MLS Week 2 Rundown: Expansion Battle Highlights Schedule

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Kevin Stott

Wednesday, March 8, 2017 3:56 PM GMT

Wednesday, Mar. 8, 2017 3:56 PM GMT

Minnesota United FC plays its first home match, and what better club to face than fellow expansion side Atlanta United FC in Week 2 of the Major League Soccer season? Let’s try to rebound from a brutal Week 1 showing on our soccer picks.

 

Chicago Fire vs. Real Salt Lake

Toyota Park, Bridgeview, IL, Saturday, 2 p.m. EST

The Fire played the Crew to a 1-1 draw at Columbus in Week 1 while Real Salt lake lost to Toronto FC, 1-0, at Rio Tinto. Here on Saturday afternoon (MLS Live) in suburban Chicagoland, the Fire play their home opener, but Chicago has failed miserably against RSL, going 0-3-2 over the L5 meetings (9 GF-5 GA), including an 0-2-1 mark in Bridgeview (3 GF-5 GA) with the L2 here going 'Over.' A deeper handicapping dive reveals Chicago hasn’t beaten RSL at Home since 2009.

Final Score Prediction: Fire 1, Real Salt Lake 1Free MLS Pick: Draw +235 at Bovada

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NE Revolution vs. Orlando City SC

Gillette Stadium, Foxborough, MA, Saturday, 2 p.m. EST

Cyle Larin and Orlando City christened their new stadium with a win in Week 1 over NYCFC but ended up suffering a big loss when DP Kaká suffered a Hamstring injury and will now be missing the next 6 weeks. A look at the L5 meetings in this relatively new Eastern Conference series (OCSC 3-1 NE, NE 2-2 OCSC, OCSC 2-2 NE, NE 3-0 OCSC, OCSC 2-2 NE) reveals 5 'Overs' with an average of 3.80 gpg scored, the Both Teams To Score “Yes” Prop 5-0 with three 2-2 draws and each club winning once on its own pitch. Let’s simply back the two 5-0 Trends at New England and hope to rebound from a putrid Week 1. Another interesting wager would be Both Teams To Score 'Yes' offered by Coral.

Final Score Prediction: OSCS 2, Revolution 1Free MLS Pick: 'Over' 2½ -150 at Bodog

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New York Red Bulls vs. Colorado Rapids

Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ, Saturday, 4 p.m. EST

Bradley Wright-Phillips, DP Sacha Kljestan and the New York Red Bulls play host to the Dominique Badji and the Colorado Rapids. The L5 meetings (COL 2-1 RBNY, RBNY 1-1 COL, RBNY 1-1 COL, COL 2-0 RBNY, RBNY 4-1 COL) in this interconference series reveal the Home side unbeaten in the L5 (3-2-0) with two 1-1 draws the L2 meetings here at Red Bull Arena. Colorado only won 4 times on the Road last season and will be traveling 2 Time Zones east.

Final Score Prediction: Red Bulls 2, Rapids 1Free MLS Pick: Red Bulls -115 at Bodog

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  Philadelphia Union vs. Toronto FC

PPL Park, Philadelphia, Saturday, 4:30 p.m. EST

Both sides come in off 0-0 Road Draws in Week 1 -- the Union at Vancouver and TFC at Real Salt Lake -- but with able scorers like the Reds’ 2015 MLS MVP Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore and the Union’s Chris Pontius and Designated Player Maurice Edu, it’s hard to imagine another scoreless tie. And a look at the L5 in this budding Eastern Conference rivalry (TOR 3-1, TOR 1-1 PHI, PHI 1-3 TOR, TOR 3-1 PHI, TOR 2-1 PHI ) reveals 4 'Overs' in the L5 meetings, the Both Teams To Score “Yes” Prop offered at Bet365 a perfect 5-0 and Toronto an impressive and unbeaten 4-1-0, outscoring Philadelphia in the process, 12-5.

 

Final Score Prediction: Toronto FC 2, Union 1Free MLS Pick: Toronto FC +170 at Bodog

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Montréal Impact vs. Seattle Sounders

Saputo Stadium, Montréal, Saturday, 7 p.m. EST

Two clubs seeking their first wins meet in Quebec on Saturday night when Clint Dempsey -- who scored in his return in a 2-1 loss at Houston Week 1 -- Jordan Morris, Nicolás Lodeiro and the defending MLS champion Seattle Sounders (8/1 to win MLS Cup, Intertops) head three Time Zones east (PST to EST) and through Customs and across the border to play the Impact. In the L5 meetings in this series (SEA 1-0 MTL, MTL 1-0 SEA, MTL 0-2 SEA, SEA 0-1 MTL, MTL 4-1 SEA), there have been 4 straight Clean Sheets and 4 straight 'Unders' (in games averaging 1.33 pg) with the Impact holding a 3-2-0 edge over that span.

Final Score Prediction: Impact 1, Sounders 1Free MLS Pick: Under 2½ -111 at Intertops

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Houston Dynamo vs. Columbus Crew

BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Saturday, 8:30 pm EST

Two clubs who had 2016 MLS seasons they’d soon rather forget meet in the Lone Star State on Saturday night when the Houston Dynamo (7-13-14, 39 GF-45 GA) welcome Ethan Finlay and the Crew (25/1 to win 2017 MLS Cup, Intertops) to H-town. A look at the L5 meetings in this series (CLB 1-0 HOU, HOU 1-0 CLB, HOU 2-2 CLB, CLB 2-0 HOU, HOU 1-0 CLB) shows the Home side an unbeaten 4-1-0 and 4 Clean Sheets in 5 games with Columbus unable to score at Houston (40/1 to win MLS Cup, Intertops). With the Crew a really feeble 2-4-11 on the Road last year (19 GF-33 GA, -19 GD), backing Romell Quioto (1 goal), Erick Torres (1 goal) and the 1-0-0 hosts in Texas is the logical pick here.

