Another week of MLS football is behind us as we start to really get into the season and should start to see the teams’ true talents and who reigns supreme. Currently, Philadelphia and Los Angeles FC hold the top spot in their respective conferences, but Orlando and Austin FC are nipping their tails. Make sure to follow me @BettingThePitch on Twitter for more possible games and any questions you may have. Now let’s move on to this week’s selections!
MLS Week 9 betting preview and play picks
Philadelphia Union vs CF Montreal
Date/Time: Saturday (4/23) at 3:00 PM EST
Philadelphia is coming off its first loss of the season against Toronto in a 2-1 loss on the road. Despite the loss, Philadelphia was the better team in this game. They produced a 2.05xG against a 0.36xG for Toronto. The home team’s goals were extremely lucky breaks and Philadelphia missed two big chances in the game. Now they are back at home where they have won three games, drawn one and not lost. In those four matches, they conceded just one goal and scored six.
51′ What an excellent individual game from #TFCLiveit’s Alejandro Pozuelo! It exceeds #DOOPand defeats Philadelphia Union goaltender Andre Blake! #MajorLeagueSoccer#TORvPHI | 2-1 | #MLSpic.twitter.com/d6x0npZV5Z
– Last word on football (@LastWordSC) April 17, 2022
Although their defensive numbers look good at home, they conceded a ton of big changes and lost the possession battle in all but ONE game. They will now face a Montreal team that ranks 10th in ball possession at 53.3% and ranks 3rd in goals scored per game with an average of 1.9. Montreal has failed to keep a clean sheet this season and I expect that to continue here in this game as Philadelphia averages 1.57 goals per game and Montreal concedes 2.29 goals per game. Montreal has indeed not kept a clean sheet in 9 consecutive games since last season. However, they are currently on a five game unbeaten streak.
Stat H2H: The last five games have seen both teams score while four of those five have seen 3+ goals.
Pick: BTTS/Over 2.5 goals (+120)
San Jose Earthquakes vs Seattle Sounders
Date/Time: Saturday (04/23) at 10:00 PM EST
I hate betting games involving the Sounders but I can’t get away from it. It’s like this toxic relationship that you just can’t let go of, they keep hurting my pockets but I keep coming back for more! I think Seattle was unlucky not to have scored more goals this season because their npxG is 7.8 compared to their actual goals scored of six. On the other side, I feel like they were lucky not to have conceded more goals as their opponent’s npxG is 8.8 compared to their actual goals conceded of seven.
Niko Tsakiris’ first goal for the San Jose Earthquakes pic.twitter.com/Z3iWSOUNUY
—Jack Stephen 🇺🇸🇮🇳 (@USMNTZ) April 20, 2022
Both teams are yet to keep a clean sheet this season and I expect that to continue in this game as Montreal have been scoring goals lately. They average three goals per game in their last four appearances in all competitions. They score an average of two goals per game at home this season while conceding nearly three on average! San Jose is undefeated in four straight home games and the Sounders are unbeaten in four straight games. Something has to break, or does it?
H2H Stat: Lifetime H2H series wins are Seattle 13 and Montreal 10 with nine draws.
Pick: Over 2.5 goals (-130)
FC Cincinnati vs Los Angeles FC
Date/Time: Sunday (04/24) at 5:00 PM EST
Los Angeles has been a force this season with its only loss to rival Galaxy a few weeks ago. They have since returned to dominant form with back-to-back 3-1 and 5-1 wins at home. LAFC leads in just about every category in MLS and averages 2.43 goals per game while conceding an average of one per game. They now travel to Cincinnati to face a struggling home side that are now winless in their last three MLS games with two of those losses to mid-pack teams (Montreal/Charlotte FC).
— LAFC (@LAFC) April 17, 2022
The home team averages just over one goal per game. They concede exactly two goals per game. Moreover, LAFC has only kept a clean sheet this year. Los Angeles, on the other hand, have kept a clean sheet in five consecutive matches and in their only H2H game they shut out Cincinnati 2-0. I think Cincinnati will give Los Angeles all they can handle, but it’s hard not to support the best team in MLS right now at odds more. LAFC has been dominant on the female dog and with bets turn up that hot streak ahead of MLS Week 9.
Head-to-Head: Stat: Only a head-to-head clash resulted in a 2-0 win for LAFC.
Pick: Los Angeles FC ML (+110)
New York City FC vs. Toronto FC
Date/Time: Sunday (04/24) at 5:00 PM EST
This game should be exciting to watch this weekend as Toronto travel to Citi Field to take on New York FC. The home side are coming off their second win of the season and it was a 6-0 thrashing of Salt Lake at home. It’s by far the best game New York has had all season. They held 56% possession, had 22 shots, and had an xG of 4.84. Salt Lake, although still capable of producing chances but were unable to capitalize on them, I expect Toronto can find the back of the net in this one.
New York City FC found Brazilian magic on their wings 🇧🇷💫
Talles Magno (19) and Thiago Andrade (21) have recorded 8 goals and 4 assists in 12 games between them 🔥 pic.twitter.com/GP70aNADw3
— NXGN (@nxgn_football) April 21, 2022
Toronto currently sit 5th in the standings and average just over 1.5 goals per game, but their most alarming stat is that they haven’t kept a clean sheet in 17 straight games. Now they have to go on the road and face a team that has just scored six goals and should be confident on the attacking front. New York is averaging 59% possession this season, which currently ranks 2nd in MLS, while Toronto is averaging 53% possession. I expect both teams to have their hands on the ball and both teams to create chances in this one. Seems to be a lock on the top for betting purposes with this MLS Week 9 game.
Stat H2H: The last three games have seen both teams score.
Pick: New York City TT (team total) Over 2.5 goals (+125)