Last Update: 10/19/2021

MLSThe past weekend’s BetPicks MLS picks went 2-5 for a loss of 2.20 units if you are a unit bettor. This was just the second “matchday” where we have recorded a negative profit in the past eight “matchdays”. Over those same eight “matchdays” my BetPicks MLS predictions have gone 27-24-1 for a return of 15.73 units. As the MLS’ playoff race heats up, I will aim to guide us through an exciting race to the end of the regular-season.

Atlanta United vs New York City FC

Wednesday October 20th @ 7:30 pm, Mercedes-Benz Stadium

BetPicks Best Bets

Atlanta United’s vault into the playoffs has come at the expense of their opponent’s demise. NYCFC has tumbled out of the playoffs after winning only one of their nine previous contests. Now the two sides meet for a crucial clash in Atlanta and I personally see this being both teams biggest game of the year. The important thing to realize here is that Atlanta turned a corner 12 games ago, their season appeared dead until Josef Martinez, Ezequiel Barco and Atlanta’s offense hit their stride. Since then Atlanta has gone 9-3-0 over this 12 game stretch and looked like a completely different squad. Barco will miss this game after taking a red card, accordingly let’s take a shot at Josef Martinez. Martinez has 10 goals in 19 matches this season and went scoreless in his last two matches, accordingly in the big moment expect Martinez to strike.

Pick: Josef Martinez To Score (+110)

D.C. United vs New England Revolution

Wednesday October 20th @ 7:30 pm, Audi Field

BetPicks Best Bets

D.C. United needs a win, they have been strong at home this season, but only drew against Nashville SC this past weekend, which could prove costly. United are now 6th in the Eastern Conference with Montreal behind only on goal differential and both New York teams threatening just a point behind. Usually a visit from New England would not be welcomed, however the Revolution have nothing to play for here. They have locked up the Eastern Conference crown and are looking ahead to the playoffs, this is United’s opportunity to pounce. They have won 10 of their 14 home matches this season and I expect them to take advantage of an unmotivated Revolution squad. 

Pick: D.C. United To Win (+110)

Dallas FC vs Los Angeles FC

Wednesday October 20th @ 8:00 pm, Toyota Stadium

BetPicks Best Bets

Both of these teams like to open up the pace of play and defense is not their forte. As of late FC Dallas has undergone a managerial change, which has not fared well for their offense, but I expect them to activate Ricardo Pepi and Jader Obrian against the worst goalkeeping team in the MLS. LAFC’s save percentage this season is 55.8% as their run and gun style leads to many box chances for them and their opponents. Dallas’ goalkeeping is okay, but they give up tons of shots and LAFC will try to push their offense as they chase a playoff spot. Take the alternate over and expect an eventful match, 

Pick: Over 3.5 Goals (+165)

Minnesota United vs Philadelphia Union

Wednesday October 20th @ 8:00 pm, Allianz Field

BetPicks Best Bets

A desperate Minnesota United are clinging onto the final Western Conference playoff spot after escaping Austin with a 1-0 victory. They catch the Philadelphia Union in a good spot, as the Union’s playoff spot is fairly secure and will not find themselves as desperate as Minnesota. United’s strength comes from their defense, as does the Union, so I expect an offensive struggle with Minnesota eventually breaking through. Minnesota will finally be at full-strength after an eventful international break and will be eager to grab their 9th home win in 15 contests. Take Minnesota to win and combine it with the under. 

Pick: Minnesota To Win/Under 2.5 Goals (+350)

Houston Dynamo vs Los Angeles Galaxy

Wednesday October 20th @ 8:30 pm, PNC Stadium

BetPicks Best Bets

The Galaxy used a massive win over the Portland Timbers to put themselves into a playoff spot in the Western Conference. However, with just five matches remaining the Galaxy now must defend and secure their position. On Wednesday they play the Dynamo who despite their overall struggles, have been a tough nut to crack at home. Houston has only dropped 3 of their 15 home contests this season, so we will not be taking a full-time result, but there is value in an anytime goalscorer. In just 17 matches this season Chicarito has tallied 13 goals, Chicarito returned from injury in early September and appears to be hitting his stride again with a goal or assist in his last three matches. 

