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MLS Week 12 Picks: Red Bulls Host Atlanta in Eastern Finals Rematch

Daniel Royer of NYRB
Daniel Royer leads the Red Bulls with two goals and three assists this season. By @Gtrth07 (Twitter)
  • Week 12 of the MLS season continues this weekend
  • Can Atlanta win six-straight?
  • Will SKC’s struggles continue?

Major League Soccer’s Week 12 schedule continues with 11 matches this weekend on May 18-19, 2019.

We take a look at a few of the top matches from the MLS Week 12 slate and provide some expert betting advice.

New York Red Bulls vs Atlanta United Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Odds at Bovada Total
New York 0.0 (-130) +140 O 3.0 (+120)
Atlanta 0.0 (+110) +185 U 3.0 (-145)
Draw N/A +245 N/A

*Odds taken May 16, 2019

Red Bulls Look to Avenge Eastern Finals Loss

When the New York Red Bulls host Atlanta United on Sunday, May 19, 2019 at 5:00 pm EST, they’ll do so with a certain amount of revenge on their minds.

The Red Bulls had an incredible year in MLS in 2018 and set several records along the way to their Supporter’s Shield-winning season.

New York failed to capitalize on a season which saw them record a historic 71 points when they crashed out of the Eastern Conference finals at the hands of the eventual champs Atlanta.

A 1-0 home win in the second leg of their conference finals tie, was not enough to overturn an earlier 3-0 road loss at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Putting themselves in that large a hole after leg one was even more shocking given they had yet to lose to Atlanta in the previous four head-to-heads.

During the 2018 regular season, New York won 3-1 on the road and 2-0 at home. New York owns a 4-1-1 overall record against Atlanta, with that lone defeat costing them a trip to the finals last year.

New York owns a 4-1-1 overall record against Atlanta, with that lone defeat costing them a trip to the finals last year.

The Red Bulls have shown some Supporter’s Shield hangover to begin 2019 and currently find themselves just ninth in the East at 4-5-2. They are six points behind Atlanta in third. However, things may be turning around for New York with wins in three of their past four.

With three games in eight days last week, head coach Chris Armas dramatically rotated his lineup last Saturday in Dallas by switching out 10/11 usual starters. While Dallas held nearly 65-percent of the possession, it was New York which prevailed with a 3-1 win.

The Red Bulls should be well-rested come Sunday having not played any mid-week matches. Unlike Atlanta, who already played home to Orlando on Sunday and then away to Vancouver Wednesday.

While Atlanta seems to have turned things around after a slow start of their own, a closer look may yet still show a team struggling to adjust in 2019. No one can argue with five-straight wins after Wednesday’s 1-0 triumph in Vancouver. Though wins over New England and Colorado during this run would have been expected.

Wins over Sporting KC and Toronto are good, yet both teams used heavily-rotated lineups in those matches. Their win over the Nani-less Orlando, very well could have gone differently. Orlando had more than their share of chances in the match but were unable to finish.

Road wins will be taken any way you can get them, but Wednesday’s was decided by a Whitecaps’ error resulting in an early penalty.

Red Bulls exact some measure of revenge at a solid price of +140.

Best Bet: New York Red Bulls win (+140)

Sporting Kansas City vs Vancouver Whitecaps Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Odds at Bovada Total
Sporting Kansas City -1.0 (-145) -235 O 3.0 (-120)
Vancouver +1.0 (+120) +550 U 3.0 (EVEN)
Draw N/A +270 N/A

Sporting Spiralling

It’s not too often I’m a strong advocate for betting road teams in MLS, however, odds of +550 on the travelling Whitecaps look quite appealing. Vancouver will travel to Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday, May 18, 2019 at 8:30 pm EST.

Sporting Kansas City were once considered one of the top contenders in the West. After a decent start to both the MLS season and the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL), things were looking good. A 7-1 home win to Montreal on March 30 proved to be the calm before the storm though.

Sporting are currently riding a two-game losing streak, have lost three of four and have been outscored 25-10 since their win over Montreal.

SKC have yet to taste victory since, having been blown away by Monterrey in the CCL and failing to win in their past six MLS matches.

Sporting are currently riding a two-game losing streak, have lost three of four and have been outscored 25-10 since their win over Montreal.

Injuries and call-ups have no doubt played a part in SKC’s struggles, causing them to cancel practices and fail to dress the minimum amount of bench players recently. However, there’s just no way I’m laying -235 on a team with zero wins in eight matches.

Vancouver have not exactly been the talk of the league themselves, and at 3-3-6 are just eighth in the West with 12 points, yet, two points above 11th place Sporting.

The Whitecaps are going through a full rebuild this season, to the point where they are basically an expansion team with the amount of new faces now playing on Canada’s west coast.

Vancouver have been fighting strong though for new coach Marc Dos Santos and generally find themselves in most games. While they failed to win until their seventh match, the win did come against league-leading LAFC. Prior to Wednesday’s 1-0 loss to Atlanta, they had only lost one of six.

I’d look into the double chance market and bet a draw or Whitecaps win.

Best Bet: Vancouver double chance (+175)

MLS Week 12 Parlay Bet

The Philadelphia Union are one point off first in the East and have the second-most overall goals in MLS with 23. They’ve scored in all but two matches this season and have never failed to score at home. Philly will play home to Seattle on Saturday at 7:30 pm EST against a Sounders club fresh off a 2-1 home win to Orlando on Wednesday.

Seattle welcomed the return of Raúl Ruidíaz who scored early in the first half. Unfortunately, they also saw Jordan Morris limp off later in the game with a hamstring injury.

The Sounders have scored in all but one match this season, and both teams have found the back of the net in six of their past seven. Bet on goals Saturday night.

I’ll look to tie that outcome into the Houston Dynamo vs DC United match later that evening at 8:30 pm EST. Both sides played Wednesday night so could be suffering from fatigue. Though Houston a least were at home to Portland (tied 1-1), while DC were travelling in Toronto (also tied 0-0).

The Dynamo have yet to lose at home this season at 5-2-0, having scored 13, compared to allowing seven. DC is respectable on the road at 3-2-1, but have only scored six times. On Wednesday, though they did rest some starters, they were badly outplayed by Toronto. However, without the injured Jozy Altidore, TFC lacked the ability to finish their chances.

DC can keep things tight but they won’t outscore Houston in BBVA Compass Stadium.

Parlay Bet: Philadelphia vs Seattle – both teams to score / Houston Dynamo – double chance (-120)

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