Diego Valeri joined the 80/80 club in MLS with his goal on Wednesday night against the LA Galaxy. Photo by @Tombogert (Twitter)
- MLS Week 9 continues this weekend with four matches on Saturday and eight on Sunday
- Huge Western Conference showdowns on Sunday night between Sounders vs Timbers and El Trafico rivalries
- Read on for the odds and best bets from the weekend slate of games below
The fixture list is coming fast and furious in MLS of late. 12 matches were already played during midweek and another 12 are set for this weekend. With regional matches taking place because of the pandemic, we’re seeing plenty of rematches between teams who have recently played and that is no different this weekend.
Vancouver and Toronto will meet for the third time since the season restarted (Toronto minus captain Michael Bradley – knee injury), we get another Hell is Real rivalry between Columbus and Cincy and another all-expansion matchup between Inter Miami and Nashville.
Sunday night features two huge matches between Seattle vs Portland and the LA Galaxy vs LAFC, though odds have not been released for the El Trafico showdown as of yet.
Read on for the odds for each of this weekend’s matches plus our best bets and betting notes from the round.
MLS Week 9 – Sept 5/6 Odds
|Team||Moneyline Odds at Bet365|
|Real Salt Lake||+240|
All odds taken Sept. 3
Pick 1: Houston Dynamo vs Sporting Kansas City
One of many recent rematches this weekend sees first-place Sporting in the West travel to Houston to face the ninth-place Dynamo. The teams have met on two occasions already this season with both resulting in lopsided results. SKC won 4-0 on March 7, with Houston winning 5-2 on August 25. Both matches were played in Kansas City.
Both sides were involved in midweek play with Houston routing Minnesota 3-0 at home and SKC drawing level at home to Dallas 1-1.
The Dynamo were ahead just 1-0 until both Albert Elis and Ariel Lassiter subbed on in the 55′ minute and made an immediate impact. Houston scored in the 65′ and 70′ minutes with Elis assisting on both to Lassiter. Darwin Quintero got Houston on the board early in the game scoring against his old team. The Dynamo also held a 21-13 and 11-4 advantage in attempts and shots on target.
A goal for each team in the first half was all the scoring in KC, as Sporting and FCD drew 1-1, with star striker Alan Pulido sitting out and resting for the weekend. SKC have plenty of firepower though with Gadi Kinda (also rested Wednesday) currently leading the team in scoring with four goals and two assists, good for 11th overall in MLS scoring.
Ariel Lassiter 🇨🇷 anotó doblete en su debut con wl Houston Dynamo 🟠. pic.twitter.com/P2dDULu00J
— Fichajes A Lo Tico (@FichajesAloTico) September 3, 2020
These teams are both among the league leaders in shots on target with SKC fifth (42) and Houston sixth (41). They’re also both in the top six (fourth and sixth respectively) in total attempts.
After two blowouts in the previous results, I see this one being more balanced, but still offering a few goals and from both sides.
Pick: Both teams to score & Over 2.5 goals (-138)
Pick 2: Orlando City SC vs Atlanta United
On Saturday at 8:00 pm EST it’s the East’s third-place team Orlando against the ninth-place Atlanta United. Not positions either side are used to being in during their history, but very fair based off 2020 play so far.
Orlando is 2-1-1 (WDL) since the regular season resumed and that includes a 3-1 win over this same Atlanta side just last weekend. It was their first win over The Five Stripes in ten meetings. Orlando jumped out to a 2-0 lead just 35 minutes into the match last week, with Atlanta not scoring until the 83rd minute.
2020 MLS Cup Odds Tracker
The Lions have only lost three times in 13 overall games in 2020 and their current undefeated streak is now three games after Wednesday’s 1-1 draw with Nashville. This, despite Oscar Pareja fielding a lineup which saw Chris Mueller on the bench and captain Nani not even dressed.
Atlanta are a mess right now. They were already missing Josef Martinez, fired their head coach after a dismal MLS is Back tournament and were basically reliant on Pity Martinez having an incredible game to have any chance of creating offense. Well, Pity is now out the door just 18 months after arriving on an MLS-record transfer fee. News broke prior to Wednesday’s match against Inter Miami that the Argentine is headed to Saudi Arabia and he was not in the lineup for what ended in a 0-0 draw.
Source: Atlanta United agree to deal in principle for Pity Martinez from Saudi Arabian clubhttps://t.co/WrLe6BO83F
— FutGol (@FutGol2021) September 2, 2020
Atlanta had 60.5-percent of the possession, but just one shot on target. Atlanta have the third-fewest attempts on goal in the league at 73 and the fourth-fewest shots on target at 28. Pity had 17/7 of those attempts/shots this season.
