MLS Wager Watch – Back to Reality

MLS Wager Watch

2024’s first El Trafico derby and the Revolution’s early season struggles highlights this week’s MLS Wager Watch.

Photo Credit: dStudio -

MLS Wager Watch is back after a week off. I was hoping to be able to write this column while on vacation in Florida but, unfortunately, I was unable to access my sportsbook apps down in the Sunshine State thanks to their regulations. I attempted many different ways to work around these regulations and was unsuccessful every time. Since I was on vacation, I figured the universe was telling me to take a break from betting too, which is exactly what I needed after reality smacked me in the face with a 0-3 weekend last time out. We’re back rested and ready to return to the gambling saddle. Here’s hoping we can bounce back in a big way.

Weekend Results: 0-3, down 3.6 units

Year-to-Date: 4-9-1 down 6.4 units.

NOTE: Odds below subject to change


FC Cincinnati: MONEYLINE +115
NY Red Bulls: MONEYLINE +230

FC Cincinnati is coming off a tough away draw last week against a better-than-anticipated Charlotte squad. Aaron Boupendza’s stoppage-time equalizer and results around the rest of the league allowed FCC to stay tied at the top of the Supporters Shield standings.

Heading into the season, I knew that defensively, they’d be good. I just didn’t know they’d be this good. Through six league matches they’ve conceded only three goals, only one of which was from open play, and even that goal was a gift thanks to a poor back pass. They’re doing a great job of limiting opposing teams’ scoring opportunities. They’re also fourth in the league in expected goals against from open play.

With that said, the Red Bulls are just slightly better at limiting scoring chances, as they currently rank second in the league in expected goals against from open play. This isn’t ideal when your team is struggling to score goals, particularly at home.

Historically, this matchup has not favored the team from Jersey, as they’ve only won twice in the past ten matchups. This matchup is always a knockdown drag ’em out slugfest. You only need to look back at last year’s MLS Cup Playoffs when a hard foul on Obinna Nwobodo derailed FC Cincy’s hopes at the Cup. I’d expect much the same this weekend between these two teams.

This should be a low-scoring affair (which probably means this will be a goal-fest). The odds are very juicy for FCC to win or draw so I’m going to parlay this with a second bet to increase the number.

PICK: FC Cincinnati DOUBLE CHANCE (to WIN or DRAW) -320 plus Total Goals UNDER 2.5 -128, parlayed +117 for 1 unit


LA Galaxy: MONEYLINE +340

Before the season started, I wrote in this column how surprised I was that the LA Galaxy were fourth favorites in the Western Conference. At that time, they were around +900 to finish first in the West, now those odds are half that at +450. Hindsight’s 20/20 but I’m regretting not taking those odds at that time. Oddly enough, LAFC is still the betting favorite to finish first in the West despite sitting in ninth place in the conference.

This weekend’s El Trafico should be a barn burner. The Galaxy and LAFC are second and third in expected goals this season. The Galaxy are second in MLS in goals, one shy of Miami. Both teams are second and fourth in Big Chances according to FotMob.

This isn’t the LAFC we’re used to seeing in Major League Soccer. They’ve already lost games to Real Salt Lake, Minnesota United and this weekend conceding two goals after the 80th minute to lose in Colorado 3-2. In between all that, they managed to beat down Nashville 5-0. I don’t know what to make of LAFC. I know they’re the home team this weekend, but I’m very surprised that the -160 number is so low.

The Galaxy on the other hand haven’t exactly played anyone that I would consider great. Yes, they did open their season with a draw against Miami, a respectable result. They’ve also yet to lose this season, which is why after six matches they’re sitting at the top of the Supporters Shield standings (on goal difference). This weekend’s going to tell us who this Galaxy team is. Are they Supporter Shield contenders? We’ll find out.

El Trafico is usually a crazy fixture, and this weekend should be no different, I just like where the Galaxy are at this point in the season. Give me the road dog in this one.

PICK: LA Galaxy DOUBLE CHANCE (to win or draw) +115 for 1 unit


New England: MONEYLINE +120
Charlotte FC: MONEYLINE +200

The New England Revolution are rooted to the bottom of the Eastern Conference table. Through five matches, they’re yet to win. They finally picked up a point in their last league match when they drew the Chicago Fire. Then, after having a weekend off, they took on Club America in CCC play Tuesday night and were destroyed 4-0, at HOME. I’m fading the Revs every chance I can. I feel for Revs fans, I really do.

Charlotte on the other hand is significantly better than I had anticipated. I bet against them when they took on the Crew a few weeks ago and won, but it helps to play up a man for a considerable portion of the game. I also would have bet against them this past weekend against Cincy and they nearly came away with a win. Can they go on the road and get a result against a struggling New England side? I think they will.

PICK: Charlotte FC DOUBLE CHANCE (to WIN or DRAW) -165 plus Total Goals UNDER 3.5 -270, parlayed +118 for 1 unit.

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