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Gambler's Guide to Major League Soccer: Week 5

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An Orlando City win is even sweeter when it comes with a payday! Should you bet on your Lions this week?

Orlando City managed a win to make us some money last week, though the Sounders remembering how to play soccer against Montreal certainly didn't help my cause.

We head into this week looking to pick out some winners and get that bank account up after paying the month-end bills. Pro tip -- don't be afraid to parlay some of these games with Curtis Blaydes fighting in the UFC this weekend. You're welcome.

Now, for the usual intro.

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For the uninitiated, odds are generally presented in three forms -- a "spread," a "moneyline," and a "total."

The spread is the goal difference expected. For example, if the spread for Orlando City is +1.5, you'll want them to win, draw, or lose by one goal to win the wager. Losing by two or more goals would result in losing the wager.

The moneyline is my personal favorite, and the only odds we'll use for soccer. I'm not a fan of spreads with this sport, as the margin for error is very small. A moneyline is simple -- odds are presented, and you select the outcome you expect -- Team A win, Team B win, or Draw. The total is the total number of goals scored this game. This can be tough to predict in soccer, and is generally something I recommend staying away from -- though it can be a useful moneymaker for both hockey and basketball.

Odds are presented with a number preceded by either a + or a -. When the number is presented after a +, this means that selection is an underdog. The number following the + is the amount of money the odds pay out for every $100 risked. When the number is presented as a -, this means that selection is a favorite. The number following the - is the amount of money you will need to risk for odds to pay out $100.

To improve your odds, you can always play what's called a "parlay." A favorite of mine, with this option you can select winners across multiple games, and watch your payouts soar. The risk, however, is if you miss any one contest on your parlay, you've lost the entire bet.

(Note: These odds were pulled from BetDSI, and may not reflect lines posted by your sportsbook of choice.)

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Easy Money

First up is Real Salt Lake (-107) hitting the road to face off with the Colorado Rapids (+311). The Rapids defense has been stingy this season, allowing just two goals en route to securing seven points in four games. Alex Sjoberg is enjoying a fine season, and Mekeil Williams has been impressive when on the pitch.

It's not enough.

Their offense has been nonexistent, managing to provide only three goals to support the defensive effort. They've been able to earn points by shutting down the opposing offenses.

Managing to score two goals against what have proven to be two of the strongest defensive units during the early run of the season in Orlando City and Sporting KC, it's hard to see the Rapids being able to keep them under two.

It's even harder to see the Rapids scoring two.

And it's even harder when you remember Kyle Beckerman, Jamison Olave and Burrito Martinez are returning to the lineup for Real. The Pick: Real Salt Lake.

The goal-assaulting soccer ninjas that make up the FC Dallas (-147) attack look to treat their hometown fans to some highlights when the San Jose Earthquakes (+437) come to town. The explosive grouping of Maximilliano Urruti, flanked by Mauro Diaz, Fabian Castillo, Michael Barrios and super-sub Tesho Akindele, has proven to be one of the most effective attacks in MLS, paving the way for Dallas to be the only team to have three wins so far.

The Quakes have played well at home, but were thrashed by LA Galaxy on their only road trip. They're heading a lot further outside their comfort zone for this one, against an offense that's looking to pounce. The Pick: FC Dallas.

Feeling Lucky?

Orlando City (+238) looks to keep the good times rolling when the Lions hit the city of brotherly love to square up with the Philadelphia Union (+118). With back-to-back wins and a healthy captain, Inchy's boys look to be firing on all cylinders out of the gate.

Losing Brek Shea to suspension isn't wonderful -- especially when you remember that C.J. Sapong will be the spearhead of the Union attack -- but Luke Boden is a more-than-capable MLS left back that brings his own threatening skill set to the lineup.

The Union are tough, but Orlando has a solid chance to remain undefeated, and the odds are favorable. The Pick: Orlando City.

The New York Red Bulls (+101) have seemingly limped out of the gate, winning only against the Dynamo, yet still surrendering three goals. They'll be hosting Sporting Kansas City (+274), which is looking to rebound from a deflating 2-1 loss to RSL last week.

NYRB have only found holes in the Swiss cheese defense of the Dynamo, while SKC boasts clean sheets over both Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC. The Pick: Sporting Kansas City.

My Play

I'll be taking Orlando City and Real Salt Lake from above, but will also be looking to benefit from Caleb Porter's early season troubles when the LA Galaxy (-115) host the Portland Timbers (+320). The Draw (+240) is tempting, but I see the Galaxy attack being more than Portland is ready for while they still search for their form early. The Pick: LA Galaxy.

2016 Record

Easy Money -- 4-7

Feeling Lucky -- 1-8

My Play -- 6-11