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MLS Week 19 Picks: Cali Clasico, New York & 401 Derbies Highlight Weekend

San Jose Earthquakes Cali Clasico
The San Jose Earthquakes defeated LA Galaxy 3-0 in the last edition of the Cali Clasico. Photo By @fanly_sjquakes (Twitter)
  • Week 19 of the MLS season continues this weekend with 11 matches
  • Can the LA Galaxy avenge a 3-0 defeat to San Jose in the Cali Clasico?
  • The rivalries continue with Montreal hosting Toronto in the 401 Derby and New York Red Bulls hosting New York City FC in the New York Derby

Week 19 in the Major League Soccer season begins Friday, July 12, 2019 with 11 matches taking place across the weekend. With every team now having played at least 17 games, we are officially at the halfway mark of the season.

We take a look at a few of the top games from the MLS Week 19 slate and provide some expert betting advice.

Vancouver Whitecaps vs Sporting Kansas City Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Odds at Bovada Total
Vancouver 0.0 (+120) +190 O 2.5 (-140)
SKC 0.0 (-145) +130 U 2.5 (+115)
Draw N/A +250 N/A

*All odds taken July 12, 2019

Value On Whitecaps?

I bet these games every week and rarely do you see a home underdog. It’s even rarer to find a home dog paying nearly 2-1 odds. But that’s exactly what we have here with the Vancouver Whitecaps who’ll be hosting Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night at 10:00 pm EST.

I originally saw the Caps at +200 odds on the moneyline. That’s since come down to +190. True, the Caps have one win in their past nine matches. They were also just blown away last week to LAFC to the tune of 6-1. They also could only manage a 0-0 draw to Cavalry of the CPL in Canadian Championship play on Wednesday.

Across all competitions SKC have just three wins in 18 matches.

Thing is, they’re playing a team in Sporting Kansas City that isn’t much better. Across all competitions SKC have just three wins in 18 matches. They have just two wins in their past eight. However, one of those did come in a home win (1-0) to Chicago last week.

These sides played once this year with Vancouver scoring the tying goal in the 94′ minute to come away from Kansas City with a 1-1 draw.

Perhaps SKC are turning things around and Vancouver’s odds fall into the “trap bet” category. Or perhaps near 2-1 odds on the home Caps is a steal. Either way, from a value perspective, a half unit play on Vancouver at +190, or if you want to play it safer and include a double chance (-250) Vancouver bet into a parlay looks good to me.

For the purposes of a best bet though, these teams could very well draw once again. They are separated by two points in the West and the Whitecaps are tied for the most draws in the league with eight. That result has occurred in five of their past eight for Vancouver.

Best Bet: Draw (+250)

MLS Week 19 Parlay Bets

With several close matches on the card this weekend, I’ll look to put together a couple parlay bets.

Parlay Bet 1: Houston vs LAFC & LA Galaxy vs San Jose

If there’s a game this weekend that looks like it should feature goals, this has to be one of them. A straight bet on both teams to score certainly won’t return much, but if you’re looking for a high-percentage small payout, I wouldn’t oppose it.

Houston Dynamo vs LAFC Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Odds at Bovada Total
Houston 0.0 (-145) +120 O 3.0 (-125)
LAFC 0.0 (+120) +185 U 3.0 (+105)
Draw N/A +280 N/A

It would be foolish to ever expect LAFC to not find the scoresheet. They have a plus-34 goal differential on the year and are on pace to break all sorts of league records.

Only three times all year have they failed to score a goal in a match. Their past two MLS matches saw them win 6-1 and 5-1. And while keeping clean sheets on the road is nothing new for LAFC (they’ve done it three times), Houston may not be the team for them to record the fourth against.

Firstly LAFC will likely be suffering some fatigue in this match as they are coming off a Wednesday night match in the US Open Cup quarterfinals where they lost 1-0 to the Portland Timbers at home. Head coach Bob Bradley has already stated he plans to field a rotated lineup. “You’ll see different guys on the field on Friday. It’s impossible to play that kind of game tonight and something like 40 hours [later], step on the field in Houston,” he said.

You’ll see different guys on the field on Friday. It’s impossible to play that kind of game tonight and something like 40 hours [later], step on the field in Houston. ~ LAFC head coach Bob Bradley

Houston have been off since last Saturday where they fell on the road to newcomers FC Cincinnati.

But at home they are a different beast. The Dynamo are undefeated at home at 7-3-0, have scored in every match and have outscored opponents 20-9. As long as LAFC’s depth players can step up and find a goal, both teams should find the back of the net.