Orlando has waited a long time to have the upper hand on their rivals and now is their time, at home, with a rested Nani against a floundering Atlanta United side who has only defeated Nashville and Cincy this season.
Pick: Orlando City win (-106)
Pick 3: Seattle Sounders vs Portland Timbers
The weekend closes out with a huge rivalry match between the Sounders and Timbers at 10:00 pm EST. These teams just met a couple of weeks ago on August 23 and the Sounders romped to a 3-0 win, though did score all their goals late in the 72′, 83′ and 85′ minutes.
The clean sheet was a rarity between these two as last season each team won 2-1 in the regular season and Portland won 2-1 in the US Open Cup. Of their past six meetings, all have gone OVER 2.5 goals, while five have seen both teams scoring.
With the condensed schedule, Timbers’ head coach Giovanni Savarese was definitely looking ahead to the weekend rematch in midweek play. He fielded a massively rotated lineup Wednesday night against the Galaxy and it showed as they fell behind 2-0.
Sebastian Blanco, Eryk Williamson and Jeremy Ebobisse all subbed on in the 56′ minute, with Yimmi Chara doing so in the 78′ and Diego Valeri in the 88′. It was too little too late as Portland fell 3-2, though the Timbers had two goals called back, hit a crossbar and Valeri made history with his 80th MLS goal in the 92′ minute to join the 80/80 club (80 goals/83 assists).
Since the regular season resumed the Timbers have lost 3-0, drawn 4-4 and lost 3-2. They’ve conceded in every game in 2020 but have scored in 11/12.
Welcome to the 80-80 club, El Maestro 😏
Diego Valeri scored his 80th career regular-season goal to go along with over 80 career assists. #RCTID pic.twitter.com/dnPL2TVTPZ
— NBC Sports Northwest (@NBCSNorthwest) September 3, 2020
The Sounders’ arrow has been pointing up since returning to play with the aforementioned 3-0 win over Portland, followed by a 3-1 win over LAFC and a 2-2 draw Wednesday with RSL. The Sounders were minutes away though from a third-straight win, leading 2-1 until Pablo Ruiz drew RSL level in the 85′ minute. Seattle also rotated their squad with players like Jordan Morris and Kevin Leerdam, Joevin Jones and Joao Paulo on the bench.
With the starters for both sides rested in midweek, a late Sunday game, revenge on the mind for Portland, and a Timbers’ side scoring and conceding at will, this could be the game of the week with plenty of goals.
Pick: Both teams to score & Over 2.5 goals (-110)
💥 Joe Corona
💥 Cristian Pavon
💥 Diego Rossi
💥 Pablo Ruiz
💥 Benji Michel
🗳️ Vote now for #ATTGotW –> https://t.co/QID83LVk4K pic.twitter.com/5ctAt7Typr
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) September 3, 2020
Additional Betting Tips from the Weekend Card
- San Jose Earthquakes vs Colorado Rapids: San Jose hosts Colorado on Saturday night and it will be a well-rested Rapids side who did not play midweek. The Earthquakes are leaking goals, having been outscored 8-3 in their two games since MLS is Back, but have also conceded 12 in three games if you consider their final tournament match to Minnesota (4-1 loss). Colorado is winless in five overall matches but has scored in every game in 2020. They could be a prime upset pick.
- Minnesota United vs Real Salt Lake: When Minnesota hosts Real Salt Lake Sunday night they do so on a four-game winless streak dating back into MLS is Back. They’ve been outscored during that stretch 11-3. Luis Amarilla, Kevin Molino and new DP Emanuel Reynoso were all rested Wednesday until the later stages of the second half and should be fresh for Sunday. RSL’s last four results have read: 2-2, 4-4, 4-1 win and 5-2 loss. So, a lot of goals. This one could get interesting and be a good OVER bet.
- DC United vs New York City FC: DC is dealing with injuries, absences and still hasn’t scored a first-half goal this season. They were winless in six overall matches and had no business winning Wednesday night against the Red Bulls. DC was out-attempted 17-5 and DC had only 62 final third passes compared to New York’s 208. But, a last-gasp 98′ minute winner saw DC claim a 1-0 win. They’ll face the blue side of New York on Sunday at home. After a slow start, the Cityzens have won all three regular season games since the tournament— 1-0 over Columbus, 3-1 over Chicago and 2-0 over New England on Wednesday. They seem to be finding their groove and betting them at plus-money (+105) over DC looks like good value.
Ryan is SBD’s resident soccer pro, though his repertoire is by no means limited to a single sport. His articles have been published by the Canadian Hockey League (CHL), Ontario Hockey League (OHL), and the Kitchener Rangers, and outlets like SportsXpress and Shredthespread.com