MLS fan Will Dyer (@w2Dyer) casts his eye over no fewer than five fixtures this Stateside weekend.
New York Red Bulls v Orlando City | Monday 00:30 | Sky Sports 1
I’ll keep this one short and sweet. How on earth are Orlando City as big as 4/1 to win this? New York have lost six of their opening seven matches conceding 15 goals in the process.
It’s becoming blatantly clear that the loss of Matt Miazga has not been resolved and is taking its toll on results for the New Jersey outfit. Up front NYRB haven’t got going at all. Bradley Wright Phillips is yet to score, as is Lloyd Sam. Their five goals mustered is the lowest total of all 20 MLS teams.
Orlando City on the other hand are sitting pretty in third and I remain optimistic about their prospects this season. Cyle Larin should be fit to start now whilst Brazilian veterans Julio Baptista and Kaka look likely to cause a stir at the Red Bull Arena and let’s not forget that Orlando won by the incredible score-line of 5-2 when they visited NYRB in September last year. Orlando at 7/8 on the +0.5 Asian Handicap line with BetVictor looks generous to say the least.
Montreal Impact v Toronto FC | Saturday 21:00
We were defied by Sebastian Giovinco last weekend but I’m ready to oppose Toronto yet again here. TFC are now playing their seventh consecutive away MLS game. The fact they’ve conceded just five goals in that spell is impressive but they’ve also averaged less than a goal a game scored.
Montreal have won both of their opening two home matches without conceding a goal, scoring five. Didier Drogba scored within six minutes of coming off the bench last week and a late Ignacio Piatti winner thrust the Impact to the top of the Eastern Conference. It’s richly deserved.
Montreal have won six of the last seven times that they’ve hosted Toronto at the Stade Saputo and they’ve also won nine consecutive home games now scoring at least once in every single one. They are turning it into a bit of a fortress to say the least. Toronto must also do without linchpin Benoit Cheyrou after the Frenchman picked up a strain.
To be able to back a team with such consistency at Evens looks almost too good to be true. I would love to tip Montreal to win and Over 1.5 goals in the match but I cannot find the market anywhere. It seems Paddy Power know not to provide that on MLS matches!
Philadelphia Union v New York City FC | Saturday 21:00 | Sky Sports 3
The only other team in the Eastern Conference with a perfect home record is Philly. The Union are doing better than I expected. A few MLS specialists pointed towards a good season for C.J Sapong and they are being proven right. The big forward has chipped in with three goals already.
All three of Philadelphia’s defeats have come on the road and two were against Western Conference sides so there’s no shame in that. NYC however are winless since the opening day and are far too heavily reliant on David Villa for points; the Spanish legend has scored four of their last five goals.
Philly have now won their last four MLS games at PPL Park dating back to September last year and I like their chances against this porous New York defence. I’m going to keep it simple with another home win bet.
Columbus Crew v Houston Dynamo | Sunday 00:30 | Sky Sports 3
Houston were poor last weekend at home to LA but I feel there’s been a bit of an overreaction from that to the betting for this game. Houston have still scored in five of their six MLS matches in 2016 and their 13 scored is two more than any other side in the East.
Dynamo have had a tough fixture list so far and I think they’ll get themselves off the bottom of the Western Conference sooner rather than later.
Columbus have been backed into 13/20 for this one at MAPFRE stadium and that’s put a bit of juice into the goals markets. Both Teams To Score looks a decent play at 7/10 but I like the 11/10 about Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 goals with Bet365.
Kei Kamara, Giles Barnes, Will Bruin and Justin Meram are all names associated with good scoring figures in Major League Soccer and should compete well in an entertaining game.
Both Teams To Score has banked in 13 of Crew’s last 16 MLS games at MAPFRE and 11 of those would have seen our selection pay out – including both games there this season.
Vancouver Whitecaps v FC Dallas | Sunday 03:30
Vancouver are the only team in the Western Conference averaging less than a goal a game. They look very weak up top and this weekend must do without playermaker Pedro Morales.
BC Place was a stronghold for Vancouver earlier last season but they have actually lost four of their last eight at home now conceding two or more in each defeat.
Dallas had the better of a 0-0 draw in the Pacific West last October and although they’ve failed to win on any of their last five visits they have managed to score 2+ in four of their last eight trips to British Columbia.
FCD find themselves as the early pace setters this season. They’ve scored 15 goals in eight games and look set to really challenge for their first MLS Cup.
Mauro Diaz missed out last weekend but will travel to Vancouver for this one and, should he feature, he will be a welcome addition to their dynamic midfield.
Six of Dallas’ last seven away wins have seen them score two or more goals, including both of their last two away games and that’s how I’m going to play this rather than backing the straight away win.
Dallas are 2/1 for the away win but 15/8 to score two or more goals with Coral and that looks more appealing considering the Whitecaps have lost 1-0 just once in their last 23 at BC Place.
Montreal Impact v Toronto FC – Montreal Impact to win (Evens William Hill)
Philadelphia Union v New York City FC – Philadelphia Union to win (21/20 William Hill)
Columbus Crew v Houston Dynamo – Both Teams To Score and Over 2.5 Goals (11/10 Bet365)
Vancouver Whitecaps v FC Dallas – FC Dallas to score Over 1.5 Goals (15/8 Coral)
New York Red Bulls v Orlando City – Orlando City +0.5 (11/10 BetVictor)
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