MLS Picks and Predictions: Saturday April 29
It’s Saturday, which means we’ve got a jam-packed slate of MLS action. The undoubted marquee matchup will be a clash of Western Conference powers as the Portland Timbers take their goal-happy show down to Frisco to take on an unbeaten FC Dallas side. FCD is coming off of an impressive 1-0 win over stingy Sporting Kansas City last week.
We’ve also got a tasty Eastern Conference battle between title hopefuls Columbus Crew and New York City FC, among a slew of other intriguing matchups.
Here’s how Saturday’s MLS games will shake out.
- Moneyline: Vancouver +330, Montreal -120, Draw +255
- Betting Value: Not much to see here.
After dropping a Cascadia Cup match at the hands of the Timbers last weekend, the Whitecaps are now 0-3-0 away from home to begin the 2017 campaign. Since last June, the Caps are a terrible 1-8-3 away from BC Place, which is one of the worst marks in MLS. It’s a rather disappointing mark considering they owned the league’s best road record just two seasons ago.
They’ll have to cure what ails them if they plan on surging back into the playoff race. This weekend’s game in Montreal will be the second of a four-game road trip that will also take the Whitecaps through Colorado and Houston.
Vancouver will be dealing with a Montreal team coming off a thrilling 3-3 draw against Philadelphia. The Impact stormed back after trailing 3-0 early to salvage a point in the end. They will be disappointed to not have beaten a winless Union side, but a point is huge after falling into a massive hole early on.
Anthony Jackson-Hamel has been on-point for the Impact, as he’s now scored three times in the last two games for IMFC. We think Vancouver’s road woes continue as Montreal builds off of their strong comeback last weekend.
- Moneyline: Colorado +340, Orlando -125, Draw +265
- Betting Value: Take Orlando plus the Over.
Orlando City have enjoyed plenty of home cooking early in the season, but what they did last week certainly put them into the conversation of legitimate contenders. In just their second road game of the season, the Lions went into Yankee Stadium and beat NYCFC, 2-1. Not a lot of teams go into New York and beat the Blues, so Orlando City is officially on the map.
They’ll be back at their new fortress this week to take on a struggling Colorado side. The Rapids fell at the hands of Minnesota United 1-0 last week and now sit alone in the bottom of the Western Conference. Colorado has pulled just four points from their first six games of the season, which is a dramatic drop-off from their shocking playoff run from a season ago.
Orlando City is unbeaten at Orlando City Stadium, and there’s no reason to believe that streak won’t continue for at least another week. They’ll dispose of the Rapids fairly easily.
- Moneyline: NYCFC +305, Columbus -115, Draw +275
- Betting Value: Take the Over when these teams meet.
NYCFC will be licking their wounds after falling to Orlando City this week. They’ll look to rebound with a win despite facing a tough test against Columbus, who currently ranks second in the Eastern Conference. The Blues’ lone road victory in three tries this season came against lowly Philadelphia, but this will be a far taller order.
The Crew were beaten by the other New York club over the weekend by the score of 2-0. Losing at Red Bull Arena isn’t exactly shameful, as the Red Bulls haven’t dropped a game there in over a year. Still, Gregg Berhalter’s men will be eager to get back on track at Mapfre on Saturday.
There has been no shortage of scoring when these two teams have met in the past. In five regular season head-to-head affairs, the games have averaged 4.6 goals. Columbus are unbeaten in their last five at home, and they’ll come out on top in a game that will have plenty of fireworks.
- Moneyline: Chicago +500, New York -185, Draw +275
- Betting Value: Couple of high-powered offensive clubs here. Go Over.
Dax McCarty will be making his first trip back to Red Bull Arena since being traded to the Fire during the offseason. The ex-Red Bulls captain has been instrumental in Chicago’s rise near the top of the East, as he’s dished out two assists in helping revamp the Fire midfield that was so lackluster just a season ago. However, they were beaten 3-1 by a rejuvenated Toronto side last Friday night.
The Red Bulls flashed some much-needed form in toppling Columbus on Saturday afternoon. Both of RBNY’s tallies came in the first half courtesy of Alex Muyl and Daniel Royer. It was a much needed result for New York, who have quietly amassed 13 points already despite not having played particularly well to this point in the season.
