Coming to the end of the second week where most teams have played multiple games, it will be interesting to watch each group’s fitness and depth level play out on the field.
Here are Neil FitzGerald’s previews and best bets for this week:
Charlotte vs Nashville preview
Charlotte is coming off another multi-goal performance and a 2-1 victory over Chicago, and have won four times in their last five league matches.
They have moved into a playoff spot with their recent form and will want to keep that momentum going as they play a stingy Nashville squad this week.
With Nashville having only lost one match in their last eight league games, they are looking to continue their strong run in Charlotte this week.
Look for them to continue their league-leading defensive play while working to secure the win by scoring against a weaker Charlotte defense.
Charlotte vs Nashville Pick: Nashville to Win • PointsBet (+175)
Cincinnati vs Columbus preview
Cincinnati has moved to the top spot in the Eastern Conference and continues to be one of the strongest teams in the league. Cincinnati is undefeated at home and will look to build their points lead against their cross-state rival.
Coming off a 2-0 win over a resurgent LA Galaxy, Columbus looks to register their second win in six weeks against the top of the table Cincinnati squad. They should be up for the state rivalry match, but this will be a tough hill to climb.
Cincinnati is potentially the top team in the league with only a single loss on the season. Take them for the win.
Cincinnati vs Columbus Pick: Cincinnati to Win • PointsBet (-107)
D.C. United vs LA Galaxy preview
D.C. United has now only lost one league match in their last six, and that was against a strong Cincinnati team. Look for them to take control of this match at home and secure the three points needed to move up in the playoff picture.
Coming off their best week of the season with a 2-1 upset win in the Cali Classico and a 3-1 upset win over Seattle in the U.S. Open Cup, the Galaxy lost a tight 2-0 contest to Columbus.
Expect a continued resurgence from Greg Vanney’s team but don’t plan on a tough road victory this week.
Miami vs Orlando preview
Miami’s three-game winning streak came to an unfortunate end in a 2-1 loss to Nashville on Wednesday, but they will look to continue their strong recent form in the Turnpike Derby this week versus Orlando.
Orlando earned a 1-1 tie earlier in the week versus NYCFC and will attempt to spark some offense against rival Miami.
These Florida teams have struggled to generate goals this year, with neither team scoring three in a single match all season. With decent defensive squads, bet on that to continue this week.
Miami vs Orlando Pick: Under 2.5 Goals • FanDuel (+100)
NY Red Bulls vs Montréal preview
After the Red Bulls won both their rivalry league game vs NYCFC and their U.S. Open Cup match against D.C. United, they managed to keep the result streak going with a tight 0-0 tie versus Toronto this week.
Look for them to keep the momentum going at home, but based on their anemic offense to date, avoid chasing this short streak.
Montréal’s string of four 2-0 victories came to an abrupt end versus Cincinnati in a 3-0 loss midweek. Back on a rebound against a weaker Red Bulls team, but avoid betting this match as they are on the road.
Philadelphia vs New England preview
The Union have only lost once in their last seven league games, although they played mostly weak opposition in this run. These mixed signals lead me to pause before investing.
Although the Revolution lost to Miami last week (2-1), it was only their second loss all year and first in nine league matches. New England does have a winning road record, so they could be a fun team to bet on.
The Union are tough at home, and both teams have tight defensive squads so the best pick here is for a low-scoring affair.
Philadelphia vs New England Pick: Under 2.5 Goals • PointsBet (-105)
Austin vs Toronto preview
Ethan Finlay had a goal and an assist in Austin’s upset 2-1 win over Seattle this week. Before that, they had not won since Week 3 of the season, so it’s too early to invest in a turnaround.
After two rivalry losses to CF Montréal last week, Bob Bradley’s Reds found some points in a 0-0 tie versus the Red Bulls earlier this week.
They continue to suffer an unprecedented string of injuries across their defense and midfield, so it’s difficult to see a turning point in the near future, and there are too many moving parts to make a play here.
Chicago vs Atlanta preview
Chicago is coming off a 2-1 loss to Charlotte midweek but are moving back home to host this match, where they are undefeated this year. However, they’ve only generated two wins in those seven home games, so it’s tough to get behind this record.
Coming off three losses before this week, Atlanta bounced back with a dominant 4-0 win against a Colorado side that had been playing competitively on the road.
While Atlanta still sits fourth in the conference, they’ve only won twice in their last seven games so let’s not expect a complete change in form just yet.
Dallas vs Houston preview
Host Dallas has only lost once in the last seven weeks. Their home record includes only a single Week 1 loss, and they have played tight all season, having only conceded 12 goals while scoring just 15.
Houston will be looking to change their momentum in the Texas Derby. They haven’t won in the last three league matches, though they do play very tight, having only conceded 10 goals all season while scoring just 10 as well.
Look for this game to be played very close with little to show on the scoreboard.
Dallas vs Houston Pick: Under 1.5 Goals • FanDuel (+300)
And if you’re looking for big odds, here’s an exact score to consider:
Dallas vs Houston Pick: 0-0 Tie • FanDuel (+1100)
Colorado vs Salt Lake preview
Although Colorado has only lost twice in their last nine league matches, they were the last two games, and they were clearly dominated by a resurgent Atlanta squad earlier this week in a 4-0 loss.
While Salt Lake couldn’t find the net at home versus Portland — one of the worst defensive teams in the league — they will look to discover their scoring touch on the road versus a reeling Rapids squad.
Neither of these teams is averaging over a goal per game, so the safe pick is on a low-scoring affair.
Colorado vs Salt Lake Pick: Under 2.5 Goals • PointsBet (+120)
St. Louis vs Kansas City preview
Despite their record-breaking start to the season as an expansion team, St. Louis has not won a game in their last five league matches. Worse, they’ve only scored two goals in those four games.
To many people’s surprise, Sporting Kansas City is on a three-game unbeaten streak, coming off league victories against Minnesota and Seattle and a tie versus Los Angeles.
Continuing this momentum on the road (in the form of a tie) versus a wavering St Louis team is an exciting play with decent odds.
St. Louis vs Kansas City Pick: Kansas City Tie • PointsBet (+280)
LAFC vs San Jose preview
Dénis Bouanga found the net again in LAFC’s recent 1-1 draw with Kansas City and leads the league with ten goals. Look for him to extend his league goal streak to five games this week as Los Angeles attempts to grab back the three points they lost to the Earthquakes two matches past.
The Earthquakes are coming off a tough loss providing the LA Galaxy with only their second win of the season. This loss, and playing a top opponent on the road, will likely be too difficult a task for San Jose this week.
Portland vs Minnesota preview
The Timbers have only lost once in the last seven league games (to a strong Cincinnati team), and they are coming off a 0-0 battle on the road versus Salt Lake. Expect them to continue their strong run of play this week.
Meanwhile, Minnesota is coming off a tough 1-0 win against a stingy Houston defensive squad. This was a welcome result, as the team was in the midst of a difficult run with only one tie in their previous last six league games.
They’ve also been kept off the scoresheet in three of those six contests, so these mixed results suggest a wait-and-observe position.
Vancouver vs Seattle preview
Vancouver is coming off two disappointing losses after having been unbeaten in the previous eight league games. They will look to rebound this week hosting their rival in the Northwest.
While still sitting on top of the Western Conference, the Sounders have won only twice in their last six games. The Jekyll-and-Hyde run of play saw Seattle follow up an impressive 1-0 road win over Houston with a disappointing 2-1 home loss to Austin this week.
It’s hard to predict which version of the team will appear this week, so it’s best to avoid investing.