Final Score Prediction: Dynamo 2, Crew 1Free MLS Pick: Dynamo +115 at Bovada

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Sporting Kansas City vs. FC Dallas

Children’s Mercy Park, Kansas City, Saturday, 9 p.m. EST

The L5 meetings in this enchanting Western Conference series (FCD 2-2 SKC, SKC 2-0 FCD, FCD 2-1 SKC, SKC 3-1 FCD, SKC 4-0 FCD) reveals the Home club is an undefeated 4-1-0 (13 GF-5 GA) in 4 'Overs' in high-scoring games averaging a robust 3.50 gpg. With Dominic Dwyer and Sporting Kansas Cityso good at Home last season (10-3-4, 30 GF-19 GA), the slight lean here is to the hosts vs. upstart FC Dallas, a team many pundits have finally winning its first MLS Cup this season and which comes in off a very nice 2-1 home win in Week 1 against perennial powerhouse the LA Galaxy.

Final Score Prediction: Sporting Kansas City 2, FC Dallas 1Free MLS Pick: Sporting Kansas City +145 at Intertops

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 San José Earthquakes vs Vancouver Whitecaps

Avaya Stadium, San Jose, Saturday, 10 pm EST

MLS stud Chris Wondolowski and the San Jose Earthquakes (40/1 to win MLS Cup, Intertops) welcome the Vancouver Whitecaps (40/1 to win MLS Cup at online sportsbook Intertops -- which has a 200% Cash Bonus for new sign-ups and which gets a stellar A grade in the best sportsbooks rating here at Sportsbook Review -- to California for a Week 2 Western Conference fixture. No handicap would be complete without scores from the L5 meetings in this series (SJ 0-0 VAN, VAN 1-2 SJ, SJ 1-1 VAN, VAN 3-1 SJ, SJ 1-0 VAN), and here it shows San José winning twice, Vancouver once with 3 Draws and the Whitecaps mustering just 1 goal in 3 Road trips to Avaya Stadium and central California. It's important to expect a low scoring affair making the Under 2.5 a good bet.

Final Score Prediction: Earthquakes 1, Whitecaps 0Free MLS Picks: Earthquakes +100 at Intertops

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NYCFC vs. DC United

Yankee Stadium, Bronx, NY, Sunday, 2 p.m. EST

The MLS MVP in 2016, David Villa, and NYCFC welcome DC United to The House That Ruth Built on Sunday afternoon (MLS Live, YES) in a big early-season Eastern Conference fixture for both teams. The Home club has gone 4-0-1 the L5 in this series (DCU 3-1 NYCFC, NYCFC 3-2 DCU, DCU 0-2 NYCFC, DCU 2-1 NYCFC, NYCFC 3-1 DCU) with both games in The Bronx going 'Over' (-133 at Intertops) with a total of 4 and 5 goals being scored. It’s a knee-jerk reaction to bet games with Totals less than a 3 'Over' at smallish and bumpy Yankee Stadium built specifically for MLB. If you are more of a prop betting person, Both Teams To Score 'Yes' offered by Bet365 is filled with betting value as well.

Final Score Prediction: NYCFC 3, DC United 1Free MLS Picks: NYCFC -111 at Intertops

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LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers

StubHub Center, Carson, Calif., Sunday, 7 p.m. EST

Portland (20/1 to win MLS Cup, Intertops) saw 14-year vet Nat Borchers retire this Offseason, but the Timbers have accumulated some very nice scoring threats in Fanendo Adi (2 goals), Diego Valeri (2 goals), Jack McInerney, Darlington Nagbe and  Lawrence Olum (1 goal)and could very well win the MLS championship as they did two seasons ago. The LA Galaxy (6/1 to win MLS Cup, Intertops) had 8 Draws at Home in 2016 and lost grisled veterans Robbie Keane, Steven Gerrard and Landon Donovan in the Offseason, putting much pressure on the club’s defense and Giovani dos Santos (1 goal) and new DP Romain Alessandrini.

With D’s Robbie Rogers (Ankle), Ashley Cole (Calf) and Gyasi Zardes injured and the hosts coming off a tough 2-1 loss at FC Dallas in Week 1, its best to look at the Total here on Sunday in the last fixture on the MLS Week 2 slate. A look at the L5 meetings in this series (POR 1-2 LA, LA 1-1 POR, LA 2-5 POR, LA 5-0 POR, LA 2-2 POR) reveals 4 'Overs' in the L5 meetings with the three matches in La La Land averaging 4.0 goals per game, but still, that was Then and this is Now. The Galaxy went 8-8-1 at Home (32 GF-18 GA) last season, so this could be tight, with the underrated visitors (+320, Intertops) capable of the upset and the hosts not wanting to start the new season off 0-0-2.

Final Score PredictionLA Galaxy 1, Timbers 1Free MLS Pick: Under 2½ -125 at Intertops

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