LA Galaxy vs San Jose Earthquakes Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Odds at Bovada Total
LA -0.5 (EVEN) EVEN O 3.0 (-125)
San Jose +0.5 (-120) +235 U 3.0 (EVEN)
Draw N/A +270 N/A

Under interim coach Mike Lappier, the San Jose Earthquakes have rebounded from a slow start to find themselves now sixth in the Western Conference and among the playoff conversations.

In 19 matches, they have both scored 30 goals and allowed 30 goals. Three of those goals scored game against this very same LA Galaxy squad as recently as June 29.

There, at home, the Earthquakes were 3-0 winners in front of a record crowd of over 50,000 fans. On Friday, at 11:00 pm EST, the two sides will meet again, this time in Los Angeles.

San Jose won 1-0 at home to RSL last weekend. It was their third win in four matches. They’ve lost just once in MLS play in their past eight. They’ve also found the scoresheet in each of their past 12 matches overall. San Jose should be bolstered by the return of Harold Cummings and Nick Lima from the Gold Cup.

Though LA will be welcoming back a couple of Gold Cup champions and key parts to their team they were missing in the first match. Jonathan dos Santos and Uriel Antuna should be back in the lineup after winning the Gold Cup with Mexico.

Parlay Bet: Houston vs LAFC both teams to score & LA Galaxy vs San Jose both teams to score (+109)

Parlay Bet 2: Montreal vs Toronto & New York Red Bulls vs New York City FC

It’s the biggest rivalry in Canada and one of the biggest in the league that goes down Saturday at 7:30 pm EST. Known as the 401 Derby, Montreal will host Toronto FC for the first time this season.

Montreal Impact vs Toronto FC Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Odds at Bovada Total
Montreal 0.0 (-130) +135 O 2.5 (-120)
Toronto 0.0 (+110) +175 U 2.5 (-105)
Draw N/A +235 N/A

The home team has won each of the last four between these two, with both teams winning twice. Last year Montreal won the season series with 1-0 and 2-0 home wins, while TFC won 3-1 at BMO Field.

It’s Montreal who hold the edge in the Eastern standings right now with 30 points, sitting in fourth place. Toronto have just 23 points, though have played two less games.

The Impact have seen mixed results of late. They’ve both won and lost two of their past four MLS matches. Last weekend they lost 3-2 at home to Minnesota. On Wednesday they drew 2-2 on the road to York9 in the Canadian Championship. That was the fifth straight match both teams have scored in an Impact match. It’s a result which has cashed in eight of their past nine matches.

TFC’s hot start to the year has kept them afloat, and they cling perilously to the seventh and last Eastern playoff spot. They’ve been slumping hard of late with just one win in 11. Ouch. Last week against the Galaxy, they had plenty of chances but failed to score and succumbed to two late Zlatan Ibrahimovic goals to lose 2-0. Struggling as they are, TFC have at least found the back of the net in five of seven.

Saturday should also see a slew of reinforcements return or join the TFC lineup. Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and new signing Omar Gonzalez all return from the Gold Cup. New Venezuelan signing Erickson Gallardo, along with the newly traded for Patrick Mullins could also be available for selection.

If there’s a time for TFC to break out of their slump, it’s this weekend.

New York Red Bulls vs New York City Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Odds at Bovada Total
NYRB -0.5 (+110) +110 O 3.0 (-110)
NYC +0.5 (-130) +215 U 3.0 (-110)
Draw N/A +260 N/A

Separated by just one point in the Eastern Conference, the New York Derby goes down Sunday evening in Harrison, New Jersey when the Red Bulls host their cross-city rivals NYCFC.

Both teams are coming off big matches. The Red Bulls escaped Atlanta with a 3-3 draw last weekend. Atlanta took a 3-2 lead in the 91′ minute, before Bradley Wright-Phillips scored for New York just two minutes later in the dying moments of the match.

New York City played midweek in US Open Cup (USOC) action where they were eliminated in penalties by Orlando. They were down 1-0 near the hour mark, but a Maxi Moralez goal deep into stoppage time at 96′ extended the match.

It’s the first match between these two this year, but in 2018 they played four times. The Red Bulls won 4-0 twice, once in MLS, once in the USOC and both at home. City won 1-0 and drew 1-1 in their home matches, both in MLS.

Across 14 meetings all-time in all competitions, the road team has only won three times.

With City likely suffering some fatigue from going all the way to penalties midweek, I’ll side with the red side of New York this week.

Parlay Bet: Montreal & Toronto both teams to score & New York Red Bulls win (+246)

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