Pick: Javier Hernandez (Chicarito) To Score (+130)

New York City FC vs D.C. United

Saturday October 23rd @ 7:30 pm, Yankee Stadium

BetPicks Best Bets

If there was ever a game that could end NYCFC’s run of poor form it would be this game. D.C. United’s away struggles have been plentiful this season and have been largely attributed to their poor defensive structure on the road. This is a perfect spot for New York’s offense to kickstart itself. They come into this game as heavy favourites at -163, so taking them straight up would not be worth it, however there is some value in this match. In both of their meetings this season the matches ended in 2-1 victories for NYCFC, I would expect both teams to tally on Saturday as well. Accordingly take NYCFC to win and both teams to score. 

Pick: NYCFC To Win/BTTS Yes (+225)

Austin FC vs Houston Dynamo

Sunday October 24th @ 5:00 pm, Q2 Stadium

BetPicks Best Bets

In a battle of Texas teams, Austin FC and the Houston Dynamo clash with pride on the line. These two teams have had disappointing seasons, but there is some serious value on this match. The Houston Dynamo are winless this season on the road, they have lost 9 of their 15 away matches and while Austin is not far from home, they will be in hostile territory against a plucky team who has played well at home as of late. Austin has beat the Galaxy and Real Salt Lake as of late, and while they lost to Minnesota United they were arguably the better side. Expect Austin to play inspired soccer and fight their way towards a victory. 

Pick: Austin To Win (+115)

Josh Saslove here, I am a passionate sports fan and have been consumed by sports for as long as I can remember. I have been a sports bettor for the past 4 years, starting out with betting on college basketball parlays. I currently write pieces for BetPicks, but have my own blog space as well, where you can find my past pieces. I am an avid fan of the Ottawa Senators, Toronto Raptors, Kansas City Chiefs and Toronto Blue Jays, so I know what it's like to cheer for the underdog. The 2017 ECF run by the Ottawa Senators and the Raptors 2019 NBA title are probably my fondest memories as a fan, as well of course the Chiefs Super Bowl win in 2020. I am also a big music fan and have been called Mac Miller by strangers on several occasions.

All Reviews by Josh Saslove

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2021 MLS Picks and Predictions

The MLS is one of the fastest growing sports leagues in the world as they have grown from 10 teams in 2004 all the way to 27 teams this season. This abundance of teams ensures that MLS action is almost always available to watch and bet on. We here at BetPicks provide expert MLS Picks and aim to provide only the Top Picks. Ranging from the winner of each game to goalscorers in particular games. This season is one of the most exciting and anticipated seasons yet as fans have returned to professional sports. Additionally as the MLS is not the most popular league in the world, sportsbooks can overlook certain games, which makes it easier for our Expert Picks as we find you value as a bettor.

What Makes A Great MLS Free Pick?

A great MLS pick is viewed in the long-term rather than the short-term. It is important to find a betting method that works for you. Statistics and trends are important, the betting method may not work the first time, but that does not mean the system is flawed. The important thing is long-term success. The aim is to provide you with an enjoyable MLS betting experience that is profitable in the long-term.

How Do We Create Our MLS Free Picks?

We here at BetPicks spend hours researching and watching the MLS. We are avid fans of the league and are up to date on the aforementioned statistics and trends that make up profitable MLS betting. Our analysis involves previous bets, performances, individual players’ impacts and much more. All in order to provide you with the best MLS betting experience possible.

What MLS Free Picks Do We Offer at BetPicks?

