by Halftime. And there should be plenty of able scorers on the pitch here with the electric Villa, Thomas McNamara (3 goals), Khiry Shelton (2 goals) and European legends Andrea Pirlo—who was surprisingly left out off Italy’s Roster for Euro 2016—and Frank Lampard for NYCFC and Joao Plata (4 goals), Juan Manuel Martínez (3 goals) and Yura Movsisyan (3 goals) for gritty Real Salt Lake (2-2-4, 14 GF-17 GA) which has played some awfully high-scoring games so far on the Road this season (3.75 gpg).

The Weather Forecast for The Bronx on Thursday night currently is calling for Partly Cloudy skies, a Low of 61° with ESE Winds around 5-10 mph, so, nothing out of the ordinary. With New York City Football Club just expanding into the league last season, these two clubs have only played on time with RSL winning in Matchweek 3 last season at Home at Rio Tinto, 2-0. Here, it seems we can expect organized chaos with the Site lending crooked dimensions and its bumpy baseball surface which inevitably leads to one easy (or stupid) goal every match. Using this as an edge in Home NYCFC should provide value over the long haul and taking a shot on a line in an Alternate Totals market (Over 3½ +175, William Hill) seems ideal for a game like this.

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Final Score Prediction: NYCFC 2 Real Salt Lake 3
Free MLS Picks: Over 2½ -142 & Over 3½ +175 & Both Teams To Score ‘Yes’ -163 & Real Salt Lake Draw No Bet +183
Best Line Offered:  at Pinnacle Sports


FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo, Toyota Park, Texas, Thursday, 9 p.m. EDT
The big handicapping Trend worth knowing here is that 6 of the L7 in this Western Conference series have gone Over the Total (HOU 5-0 FCD, FCD 4-1 HOU, FCD 2-0 HOU, HOU 1-4 FCD, HOU 1-4 FCD, FCD 3-2 HOU, HOU 2-1 FCD) and that the Home team is 5-2 in the L7 meetings with no Draws being played in 8 straight matches between these two Lone Star State clubs. So can Giles Barnes (4 goals), Will Bruin (3 goals), Andrew Wenger (3 goals) and the 10th-place Dynamo (3-3-7, 19 GF-21 GA) score and even win here in a series which has seen FC Dallas go 5-0-1 and outscore Houston 17-10 in the L6 meetings? Possibly, but not likely and expecting hosts FC Dallas (5-2-0, 13 GF-5 GA at Home) to score at least a couple of goals in this spot against this Houston team makes sense to making a number of potential bets seemingly logical. With Michael Barrios (5 goals), Tesho Akindele (5 goal), Maximiliano Urruti (4 goals), Fabian Castillo (3 goals) and Mauro Diaz (2 goal), FC Dallas can get scoring from a number of places and with 3, 4, 4, 2, 4 and 0 goals in the L6 meetings with rival Houston, the hosts could very well go Over the posted Total themselves if everything goes right. But expect the Dynamo to put up a gallant fight with the Copa América Centenario break here after this game.

The Weather for suburban Dallas (Frisco) on Thursday night calls for Thunderstorms during the evening giving way to Rain overnight with Heavy Rain a potential (Chance of Rain 90%), so maybe a Delay here as we’ve seen much this spring in the MLS. The Low is forecast to be around 66° with NE Winds of 5-10 mph, so, crappy conditions maybe but oh so fun to watch.

FC Dallas is 9-7-11 (38 GF-42 GA) lifetime against Houston but the Dynamo were better then and FC Dallas (6-4-3, 17 GF-14 GA at Home lifetime in MLS vs. Dynamo) is much better now, although this franchise still looking for its first MLS championship (FC Dallas 10/1 to win MLS Cup, William Hill), despite being one of the league’s 10 charter teams, coming into the Major League Soccer some 20 years ago in 1995 as the Dallas Burn.

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Final Score Prediction: FC Dallas 2 Dynamo 1
Free MLS Picks: FC Dallas -150 & Both Teams To Score (Yes) -118 & Over 2½ -123
Best Line Offered:  at Pinnacle Sports


LA Galaxy vs. Sporting Kansas City, StubHub Center, California, Thursday, 10:30 p.m. EDT
The LA Galaxy will be without Robbie Keane (Ireland) and GK Jaime Penedo (Panama) as the two continue to play for their respective international teams and Gyasi Zardes (USA, 4 goals) was just included on the USMNT Roster by Head Coach Jürgen Klinsmann—as was Sporting Kansas City’s Graham Zusi—but LA Galaxy Manager Bruce Arena has a deep and talented Roster and with prolific scorers like Giovanni dos Santos (6 goals)—who has effectively played himself into the conversation of possibly being included on the Mexican national team this Summer—Mike Magee (5 goals) and others like Alan Gordon, Baggio Husidic and Sebastian Lletget, the LA Galaxy (5-5-2, 27 GF-16 GA) are always a threat to go Over the Total themselves, especially when the old veteran Brits Keane (4 goals) and Steven Gerrard are both available. On the Road, Sporting Kansas City has gone 2-1-4 (5 GF-7 GA) and although the 7 Goals Against (GA) reveals a club which can at least partially control the Pace on Road, the 5 goals scored in 7 games is troublesome (0.71 gpg on Road) and this Sporting Kansas City team will eventually have to get scoring from other places than the usual suspects, Dominic Dwyer (6 goals), Benny Feilhaber (2 goals) and Brad Davis (2 goals).

The Weather Channel Weather Forecast for suburban Los Angeles (Carson) on Thursday night calls for Mostly Clear skies, a Low of 62° with SW Winds around 5-10 mph, so, pretty nice although maybe 10 degrees (Fahrenheit) less than the fans attending would like. Lifetime, the LA Galaxy are 28-13-21 (95 GF-78 GA) against Sporting Kansas City and an impressive 20-6-4 (59 GF-31 GA) here in Hollywood and the beautiful Golden State where there are Oceans of Angels and Stars in the Sidewalks. The L4 meetings has seen the Both Teams To Score (Yes) a winner (SKC 1-1 LA, SKC 2-1 LA, LA 2-1 SKC, LA 2-1 SKC) with the Home side unbeaten in the L8 meetings in this Western Conference series. The Galaxy have scored in 7 of the L8 meetings and lead the MLS in goals scored (27) heading into these six mid-week games. This one won’t won’t be easy, but with the visitors having to Travel 1,617 miles, losing 2 Hours on their Body Clocks going from CDT to PDT and having won here just 4 times in 30 trips, backing the LA Galaxy and paying the small premium is the simple Rx.

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Final Score Prediction: LA Galaxy 2 Sporting Kansas City 1
Free MLS Picks: LA Galaxy -137 & Over 2½ -133
Best Line Offered:  at Pinnacle Sports
MLS Soccer Record: Last Week: 4-5-1

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