Editor’s Note: Ben Ferree joined Massive Report on loan from Pro Soccer USA until the end of the MLS season, bringing his regular gambling column to our pages. Ferree brings his Best Bets column for Massive Report for MLS is Back Tournament. Enjoy!
Week 2 of the MLS is Back Tournament wasn’t as easy to predict as the opening round of games, but bettors still turned a profit if they followed our advice. Last-gasp goals by the Montreal Impact nearly overcame Toronto FC, and the San Jose Earthquakes needed every second of time to best the Vancouver Whitecaps, but both of those bets pulled through. The upset (and first L for the Lock of the Week) was FC Cincinnati besting a depleted Atlanta United. Playing against 10 men for the majority of the game, and against nine for a short spell, Cincinnati pulled off the 5-1 upset.
The final group stage round will be the hardest to bet. Every team will be very tired from the Orlando heat. Rotations and lineups will be hard to predict. The effort level of teams will also be hard to speculate, as even though some teams have clinched or been eliminated, the games still count for regular season points. Do those points even matter when MLS hasn’t announced a return to play plan for after this tournament? Who knows! Onto the bets.
New to betting? Odds are expressed around the number 100, meaning $100 being wagered. For example, if a bet is listed as +200, it means betting $100 would win you $200. Conversely, a bet listed as -200 would mean you have to bet $200 to win $100.
Toronto FC/New England Revolution over 2.5 goals scored, -129
TFC’s Ayo Akinola has scored FIVE goals in this tournament. New England, as a team, has scored three. Yet both teams need a result here to guarantee themselves a spot in the next round. At only four points, with D.C. United behind them at two, a draw and a win from D.C. would see one team left in third place. A win by either side secures advancement, so both teams should be going for it hard and the goals will follow. Speaking of D.C...
D.C. United to beat the Montreal Impact, +115
D.C. doesn’t have a win yet in this tournament, yet came back down two goals and a man to draw Toronto, and needed a gift from the Revs to get a point. Look for the team to put it all together finally against the Montreal Impact. Anything other than a win effectively eliminates United from advancing.
Houston Dynamo to beat the LA Galaxy, +260
The Galaxy is big favorites in this game... but why? What has the team shown us in this tournament to be declared favorites? A 6-2 beat down from Los Angeles Football Club where one of their goals was an own goal and a 2-1 loss to the Portland Timbers. Meanwhile, Houston got a 3-3 draw with LAFC and had the same 2-1 scoreline against Portland. The Galaxy is lifeless. Houston will do anything the team can to not have to go back to Corona central. Bet on the Dynamo.
Lock of the week: Minnesota United to beat the Colorado Rapids, +110
Sensing a theme? Minnesota is another team that has yet to clinch advancement. A win against the pointless Rapids would send them through. The leaky Colorado defense has let through five goals this tournament, and that should be enough to spring the Minnesota offense to life.
Profit if every bet is correct: $562.50
Profit to date: $131.20
Picks Record: 4-2
Lock of the Week Record: 1-1