MLS Saturday will be an exciting one this week with ten games total on the slate. With so many matches, there are multiple directions we can go with our bets for today. However, after going over all of these matches, we have four games we liked best and one bet from each game:
LA Galaxy @ New York Red Bulls
LA Galaxy Draw No Bet @ 2.62/+162
Here we are again seeing the 7-1-1 LA Galaxy listed as pretty considerable underdogs. The first time I saw these odds, I was genuinely confused. Perhaps a trap by the bookies? Concerns about Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be a reason for concern. In fact, Ibra missed Wednesday’s training session, but the training staff is simply managing him in efforts to keep him fresh. Their opponent, the New York Red Bulls scored the only goal to defeat FC Cincinnati after going 0-4-1 in the previous five. Despite this, the Red Bulls are currently tied for last place in the East with 8 points
On the other hand, the LA Galaxy have been amazing this season. Last week featured a great game in Salt Lake City with Ibrahimovic scoring the game-winner in the 78th minute for the final 1-2. That win extended the Galaxy’s undefeated streak to seven matches. The biggest concern for the Galaxy has been their inconsistent defense. Only keeping three clean sheets during their impressive run, they rely heavily on their attack. However, our reasoning for DNB here is how they have looked outstanding when Ibrahimovic is rested. It’s worth noting their only loss came when Ibra was out and their lone draw came with Ibra playing on heavy legs during a mid-week game in Minnesota after only a few days of rest. Too much value on LA to bet against them.
Seattle Sounders @ Minnesota United
Seattle Sounders Draw No Bet @ 2.37/+137
This bet is somewhat influenced by the last one and we are tipping it for the same reason. Today we will include two draw no bets with the hope one of our two teams win for guaranteed profit. However, aside from this strategy, the Sounders are great value here much like the Galaxy. First there are a lot of good things going on with Minnesota United right now as they have only lost once in their last five games and currently sit in the top half in the MLS standings. Coming off of a big 1-0 win vs. DC United, they’ll try to make it two straight wins in their brand new stadium. However, in appears Minnesota could be a bit overvalued. Although they haven’t conceded a goal in the last two games, they still conceded 15 in their first 7 games. Let me add this as well, their last two opponents were only playing on short rest, the Sounders will be fully rested. Expect the clean sheet streak to end.
Seattle comes into this game after a 1-1 draw with LA FC on Sunday. While the game was not pretty by any means, Seattle put on an impressive display of resilience after Cristian Roldan got red carded in the 18th minute. After a goal from each team in the first four minutes, the game remained scoreless, but the Sounders played outstanding being a man down and had a few chances to win outright. Overall, I see last week as a turning point for this team. The defense has been an issue for Seattle in recent weeks, but the effort they showed last Sunday against the highest scoring team in the league is a big boost. As mentioned, I still do not trust Minnesota United enough on defense to back them to win, this should be a competitive game that could go either way.
FC Cincinnati @ San Jose Earthquakes
San Jose Earthquakes win @ 1.85/-118
I have watched several FC Cincinnati games this year and I always walk away with one conclusion; a team with potential but lacks the experience to be consistent. It is their first season as an MLS franchise and the growing pains have been difficult. Despite starting the season 2-1-1, they have been in a tail-spin lately going 0-5-1 in their last six scoring only one goal in those games. Now they have to travel across two time zones to play a late night game in California.
San Jose has had their share losing streaks as well starting the season losing 5 out of their first 6 matches. However, recently they have turned things around only losing 1 out of their last 5 with 2 draws. They have also won their last two at home. What this match comes down to me is San Jose being able to take advantage of Cincinnati’s mistakes. It is worth mentioning that two games ago, the Earthquakes got out to a 2-0 lead over Seattle as visitors before the Sounders rallied to get a 2-2 draw. My point here is that San Jose is a team that is not one of the best teams in terms of talent, but rather a team that is going to punish you for making mistakes. Being at home, and facing a team with serious issues right now, I think there is decent value on San Jose getting the job done.
Chicago Fire @ Los Angeles FC
Los Angeles FC HT/FT @ 2.00/+100
Earlier in this article, I praised Seattle for stopping LA FC last week playing a man down, but should we be worried about LA FC after last week? Personally, I do not believe so. The reality is if you watched LA FC – Seattle last week, you would have realized the amount of missed chances LA had to win. They’re still the best attacking team in MLS and it’s a new week for them and they will look to move on when they face Chicago in the last MLS match of the night. The Fire won the only meeting so far between the teams, 3-1 last year, so maybe a bit of revenge is on their minds.
While Chicago has not been terrible with their 2-4-3 record to date in league play, they lost two both of their games 1-0 last week; away matches at New York City and Montreal. Now they have to travel to Los Angeles and play the best team in MLS in their 3rd away game in 10 days. A tough task facing an LA FC team who is 5-0-0 so far in matches played at home. On paper, Chicago is not bad, but they just haven’t been able to deliver. In first halves this year Chicago has only scored 2 goals in nine matches. LA FC, on the other hand, has scored 14 first-half goals in ten matches. They have also won the first half in 3 out of 5 at home. Considering these statistics and previous results, I think a halftime lead and a full-time win is a very good possibility.