  • Full time result: 3-way moneyline bets. The bettor has the option to bet on either team winning the game or they can bet on a draw. The 3-way moneyline method is the most common type of betting in the MLS.
  • Handicaps: work as a spread does and typically range from 0.0 to 0.5, but can go even higher getting up to 1.0 or in rare circumstances 1.5 or higher. Handicap betting in soccer is more popular overseas.
  • Draw No Bet: You may see DNB being used when talking about the MLS, this is a “draw no bet”. Essentially you are betting on the selected team to win the game. however, if that team was to draw you would get a push rather than a loss. It eliminates the possibility of losing on a draw by giving you a push instead.
  • Totals: the amount of goals scored in the game by both teams combined. Typically an MLS total is set at 2.5 or 3 goals, with the league average for goals per match usually falling somewhere in between 2.5-3 goals. Total betting is a fun way to enjoy a game as you are not routing for a specific team, but either routing for the offense or defense.
  • Double Chance: Betting double chance essentially gives you the opportunity to select two outcomes of a 3-way moneyline and if either of those outcomes wins, then you win the bet. The odds on a double chance are almost always favourites, as you in essence have a 2/3 chance.
  • Correct Score: this type of market is exactly as it sounds – you are attempting to predict the exact score in a match. You can either choose to bet on the exact score with either team winning, you can bet on the exact score of a draw or you can bet on the exact score and a specific team winning. Correct score betting is fun as the odds are long, but you get to root for a very specific result.
  • Futures: Future picks in the MLS are pretty plain and simple. On most sportsbooks your two standard choices are betting on the MLS Cup winner and the Top Goalscorer. Future betting is a fun way to engage yourself long-term in a season and even grow fandom for a particular team or player.
  • Player props: typically pertain to the goalscorers. You can bet on an anytime goalscorer and get odds that range from +200 to +2500. You can also bet on the first goalscorer if you are looking for even crazier odds. Player props give you longshot odds, but give you something to root for that is independent from the match result.

How to Choose the Best MLS Free Pick For Me?

If you are a beginner in MLS betting keep it simple. Bet on single games and choose a full-time result or totals. Do not overcomplicate, give yourself one game to pay attention to at a time. Check our picks and feel free to do your own research. find an avenue that works for you. Once you are more experienced you can expand into parlays and prop betting.

Long-time bettors will feel more comfortable picking MLS games with established betting methods, but a second opinion always helps. That is what we are here to provide, take our analysis and cross-reference it with your own. See where you find similarities, if you love what you are reading that is likely a strong sign you should bet it.

Looking for many solid wins or one big win? Chasing that big win on a parlay is always attractive, but soccer can be so wild and unpredictable at times that it is not worth it. The real way to make profit betting on the MLS is to find a long-term strategy. Perhaps you have a really good feel on totals, so you should bet on it. Or maybe you know which games the team you root for will win or lose, it is your team after all, you know them best. Parlays are fun once in a while, but find a long-term betting strategy for success, leave the parlays as a casual throw-in or a low stakes bet.

MLS Betting Strategies

You should try to find value in everything you bet on in the MLS.

  • Do not bet on large favourites – I would not bet on anything with odds that pay less than -130. Large favourites can kill your bankroll, you must weigh the risk with the reward. If the risk outweighs the reward, the bet is not worth it. If you do not feel confident in something, then do not bet on it.
  • Parlays with DNB – If you enjoy betting on parlays that is fine, but I would typically look to bet parlays with DNBs as it is difficult to score three winners on a soccer weekend. Using DNBs hurts your value a bit, but it gives the possibility of a partial parlay win if two out of three teams win, and one draws.
  • Bet what you feel confident in – perhaps it is a +500 anytime goalscorer, do not be scared of the odds. If you are confident in something and have done your research, then you should ride with that confidence. We at BetPicks go through dozens of bets for each game and weigh, which one is a likely outcome, but also provide the bettor with value and sizable win.
  • If the game feels like a toss-up avoid the ML and look at totals – If you have a good feel for both teams and know it will be a tight game, then odds are you have an idea of what the goal total will be.

MLS Schedule 2021

The MLS season has 459 matches in it and sees each team play 34 games, 17 at home and 17 on the road. The Top 7 teams in each conference (Eastern/Western) make the playoffs, with the top seeded team in each conference earning a bye to their conference semifinals.

All teams are now playing out of their home stadiums, as the Canadian teams had begun their season playing entirely in the United States, because of Covid-19 restrictions. Here are some key dates to remember:

  • April 17th: 2021 season kick-off
  • August 20th-29th: The Heineken Rivalry Week.
  • August 25th: MLS All-Star game takes place, with the MLS All-Stars playing the Liga MX All-Stars.
  • November 7th: End of regular season (Decision Day)
  • November 19th: MLS Playoffs begin
  • December 11th: The MLS Cup is awarded and signals the ending of the MLS Season.

BetPicks will be covering the MLS from all the way up until the conclusion of the MLS Playoffs.

