MLS Picks and Predictions: Wednesday May 3

by Taylor Smith
on May 3, 2017

It’s only Wednesday, but it’s never too early to get the week’s MLS action kicked off. We’ve got two games on the slate for tonight, with one more Friday, eight more on Saturday and a pair on Sunday. There are a couple of excellent matchups here tonight, with Orlando City taking on Toronto FC and Sporting Kansas City hosting New York Red Bulls.

How should you approach tonight’s action from a bettor’s perspective? Let’s take a look.

Orlando City SC (-1)
VS
Toronto FC (+1)
Total: 3
  • Moneyline: Orlando +450, Toronto -175, Draw +310
  • Betting Value: Orlando looks awfully tempting at +450 on the moneyline.

TFC have really started to put the pedal to the metal over the last couple of weeks. They’ve won the first two games of their current three-game homestand by the combined score of 5-1 against quality opponents in the Chicago Fire and Houston Dynamo. Jozy Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco were in sync in the last match against Houston, bringing Altidore’s total to five goals on the season, while Giovinco has netted three times in four games. Take a gander at this beautiful combination play that resulted in Jozy’s second tally of the night.

TFC are now an unbeaten 2-0-2 this season at BMO Field, and they’ll be eager to make it three wins in three before a two-game road swing takes them through Seattle and Columbus over the next couple of weeks.

Orlando City have been one of the league’s surprise teams in the early going. The Lions are 6-1-0 through their first six games, and their 18 points are the most of any club in MLS. Five of those wins have come in their home stadium, however, where they’re a perfect 5-0-0. They did earn an impressive win in their most recent road game, marching into Yankee Stadium and toppling NYCFC 2-1 a couple of weeks ago.

Kaka finally returned from his hamstring injury on Saturday against Colorado and scored himself a goal after coming on as a substitute. City has been doing it with defense thus far, as their five goals conceded on the season is tied for the second-best mark in the league behind Sporting KC.

This should be an excellent showdown between two of the Eastern Conference’s premier clubs. A draw wouldn’t be particularly surprising, but we’ll give TFC the edge in their home park.

Pick
Toronto FC
2
Orlando City
1
New York Red Bulls (+0.5)
VS
Sporting Kansas City (-0.5)
Total: 2.5
  • Moneyline: New York +325, KC -120, Draw +260
  • Betting Value: Under doesn’t look like a bad try. Otherwise, nothing stands out from a value perspective.

After a rocky start that saw them take the loss in three of their first six matches, RBNY has started to string together some positive results. They took full advantage of a three-game homestand, winning all three matches against DC, Columbus and Chicago, respectively. Despite the struggles, particularly offensively, New York’s 16 points are good enough for second in the conference behind Orlando at this stage.

The switch to the 4-2-3-1 formation has helped buoy the Red Bulls’ resurgence. They’ve now scored six goals in their last three matches after mustering just five through the season’s first six games. They’ll need to be on-point if they have plans of going on the road and breaking down MLS’ stingiest defense in KC.

Speaking of that defense, Sporting are easily the top defensive team in the league so far. Their 3-0 win over Real Salt Lake over the weekend was their best overall performance, as they picked up their fifth clean sheet already and the three goals tied for their season-high. Dom Dwyer has been key for Sporting’s offensive revival, and his goal on Saturday marked his third in the last four matches overall.

While RBNY is red hot, we still haven’t seen much form away from Red Bull Arena. They’re just 1-3-0 on the road, while SKC is an unbeaten 3-0-1 at Children’s Mercy Park. Give us Sporting in this one.

Pick
Sporting KC
2
New York Red Bulls
1
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