Pick Sporting KC +175 & Under When They Face Toronto FC

SBR Staff

Thursday, July 24, 2014 4:08 PM UTC

Thursday, Jul. 24, 2014 4:08 PM UTC

Toronto FC plays host to Sporting KC in Saturday's MLS action, and while the soccer odds are backing the home team, sports bettors could be in the perfect spot to pick up the dogs at a great price.

All eyes will be on BMO Field on Saturday night (MLS Live, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT) when the third-place team in the Eastern Conference, Toronto FC (7-5-5), hosts the first-place team, Sporting Kansas City (10-5-5), in a game seemingly more important for the hosts at this point in the season. TFC (5-1-3 home) has lost just one time so far on its home turf while it’s been either feast or famine for SKC (6-0-4 road) away from home so far this MLS season.

The Toronto FC attack will be a true test for the Wizards with recently named All Stars Jermaine Defoe (11 goals) and Bob Bradley as well as Luke Moore, but scoring against the team which has allowed the second-least number of goals (18) in the league—the LA Galaxy have allowed just 16—and which has allowed an average of less than one goal per game (0.9 gpg) will be quite the undertaking with All Star defenders Matt Besler and Aurélien Collin (2 goals) holding down the visitors defense.

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After being led by goalkeeper Eric Kronberg (7 CS) all season, SKC has now had to turn to reserve keeper Andy Gruenebaum while Kronberg spends eight weeks out trying to recover from a broken fourth metacarpal in in his left hand. The Wiz and Gruenebaum were good enough on Saturday to defeat the LA Galaxy, 2-1 as Benny Feilhaber (3 goals) and Lawrence Olum (2 goals) both scored for the defending MLS Cup champions in Kansas City.

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In their last game, the Reds played the host Houston Dynamo to a 2-2 draw for a second straight weekend as Gilberto and Dominic Oduro had the goals for TFC in a game where all the scoring took place in the first half as the slumping Dynamo’s winless streak increased to eight. Coach Ryan Nelsen’s TFC has gone 1-4-1 over its last 6 games with the Reds scoring 26 goals and allowing 23 so far this season heading into (+3 GD) this weekend showdown in Canada. Sporting, coached by Peter Vermes, has scored 29 goals while allowing just 18, tying SKC with the Seattle Sounders for the best goal differential (+11) in the league.

Reds goalkeeper Joe Bendik could be be a busy man at BMO Stadium as the conference leaders SKC feature a very strong midfield with Graham Zusi—who, along with Besler, just signed a contract extension—and some firepower at forward with Dominic Dwyer (14 goals) and Lebanese international Soony Saad, one of the great names in MLS. The Wiz have gone 5-1-0 over their last six games, and, after holding off the Galaxy at home, are surely feeling good about themselves heading north of the border for this match.

With SKC (35 points) just one point ahead of second-place DC United (34 points) in the standings in the Eastern Conference, there will be pressure on the better team to earn a draw or better here in Toronto, and with Sporting Kansas City (+175, LVH SuperBook) a healthy underdog (Toronto is +160, Draw +230), in this spot, seems well worth a chance to take the team that is simply playing a little bit better soccer right now.

Trendwise, SKC is 3-1-1 over the last 5 meetings, which have all gone 'Over' the total posted on the soccer odds boards (2-2, 2-1, 3-0, 1-2, 2-1) and the Wizards are even more impressive over the last 10 meetings, going 7-2-1 and outscoring TFC, 18-8 in the process while registering 5 clean sheets. But the Reds have improved much over that time, and will certainly fight the conference leaders tooth-and-nail on their home soil in what should be a much lower scoring affair than the last five. This will be a good one.

PREDICTION: Toronto FC 0 Sporting KC 1

FREE PICKS: Sporting KC +175, Under 2½

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