Chicago will give it a good run in this one, but New York’s firepower should be enough to help them continue to protect the home turf.
- Moneyline: Portland +385, Dallas -135, Draw +270
- Betting Value: Draw is tempting, and Portland is a team capable of racking up goals in bunches. They’re a strong value at +385.
This is the game of the weekend between a pair of Western Conference powerhouses. The Timbers got back on track by beating the Whitecaps 2-1 over the weekend, while FC Dallas earned a hard-fought 1-0 victory over a staunch Sporting KC side. It’s a clash of styles in this one, as Portland’s high-octane attack will look to find holes in an FCD defense that has conceded only three times all season.
Dallas beat Portland in all three meetings between the clubs last season, but the Timbers weren’t nearly as strong a side as they are this season. They’ve used the two-pronged attack of Fanendo Adi and Diego Valeri to shoot their way to the top of the Western Conference with 16 points through their first eight matches.
Sporting won the possession battle 61-39, but FCD made the most of their chances on the counter. They out-shot KC 6-1, including the winner in the 77th minute courtesy of Maynor Figueroa. We could see a draw here, but we’ll give Dallas the slight edge to remain unbeaten.
- Moneyline: San Jose +185, Minnesota +145, Draw +235
- Betting Value: Over!
After earning a draw against New England and losing in Houston over the last week-and-a-half, San Jose will continue their road swing this evening in Minneapolis where they’ll take on expansion MNUFC. The Quakes failed to score in either of the aforementioned matches and are still in search of their first victory of the season away from Avaya Stadium. They’re currently 0-3-1 in road games this year.
It wasn’t pretty, but United picked up a crucial victory at home over a downtrodden Colorado team over the weekend. That win pulled them up to eighth in the west, just a point behind San Jose for the final playoff spot. Miguel Ibarra canned his first MLS goal as the Loons earned their first clean sheet of the season.
We think San Jose breaks their scoreless streak and takes advantage of what should remain a rather leaky MNUFC defense. The home side is capable of scoring plenty of goals themselves, of course, so a draw looks likely here.
- Moneyline: Salt Lake +475, KC -165, Draw +280
- Betting Value: Possibly a good spot to hit the Under.
After back-to-back wins, RSL suffered a setback at the hands of a high-powered ATL United team in losing 3-1 over the weekend. Salt Lake couldn’t generate much moving forward thanks to a lackluster performance out of Luke Mulholland, who struggled to complete even the most mundane passes.
SKC are coming off of back-to-back games against the top two teams in the conference on the road, and they held their own. They earned a fabulous win at Providence Park two weeks ago before falling in a close one to FCD, 1-0, last Saturday. Their plan is no secret: they’re going to try and suffocate you defensively and then catch you napping on the counterattack. So far, so good.
This should be an easy victory for the home team. They’re not exactly lighting the world on fire as far as goal scoring, but RSL can be exploited.
- Moneyline: New England +400, Seattle -150, Draw +275
- Betting Value: Not much to see here.
The Revs picked up a point in a lively 2-2 draw with DC United at Gillette Stadium last weekend. Lee Nguyen opened the scoring for New England in the fifth minute before DC battled back with a pair before halftime. The Revolution got an equalizer just after the break thanks to an own goal from Sean Franklin.
The Sounders’ spirits are high after they went into StubHub Center and dismantled an overmatched LA Galaxy side, 3-0. Americans Clint Dempsey and Jordan Morris found the scoresheet for the defending MLS Cup champs as they helped dig the Galaxy’s hole even deeper.
The Revolution will need to find some form if they plan to end their road winless streak. They are 0-3-1 away from home this season, while the Sounders are 1-0-1 in two home games. They’ll be glad to be back for some home cooking here.
- Moneyline: Philadelphia +345, LA -130, Draw +270
- Betting Value: Move along.
This could be a matchup between the two worst teams in MLS right now. The Union blew their shot at finding their first victory of 2017 by coughing up a 3-0 lead and drawing at home against Montreal last Saturday. The Galaxy’s rough start continued, as well, as they were humiliated 3-0 on their home field by the Sounders.
This looks like a decent bounce-back spot for LA. While they underwent sweeping changes during the offseason, they still have a clear talent advantage over Philly. Romain Alessandrini will prove to be the most talented player on the pitch as the Galaxy keep the Union winless on the year.