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!
We’re back! The quarterfinals of the MLS is Back Tournament brought the first profitable week to the column after two tough ones in a row. The semifinals add a new wrinkle — fewer games means a larger variety of things to bet on, so let’s get right to it.
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.
Note: betting in knockout games is a little different. Over/unders and win/losses only apply to regulation time. If the games go to extra time, that doesn’t count for the purposes of the bet.
Philadelphia Union and Portland Timbers will both score, -189
This is a favorite soccer bet of mine in the regular season and a new one to the column. The concept is simple here — neither team will get shut out in this match. I love the Philadelphia attackers, and the Timbers are the better team on paper, so I feel good about this one.
Ethan Finlay will score, +600
Do I have any real reason to think Ethan Finlay will score? No. There’s no statistical deep dive here, though he did have a brace against Orlando City in 2018. It’s just going to be really fun to root for such a longshot bet all game.
Orlando City SC and Minnesota United will both score in the first half, +280
Minnesota has scored in the first half of both of the team’s knockout round games. Orlando has not, which must mean they’re due!
Lock of the week: Minnesota United to beat Orlando City, +175
Granted, Orlando just made me a loser on the last lock of the week, but I don’t understand how Minnesota continually gets valued as the underdog. They keep winning! Adrian Heath is paying off Vegas.
Profit if every bet is correct: $1,107.90
Profit to date: $-476.90
Picks Record: 6-11
Lock of the Week Record: 1-4 (yikes)