New York Red Bulls v Orlando
Tough one here. The bookies have NYRB on a -1.25 handicap and the goal line is between 3 and 3.25. In recent weeks New York have looked really poor, especially in offensive areas where they seem to be lacking ideas and penetration. The trade of Lloyd Sam to DC United has hardly helped matters. Orlando have had two extra days of rest compared to their opponents here, which could be crucial. Interim coach Bobby Murphy set them up harder to break down on Friday night in his first game in charge, the club playing out a rare 0-0 draw. If this was played a few weeks ago I’d have backed the overs without hesitation. Now though, I’m not so sure and I think a low scoring NYRB win is the most likely outcome.
Portland Timbers v Montreal Impact
A few weeks ago this would’ve been an easy over 2.5 pick, but after recent events I’m not so sure. Portland have had back to back 0-0s, something which seemed unthinkable not so long ago. Finally, the Timbers defence has actually played well, resembling the performances that took them to the MLS Cup title last season. I think this could be a tight match because the Impact should be much stronger with Laurent Ciman back in the team. I backed over 2.75 in the RSL – Montreal game on Saturday, but underestimated the influence of Ciman who is one of the best defenders in MLS. The Impact have a lot of pace going forwards, but without Didier Drogba might lack clinicality. A lot of Portland home games have ended over 2.5 & both teams scored this season, but in this instance I think another 0-0 could occur.
Seattle Sounders v FC Dallas
Dallas are going really well at the moment and travel to an out of form Seattle who can’t score goals. Performance wise, the hosts have been improving but they simply can’t find the net. Clint Dempsey is back but it’s clear he can’t carry this team anymore. Dallas are a well organised unit and have had an extra day of rest approaching this contest. They are the more likely team to win but if Seattle can start converting chances it’s a different story. This feels like a potential under game with a low scoring draw or away win the most likely outcome. From a betting point of view this is not an affair which interests me at all.
Vancouver Whitecaps v Real Salt Lake
When I first saw this fixture I immediately thought over 2.5 goals would be a good bet. But there are a few doubts which have ensured I won’t be touching this contest. Firstly, the actual goal line is set between 2.75 and 3.0, which is way too high. Secondly, Vancouver are going to be without key attacker Kekuta Manneh (injury), and a couple of other attackers Morales & Perez are rated doubtful. Both managers have mentioned how they’d like to tighten up a bit more so we could see better defensive organisation. Also, two of the best keepers in the league are in action tonight, David Ousted and Nick Rimando. I still think the match will be quite open but maybe the goals just won’t flow in and I’ll predict a 1-1 draw.