MLS 2021 Teams

Eastern Conference:

  • Atlanta United FC
  • CF Montreal
  • Chicago Fire
  • Columbus Crew
  • D.C. United
  • FC Cincinnati
  • Inter Miami
  • Nashville SC
  • New England Revolution
  • New York City FC
  • New York Red Bulls
  • Orlando City SC
  • Philadelphia Union
  • Toronto FC

Keep an Eye On:

  • New England Revolution: The Revolution have some of the best players in the MLS on their squad. Carles Gil, Gustavo Bou and Tajon Buchanan are just a few of the key members for the Revolution. Nobody moves the ball better than the New England whose offense is the most feared in the MLS.
  • New York City FC: Valentin Castellanos has grown into one of the premier MLS goalscorers, he and his teammates are flanked by the brilliant defense of Maxime Chanot. NYCFC frustrates opponents with brilliant team defense.
  • Nashville SC: In only their second year as an MLS club, Nashville SC have risen to the top of their conference, proving to be a talented team who can run with anyone. Hany Mukthar and CJ Sapong make up a dynamic duo up-front for Nashville SC.

Western Conference:

  • Austin FC
  • Colorado Rapids
  • FC Dallas
  • Houston Dynamo
  • Los Angeles FC
  • Los Angeles Galaxy
  • Minnesota United FC
  • Portland Timbers
  • Real Salt Lake
  • San Jose Earthquakes
  • Seattle Sounders FC
  • Sporting Kansas City
  • Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Keep an Eye On::

  • Seattle Sounders FC: Raul Ruidiaz netted 12 goals last season in just 17 games. The 31-year old is among the most prolific strikers in the MLS. The Sounders limit their opponents chances, consistently investing in terrific team defense, so as to limit their goalkeeper’s workload.
  • Sporting KC: One of the most exciting young players in the MLS is Sporting KC’s Daniel Salloi. After disappointing 2019 and 2020 campaigns, Salloi seems to have put those problems behind him and looks confident and focused. Sporting KC now look to return to their former glory when they won the MLS Cup in 2013.
  • Colorado Rapids: William Yarbrough after a tough first season with the Rapids has settled down and become one of the best goalkeepers in the MLS. The Rapids carry by far the most balanced attack, as they love to spread the ball around and have many finishers.

The Columbus Crew won last year’s MLS Cup defeating the defending champions, the Seattle Sounders 3-0 in the Final. The LA Galaxy are still the all-time leaders in wins both in the playoffs and regular season, they have also won a record 5 MLS Cups.

The MLS’ greatest goalscorer Chris Wondolowski is back for his 16th MLS season with 166 goals in his illustrious career. Landon Donovan, who once provided Wondolowski with many goals on the U.S. National team will see his assists record of 136 remain untouched this season. LA Galaxy’s Sacha Kljestan (the closest active player) still trails by over 40 assists.

Speaking of MLS legends, Colorado Rapids’ Drew Moor is approaching 35,000 minutes played in the MLS. The 37 year-old could move into the Top 5 with a long successful campaign.

The MLS still has older international talent like Nani and Javier Hernandez providing moments of brilliance but they also sport young/exciting players. Esequiel Barco, Tajon Buchanan and Luiz Araujo just to name a few. The MLS has never been more exciting and the league is playing at its highest level ever.

2021 playoffs Picks and Predictions

Unlike most North American sports the MLS Playoffs are single-game elimination, the stakes are high and the betting opportunities are plentiful. The MLS Playoffs is an exciting time to bet on Soccer, as well as before the Playoffs kick-off, as the race for the Playoff spots is heating up.

As we enter September, the season is about 2/3 done and the contenders and pretenders have been determined, but sitting in between those teams are the teams still trying to lock down a playoff spot. The MLS standings are razor tight and each game is vital to a team’s playoff aspirations. In my opinion this final third of the season is the best time to find value in MLS betting as desperation takes over and teams chasing a playoff berth will show tremendous underdog value.

During the playoffs you can continue to bet on three-way moneylines, but you can also place an alternative bet on who will advance of the two teams. This eliminates the possibility of losing your bet on a draw and can provide significant value to an underdog who may be playing for penalty kicks.

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