AFTER banging in a 9/1 Correct Score pick for us last week, Will Dyer (@w2Dyer) returns with three more MLS picks for us this weekend.
Chicago Fire v Toronto FC | Saturday 20:00
It’s April and that means the home draws should be coming for Chicago. This stat was brought to my attention by a Twitter acquaintance recently; Fire have drawn 26 of their last 52 home games when they’ve been priced at 8/13 or higher for the win post-March.
That’s a running LSP of +33.55 when backing the draw in games that qualify and this one does. This isn’t just a blind stat either as this fixture is quite evenly matched.
Toronto undoubtedly have the better individuals on paper but they have to overcome Chicago’s home advantage and the Fire are coming off the back of a morale-boosting victory over Philadelphia Union.
Four of the last five head to heads between these two sides have been drawn including all three meetings in 2014 and two of those were at Chicago’s Toyota Park.
Toronto will welcome back Jozy Altidore to the fray. The international player was away with the USA in European friendlies and scored against Denmark. He has two of Toronto’s four goals so far this season and seems to be right at home back in MLS after a torrid time in the Premier League.
Fire could do with someone stepping up to score more goals. That department was really lacking last year with just 41 goals they were the third worst in the Eastern Conference in front of goal. Harry Shipp has started the season well and hopefully he can kick on but, with just two goals in four games, Fire are heading the same way already.
For that reason I think this should be a close and low scoring game and thus the draw is likely. Chicago drew 18 games last season, four more than any other side and 11 of those were at home out of 17 games.
That’s an incredible draw percentage and I think it will carry over to this season. As it’s priced around the same as any regular fixture I think it’s simply unmissable and I’m happy to make it my sole selection for this game.
Vancouver Whitecaps v Los Angeles Galaxy | Sunday 03:00
I’m going to keep taking on Vancouver. They were very lucky to take all three points last weekend with Welsh veteran Robert Earnshaw’s late goal killing our Portland Timbers double chance selection.
Timbers had 66% possession and created more chances and probably deserved all three points let alone a draw. Any side that allows a team to dominate them that heavily in their own backyard has to be opposed.
The Whitecaps had won the two games prior to that with late goals as well so that’s three wins in a row but with LA Galaxy coming to town with a full strength side containing Gyasi Zardes and Robbie Keane this should be pretty straightforward.
Galaxy were unlucky in Washington D.C. They didn’t deserve to lose though I did see it coming as they do rely quite heavily on Keane and Zardes.
They still managed 17 shots on DC’s goal and a repeat of that would surely see them win this game comfortably. Stefan Ishizaki in particular impressed me last weekend.
Vancouver have not kept a home clean sheet yet and have already conceded three at home to Toronto. LA have scored two or more goals in nine of their last 12 meetings with Vancouver and I think that’s the pick of the bunch as the odds on the away win are likely to shorten with Galaxy’s big name tag.
I wouldn’t rule out an even more convincing win too; LA to score 3+ goals is available at around 5/1 if you’ve got the balls.
San Jose Earthquakes v Real Salt Lake | Sunday 22:00 | Sky Sports 5
This weekend’s primetime live Sky Sports tie is a mouth-watering matchup between San Jose Earthquakes and Real Salt Lake. I think we could be in for a bit of a goal-fest and I’ll tell you for why.
The Earthquakes have so far been MLS 2015’s surprise package. They’ve won two of their four games and three of those were away with defeats coming at early leaders FC Dallas and one of the best sides in Major League Soccer; New England Revolution. So, no shame in those losses then.
I had San Jose down as bottom feeders in the Western Conference and not much higher hopes for RSL whom I’ve predicted will finish around seventh place. There’s plenty of time for them both to drop away and if they do it will probably be due to their supple defences.
San Jose’s six conceded is already the most in MLS and the North Californians don’t look likely to be able to shore up that defence anytime soon with key defensive signing Marvell Wynne potentially out of action.
RSL have done well in the absence of Joao Plata. The Ecuadorian striker top-scored for them last year and is sidelined with a fractured metatarsal for at least three months.
Five different players have scored for the side from Utah already this season so that will put everyone’s minds at ease and should ensure they register at least once this weekend.
San Jose, known as the Goonies, are fairly useful at home but I can see RSL taking that defence to pieces and they have a history of doing so. Salt Lake have scored three or more in seven of 19 meetings with San Jose since 2008 and not failed to score against them in the last six head to heads.
I’m a sucker for statistics and with Over 2.5 Goals landing in all of the last five games these teams have played in I think it’s the banker of this weekend’s MLS coupon.
Chicago Fire v Toronto FC – Draw (23/10 888 Sport)
Vancouver Whitecaps v LA Galaxy – LA Galaxy to score Over 1.5 Goals (13/10 Coral)
San Jose Earthquakes v Real Salt Lake – Over 2.5 Goals (20/19 Ladbrokes)
Place a Correct Score and/or Double Result on any MLS match this weekend and William Hill will refund you if it finishes 0-0.
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