MLS Game Day Eight Picks
By Matt Pitt
Orlando City (-125) vs. Colorado Rapids (+340)
Orlando City go into their home fixture against Colorado Rapids as one of only two Major League Soccer teams to win all of their home games. In 2016, Orlando finished eighth in the Eastern Conference with a 9-11-14 record but go into what will be their seventh game of 2017 boasting a 5-1-0 and have won all four of their games at their new Orlando City Stadium.
Orlando have climbed to the top of the Eastern Conference, and second overall, courtesy of 15 points. Amazingly, Orlando have done this without the services of the Brazilian superstar Kaka, who was injured during the opening day of the season.
The MLS recently published the salaries of all MLS players and Kaka is the highest-paid player in the league with a guaranteed compensation of some $7,167,500. Kaka’s replacement, Cyle Larin, earns $192,000 this year yet has six goals in four games and is now second in the Golden Boot race.
Colorado Rapids have been the surprise team of the season but for all the wrong reasons. After a superb 2016 campaign, the Rapids are rooted to the bottom of the Western Conference with only four points from six games (1-4-1).
The sides have met only twice in their history with Orlando winning 2-0 at home in 2015, which was followed up by a 0-0 draw at Colorado in 2016. Bovada price a 2-0 Orlando win at +800 which is good value. However, I like the -1 spread on Orlando at +145.
Pick: Orlando to win with a -1 spread at +145
LA Galaxy (-130) vs. Philadelphia Union (+345)
LA Galaxy were the MLS draw specialists last season, drawing 16 of their 34 regular season games. Fast forward to 2017 and Galaxy look a shadow of their former selves. They have only one win and five defeats from their opening six games.
This awful start sees Galaxy go into their game against Philadelphia Union 10th in the West and 20th overall. The only bright spot on Galaxy’s season to date is new signing Romain Alessandrini who has found the back of the net four times already, but his hard work is being undone by a defense that has conceded 13 goals.
Union are the only team to not win a game this season and are the worst team in the MLS at present with a record of 0-4-3. Union’s plight won’t be helped by the historic results between themselves and Galaxy as they have one draw and four losses from the previous five encounters.
This fixture traditionally features lots of goals and has seen 23 scored in the previous five clashes for an average of 4.6 goals per game. With this in mind, the over 2.5 goals at -150 looks like buying money with over 3.5 goals being a riskier +160. There should be plenty of goals because neither side can defend.
Pick: Over 2.5 goals at -150