Friday 23rd of July, Beat the Drop Tips
Atlanta United vs Columbus
Will there be 3 or more goals?
The MLS is traditionally a league that doesn’t struggle for goals, there’s a number of sides who are maintaining some very high goal averages however these two don’t fall in to that category.
Columbus average the second lowest number of goals per game in their conference, their measly 1.9 average doesn’t make for great reading and would instantly put me off. Their solid defence is primarily to blame; they’ve conceded just 12 goals in 14 matches which gives them the current meanest defence in the MLS. They’re also unbeaten in their last 5 games, so you’d have to look at Atlanta to decide if this is a yes or no.
Atlanta don’t fair much better in the averages, they’re 4th bottom of the goal chart, their games featuring an average of just 2.2 goals per game. If I was picking out a goals bet and came across this game, I’d be skipping right over it. Atlanta have managed to win just 2 games so far this season so I see them struggling to cause damage to the league’s strongest defence.
My thoughts on this game are reflected in the odds too, it’s currently evens for over 2.5 goals and 1.8 for the under selection. It’s no surprise then that I’m going to recommend going for no on this one, play to the stats and go with the odds – it’s the wise choice.
Beat the Drop Tips: No
Minnesota Utd vs Portland Timbers
Will Minnesota Utd win the match?
These two currently sit side by side in the Western Conference with just 1 point separating them in the final two play-off spots (6th & 7th) and at a glance this looks a pretty tough one to call. Minnesota currently top the 5 game form table having taken 10 points from the last 15 available, Portland have taken 7 in that same period. So that’s advantage Minnesota in that sense, which would lean you towards a home win. The home win is also the odds on selection here at 1.8, with Portland double chance sitting at evens.
A huge factor with the MLS is travel; many teams often struggle on the road and success is heavily reliant on strong home form and picking up a few wins on the road. From 5 games so far in the Western Conference, only one team has won more than 2 matches and that’s Seattle. Portland are really struggling on their travels – 1 win in 5 so far and only 4 points accumulated from a possible 15. They’ve also shipped the most goals in their conference (13) which is 2 more than FC Dallas who’ve been beaten in every away match so far. That doesn’t bode well ahead of the Timbers having to make a 1800 mile trip to the Allianz Field. Minnesota have also won the last 3 head to heads between the two clubs, some bookies have them as short as 1.7 for a victory here.
Minnesota recently beat table toppers Seattle Sounders on home soil, that put them to 4 wins and 1 draw from 5 home games this season and against a poor away side I can see why they’re favourites.
Beat the Drop Tips: Yes
Nashville FC vs FC Cincinnati
Will both teams score?
This looks like a bit of a cracker, I’m not a religious follower of the MLS but if I was I’d be sure to keep an eye out for games involving Nashville. They’re currently 4th in the Eastern Conference and have been beaten just once this season, they’re also unbeaten at home (W5, D5) and come in to this one in cracking form. Their last home game saw them smash Chicago Fire 5-1 as German forward Hany Mukhtar helped himself to a 16 minute hat trick which earned him the MLS MVP of the week crown. There’s been 29 goals in Nashville’s 10 home matches, giving them the highest home average in the Eastern Conference. They’re a side who score goals but are prone to leaking them too, so BTTS is starting to look tasty.
Cincinnati are a strange one, I touched on the home/away disparity in the MLS earlier but these boys go against the grain. They’ve got the second worst home record, having failed to win so far. However they have one of the best away records, with all 3 of their wins this season coming on their travels. Their away games are also absolute chaos, only league leaders New England have outscored them but no side bar Toronto has conceded more goals. In 8 games on the road they’ve scored 12 times but also conceded 17, that’s an average of 3.6 goals per game. Their last away game finished 5-4!
Also, since their first clash in 2018 these sides have met 5 times competitively and once in a friendly, of those 6 matches BTTS landed in 5 of them. This looks like it could be a bonkers game, the odds are very marginally in favour of both teams scoring (1.87 for yes, 1.9 for no).