Toronto FC was our saving grace last week, showing up at their home debut and earning three points -- and earning us come cash.
Hopefully you were proactive this week and managed to jump on some of the midweek winners -- Dallas and San Jose already paid my power bill for me.
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. 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.
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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In a battle between two of MLS' Canadian representatives, Toronto FC (-122) welcomes Vancouver Whitecaps FC (+317), coming off a 1-0 win in their home opener in their last match. Vancouver comes into this one sporting a 1-4 record on the road, having conceded 11 goals while scoring just five of their own.
Vancouver would lead the Eastern Conference with their 17 points, but they have three more games played than Toronto and only best them by three points. Look for Toronto's explosive offense to exploit the holes in Vancouver's Swiss cheese road defense. The Pick: Toronto FC.
Likable underdogs are not growing on trees this week, but there appears to be potential in the match between Houston Dynamo (+127) and Real Salt Lake (+194). Real won the previous encounter on May 1, 2-1, on the back of Yura Movsisyan's stellar play from the top. Movsisyan returned to the league and Real with much fanfare, and despite scoring only two goals thus far, he has played well overall.
The Dynamo have been the worst team in the west thus far -- though have been a respectable 2-1-2 at home. They'll look to avoid suffering a second home defeat in this one, but Real has the ability to earn three on the road here. The Pick: Real Salt Lake.
When the New England Revolution (-157), with newly acquired Kei Kamara, welcome the basement-dwelling Chicago Fire (+426), we'll see two clubs that have not been able to secure three points doing everything possible to do just that. For New England, it has been six matches, while the Fire hasn't heated up in four.
While the Revs have shown a bad habit of allowing goals at home, they've yet to lose this season. I'm looking for the excitement over their deadline acquisition to be enough to keep this club from drawing with the league-worst Fire. The Pick: New England Revolution.
Also keep an eye on FC Dallas (-143), who welcome Seattle Sounders (+400), coming off a 2-1 come-from-behind mid-week win over the Portland Timbers. Dallas has been fantastic at home, securing 14 points in six matches and sporting a +6 goal differential. In hostile territory, they're rocking a -8 differential, so they're certainly a risk, but the trend looks safe against a Sounders club that has yet to win on the road. The Pick: FC Dallas.
Easy Money --- 6-10
Feeling Lucky --- 2-12
My Play --- 11-16