- MLS Matchday 28 kicks off on Saturday, August 26 with a full slate of 13 games, followed by one standalone match on Sunday
- Inter Miami and Messi will start their pursuit of the playoffs in New York
- Get our top MLS picks and predictions for Week 28 below
MLS was back in action last weekend, but while we’ve all watched Lionel Messi completely transform Inter Miami over the past month, none of those games were in league play. This weekend in MLS Matchday 28, Messi and Inter Miami will travel to New York to face the Red Bulls as they try to mount an unlikely run at the MLS Cup Playoffs. We cover this and more in this weekend’s MLS predictions here.
MLS Odds Week 28
|Atlanta United vs Nashville SC
|CF Montreal vs New England Revolution
|Charlotte FC vs LAFC
|Columbus Crew vs Toronto FC
|DC United vs Philadelphia Union
|FC Cincinnati vs New York City SC
|New York Red Bulls vs Inter Miami CF
|Orlando City SC vs St. Louis City SC
|FC Dallas vs Austin FC
|Sporting Kansas City vs San Jose Earthquakes
|Real Salt Lake vs Houston Dynamo
|LA Galaxy vs Chicago Fire
|Portland Timbers vs Vancouver Whitecaps
|Minnesota United vs Seattle Sounders
This week’s MLS odds make Columbus huge favorites over Toronto FC at -250 odds, easily the most lopsided game of the slate. SKC at -150 at home to San Jose and Orlando at -134 at home to St. Louis are also heavily favored. The most likely draw looks to be on Sunday between Minnesota and Seattle at +230. Meanwhile, in his first MLS game, Messi and Miami are +180 underdogs on the road to the New York Red Bulls. Odds as of August 25 at Bet365.
See our Bet365 review to get all the info you need to start betting with one of the top books in the industry. And with legalized sports betting getting ready to launch in Kentucky in September, be sure to sign up at Bet365 Kentucky to get a great pre-registration bonus next week.
MLS Predictions Today Matchday 28
We have MLS picks for five of Saturday’s 13 games, plus another from the one MLS Week 28 game on Sunday between Minnesota and Seattle.
Columbus Crew vs Toronto FC Prediction
Way back in March these teams drew 1-1. But Columbus had won each of the previous three games by 2-1 scorelines. That makes ‘both teams to score’ bets 4-0 in their past four and 7-2 in their past nine head-to-heads.
Toronto was involved in a ‘both teams to score’ game this past weekend and actually scored two goals—the first time they had scored multiple goals in 11 games. It didn’t matter. It was another loss, their ninth straight across all competitions. This time, it was a 3-2 home loss to their rivals CF Montreal. Whether’s it’s MLS, Leagues Cup or the Canadian Championship, TFC are winless in 12 and have just one win in 18. Away from home in all competitions, they are 0-4-12 in their past 16.
Now they travel to Ohio to face the Columbus Crew who are fifth in the conference and fresh off a 3-0 win over Supporters’ Shield leaders FC Cincinnati. Columbus are 9-3-1 at home at Lower.com Field, the second-best home record in the league. The Crew have also scored in all but one game in MLS this season, whether they’ve been home or away.
The Crew have scored three or more goals in each of their past three games, multiple goals in five straight and multiple goals in 11 of 13 across all comps.
Anything other than a convincing Columbus win would be a big upset in the MLS picks here,
- MLS Predictions: Columbus -1.5 (+108); risk 1 unit at Bet365
New York Red Bulls vs Inter Miami Prediction
This one doesn’t need much explanation. The Red Bulls may have beaten Miami 1-0 earlier this season, but that was the old Miami that was (is) the worst team in the league.
New Miami, won the Leagues Cup, and is into the US Ope Cup Final after beating Supporters’ Shield winners Cincinnati in penalties after drawing 3-3 in the semifinals Wednesday.
New Miami has won eight straight, though three did go to extra-time or penalties. Still they’ve scored in every game, scored multiple goals in 7/8 games, won every game and Messi has scored in seven of those eight games. He had two assists on Wednesday.
Miami is a hard team to bet against right now. But if you want to make a case for the Red Bulls or at least for goals in this game instead of a Miami win in your MLS picks, you could look to the fact that New York has won 4/5. They went out in the Leagues Cup in the round of 16 in penalties to the Philadelphia Union. No shame there.
Red Bulls’ games have all also all been close going 15-9 to the Under this season and 4-1 recently to the Under, while keeping clean sheets in three of those five.
New York has scored in 10/11 across all comps and Miami, even with Messi has conceded in all of their road matches (8 goals in regulation in four games). They’ve also conceded in all but one road game this year in all comps, and that one clean sheet was versus USL side Birmingham. They also just went through two intense games, a Leagues Cup Final and US Open Cup Semifinal that both went the distance. So Miami certainly could have some fatigue and playing the high-pressing Red Bulls could cause some mistakes.
- MLS Predictions: Both Teams to Score (-150); 1 unit at Caesars Sportsbook
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 25, 2023
Atlanta United vs Nashville SC Prediction
Nashville took the earlier meeting this season 3-1 at home. Now the venue switches to Atlanta. In the short nine-game history between these teams, home teams are 4-3-1 in all competitions. Nashville has held the upper hand of late being 4-3-0 in the past seven.
The other betting trend here is that of goals in this matchup. In those nine games there have never been fewer than two goals scored. Both teams have scored in 7/9, in each of the past three and in 6/7. Bets on both teams scoring and the over 2.5 are also on 3-0 and 6-1 runs.
These teams are side-by-side in the standings, tied with 38 points, with Nashville sixth and Atlanta seventh.
