New-look Crew a Good Bet to Beat the Impact Saturday in MLS Matchweek 2?

Kevin Stott

Friday, March 9, 2018 2:15 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 9, 2018 2:15 PM UTC

Still underappreciated by many, the Crew welcome the Impact on Saturday for a big early season Eastern Conference showdown among other impressive action. Read on as our expert soccer handicapper gives out his MLS week 2 picks.

Montréal Impact at Columbus Crew SC

Mapfre Stadium · Columbus, OH · 1 pm ET · Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Crew (1-0-0, 2 GF-0 GA) had a great Matchweek 1, beating the defending MLS Cup-champions Toronto FC, 2-0 at BMO Field in Canada, although Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore and the Reds (0-1-0, 0 GF-2 GA) only had half-an-eye open with thoughts of a coming Leg 1 CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals Home match against Tigres of Liga MX. Still, for those who watched, Federico Higuaín and the Crew looked very impressive both defensively and on the attack and after finishing the 2017 MLS Regular Season an unbeaten (8-10-0), may not miss Ola Kamara (LA Galaxy) and Justin Meram (OCSC) as much as some pundits believe with Higuaín seemingly as dependable as his talented Juventus younger (30) brothe.

So, don’t sleep on this still underrated Crew side and try to find some decent spots at the betting windows where to back The Black & Gold, like here over Montréal (40/1 to win 2018 MLS Cup, Intertops) on Saturday afternoon (CTV, TSN 4/5, TVAS, MLS Live) in a what could be high-scoring game as the hosts try to reward the loyal Home fans who have stood by this club through thick-and-thin, helping the Crew go 12-3-2 (W-L-D) at Mapfre Stadium last season. Ignacio Piatti and the Impact (0-1-0, 1 GF-2 GA) lost in Week 1 to Vancouver and were defeated in both series meetings last year (CLB 4-1 MTL, MTL 2-3 CLB) and Montréal hasn’t beaten the Crew since 2016.

Final Score Prediction: Crew 3 Impact 1Free MLS Picks: Crew -182 & Over 2½Best Line Offered: at Bookmaker

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Los Angeles FC at Real Salt Lake

Rio Tinto · Sandy, Utah · 3:30 pm ET/12:30 pm PT · Saturday, March 10, 2018

Expansion side LAFC (1-0, 1 GF-0 GA) heads one-time zone east (PT to MT) to Salt Lake City to face Real Salt Lake (0-1-0, 1 GF-1 GA) in a Western Conference fixture (Univision, MLS Live). In Matchweek 1, Los Angeles FC went to Seattle and beat the Sounders at CenturyLink Field, 1-0 as Diego Rossi tallied the club’s first-ever LAFC goal and GK Tyler Miller registered the Clean Sheet in the Emerald City. In its opener, RSL played to a 1-1 Draw at Toyota Stadium against FC Dallas as the 38-year-old Rimando was spectacular in goal and Joao Plata notched the first goal of the fresh 2018 MLS Regular Season for the Claret and Cobalt off a pass from Albert Rusnak (14 assists in 2017).

With LAFC keeper Miller coming off a Shutout, maybe the best GK in MLS history in Rimando and somewhat chilly conditions in the forecast for Sandy on Saturday (53° High, 39° Low), the Under and a potential Draw seem like the best first-looks in a match neither side nor Head Coach will want to lose and which could very well end 0-0 or 1-1. And with a Win and some confidence, esteemed Head Coach Bob Bradley and talent like Designated Players Carlos Vela and Rossi and D João Moutinho—the first guy picked in the 2018 MLS SuperDraft—LAFC could end up making an already stacked Western Conference even more competitive if it can win, or get Draws, on the Road. Time will tell.

Final Score Prediction: Real Salt Lake 1 LAFC 1Free MLS Pick: Under 2½Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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DC United at Atlanta United FC

Mercedes-Benz Stadium · Atlanta, Georgia · 3 pm ET/12 pm PT · Sunday, March 11, 2018

Yamil Asad helped Atlanta FC (0-1-0, 0 GF-4 GA) have a promising expansion season in 2017 (15-9-10, 70 GF-40 GA), but now the 23-year-old AMF from Argentina has joined DC United (0-1-0, 1 GF-1 GA), Atlanta’s opponent, in their Home opener on Sunday. And after getting browbeaten in Houston, 4-0 in Week 1 after allowing the Dynamo to score three times in the first 27 minutes, GK Brad Guzan and the Five Stripes may really miss Asad long term, although the club did sign Darlington Nagbe (Timbers) and managed to find the back of the net 70 times in its inaugural MLS season (48 at Home, most by any MLS club since 2010). So with Atlanta FC coming off such an embarrassment and so prolific at Home, we can probably expect 3 or more goals here, with Guzan unlikely to keep a Clean Sheet, the hosts in need of a CB, D Leandro González Pirez (Hip) listed as Questionable and DCU feeling good, this could be a tough spot for the nervous second-year hosts who will definitely be pushing the Pace looking for that first score—potentially a good thing for the Over with Darren Mattocks, Luciano Acosta and DC United able to score on its own on the counterattack.

Looking at the only 3 meetings in this Eastern Conference series (DCU 1-0 ATL, DCU 2-1 ATL, ATL 1-3 DCU), we see that DC United hasn’t lost to Atlanta FC yet and with Asad—who scored DC United’s lone goal of the season in a disappointing 1-1 Draw at Orlando City in Week 1—wanting to show his new employer how valuable he is on the attack for a team desperately needing Offense. And GK David Ousted (acquired from Whitecaps) will be wanting to prove his worth on the Defensive end to his new team, so the Futures odds and individual match odds for DCU could be really off, with those current sportsbooks and linemakers metrics still tabbing DC United—which only had 3 Road Wins last year—as one of, if not the worst, teams in the league. With a new lookRoster and a decent performance at OCSC under their belts, DC United could definitely go into Atlanta in this nationally televised fixture (ESPN) and pull off the upset with the pressured hosts potentially having a weakness in front of their own goal. Why not?

Final Score Prediction: Atlanta United FC 1 DC United 2Free MLS Picks: DC United or Draw -105 (Double Chance) & Over 2½Best Line Offered: at TheGreek

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