The Yotes were in poor form heading into Leagues Cup with just one win six games but then went all the way to the final and came up just short to Messi and Miami losing in penalties. They’ll need to pick themselves up after that defeat and focus on making the MLS Cup Playoffs now. Their offense has a new look now with Sam Surridge joining during the tournament and scoring three goals to go along with two assists in four games.
The Five Stripes had just a single defeat in ten MLS games before dropping back-to-back 2-1 results entering Leagues Cup and then losing 4-0 and 1-1 (PK loss) to make a quick exit from the tournament.
They ended that four-game skid with a 2-0 road win in Seattle last week that saw Giorgos Giakoumakis score a brace to add to his team-leading 12 goals.
Across all comps in 2023 Atlanta has scored in 25 of 28 games. Their games have gone Over 2.5 goals at one of the highest rates in MLS this season at 17-8 and the 3.3 goals per match in their games is second-highest to only Columbus at 3.4.
MLS Predictions: Both Teams to Score (-145), risk 1 unit at Caesars Sportsbook
Real Salt Lake vs Houston Dynamo Prediction Prediction
It’s a quick rematch for these two teams who just saw each other in the US Open Cup Semifinals on Wednesday.
In that match, it looked to be heading into halftime level at 0-0 before Hector Herrera scored deep into first-half stoppage time. With Anderson Julio equaling for RSL in the 64′ and no more goals coming the rest of the way, the match headed to extra-time where Houston’s Adalberto Carrasquilla scored the eventual winner in the 105′ minute. RSL would take a red card in the 119′ and Houston added a third minutes later in the 125′ minute to ice the game 3-1. Overall, Houston dominated the shots 30-11 and shots on target 10-2.
Now we switch back to MLS where RSL are third in the West with 37 points and Houston are sixth with 32.
Last game we saw both teams playing in their more-favored situation. Houston, at home, where they’re 8-2-2, and RSL on the road, where they’re 6-3-3.
Neither excel in this weekend’s layout. Real Salt Lake at home are just 4-4-4 while Houston on the road are pitiful at 1-3-8 being outscored 23-7. That’s just this season. In their past 54 road games in MLS they have four wins. They have six wins in 75 road games.
In this season’s earlier meeting in MLS, the teams drew 0-0 in Houston. Across all comps, a road team hasn’t won the past 11 head-to-heads and only once in the past 18. RSL have scored at home versus Houston in each of their past six. RSL is also undefeated versus Houston in MLS play in 11 straight games.
The Dynamo overall are in good form with wins in four of five counting Leagues Cup. Their league game on the weekend was a 5-0 route of Portland. But all four of those wins came at home and the one loss? Yup, away from home to Charlotte.
RSL now have losses in three of four but none of those came in MLS. They were off last weekend as Hurricane Hilary postponed their match with the LA Galaxy. Prior to Leagues Cup they had ben undefeated in ten games. At home, with more rest, the altitude advantage and with revenge on their minds, I’m backing RSL for the win in this week’s MLS picks.
- MLS Predictions: Real Salt Lake Win (-120); risk 1 unit at Bet365
Sporting Kansas City vs San Jose Earthquakes Prediction
San Jose did something they rarely do last week and that was pick up a road win as they went to BC Place in Vancouver and came away 1-0 victors. This despite being outshot 19-3 in attempts and 8-1 in shots on target and losing the xG battle 1.7 – 0.6.
Prior to that win they had only one road win in 18, two in 28 and had conceded a goal in 25 of those 28 away games as well. That one win doesn’t change how poor those stats are. They’re still 2-4-6 on the road this season.
San Jose won the earlier meeting this season 3-0, but that one was in California.
Sporting KC haven’t been great this season, sitting 11th in the West. They have just two wins in all comps across their past ten. But they had been scoring. Coming into Leagues Cup they had scored multiple goals in four straight games. That continued in the first game of the tournament where they drew 3-3, before a 1-0 win and 4-1 loss. They’ll be rested having not played since that 4-1 loss to Toluca on August 4 and will be eager to close their playoff gap with all three points.
- MLS Predictions: Sporting Kansas City win (-145); risk 1 unit at Caesars Sportsbook
Minnesota United vs Seattle Sounders Prediction
Minnesota hosts Seattle in the standalone Sunday game at 4:30 pm EST.
The MLS standings will show Seattle as the better team here being fourth in the West with 36 points, while Minnesota is ninth with 31. But the form guide will show Minnesota has been performing better of late with 13 points to Seattle’s 10 in the last ten rounds, and ten points to Seattle’s seven in the past five.
It’s not a big difference, but the Loons did go into Leagues Cup on a high at 2-2-1. In the Leagues Cup they won 4-0, lost 3-2, drew 3-3 (PK win), drew 2-2 (PK win) and then lost 5-0 in the quarterfinals to Nashville after playing most of the game a man down. They came out of the Leagues Cup break going on the road beating NYCFC 2-0 last week.
So across all comps Minnesota is 6-2-3 in their past ten and have scored multiple goals in eight of those ten.
For Seattle, they had only won two of nine in MLS prior to Leagues Cup and didn’t last long in the tournament losing 3-0 to RSL and 4-2 to Monterrey. Last weekend they lost at home 2-0 to Atlanta back in league play. So it’s now two wins in 12 and four wins in 19 across all comps for the Sounders. They’ve also conceded multiple goals in five of six.
Seattle won 1-0 at home back in April and have held the advantage between the teams recently winning each of the past four, as well as historically being 11-1-1. I’m going against that trend here for my MLS picks as Minnesota looks to be clicking more right now and have more players in form with Emanuel Reynoso, Teemu Pukki and Bongo Hlongwane and won last week without any of them scoring.
- MLS Predictions: Minnesota to win (+115), risk 1 unit at Bet365
Before making this week’s MLS predictions, check out the top sports betting sites to get a great bonus for all of your MLS predictions today for Matchday 28 picks.