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MLS Week 23 Odds & Picks: Nashville SC vs NYCFC, Houston Dynamo vs Portland Timbers & More

Ryan Metivier

by Ryan Metivier in Soccer

Sep 3, 2021 · 7:18 AM PDT

MLS Week 23
Columbus Crew's Harrison Afful, second from right, dribbles between Nashville SC's Taylor Washington, left, and Dave Romney during the second half of an MLS soccer match Wednesday, July 21, 2021, in Columbus, Ohio. The game ended in a draw. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
  • MLS Week 23 takes places from September 3-4, 2021
  • Will the Houston Dynamo’s 15 match winless skid continue?
  • Read on for the odds and our best bets from MLS Week 23

MLS Week 23 features an abbreviated schedule of matches with four on Friday night and another five on Saturday which will take place during the international break.

That being said be sure to check the lineups ahead of this weekend’s matches as several teams will be missing some key players.

The late game on Saturday could have shaped up as a good one between LAFC and SKC. However, with Carlos Vela already injured, and now Diego Rossi being loaned out to Turkish club Fenerbahce, an already struggling LAFC squad could be lacking the horses. Brian Rodriguez, he of two goals last week in El Trafico, is also away with Uruguay.  A bet on SKC as big road dogs, even without leading goal-scorer Dániel Sallói (Hungary) could offer good value.

Let’s look ahead to the odds and best bets from the MLS Week 23 schedule below.

MLS Week 23 Odds

Matchup Home Draw Away
Nashville SC vs NYCFC +165 +220 +185
Philadelphia Union vs New England Revolution +190 +260 +140
Houston Dynamo vs Portland Timbers +105 +285 +240
LAFC vs Sporting KC +100 +275 +260
Vancouver Whitecaps vs Austin FC +115 +255 +235
Orlando City FC vs Columbus Crew -155 +310 +425
FC Cincinnati vs Inter Miami CF +135 +245 +205
Real Salt Lake vs FC Dallas +105 +275 +250
San Jose Earthquakes vs Colorado Rapids +150 +245 +185

Odds as of Sept 3 at DraftKings

Nashville SC vs NYCFC Prediction

Two of the East’s hottest teams meet at 7:30 pm EST Friday night to kick off MLS Week 23.

Nashville were 2-0 winners on the road to Atlanta last weekend. While NYCFC won 2-0 at home to the Supporters’ Shield leading New England Revolution.

In the past five rounds, both teams are 2-2-1 (WDL) with seven points. In the past ten rounds, each also has 17 points. New York is 5-2-3, while Nashville is 4-5-1.

Each of these teams have been extremely stingy defensively this season with Nashville conceding 20 times and New York just 19. That ranks at the top of the league, alongside the West’s Seattle (19) and Colorado (20).

At home at Nissan Stadium, Nashville is still yet to lose at 7-6-0. They’ve also conceded just 13 times in 13 matches. On the road, NYCFC has allowed only 11 goals in nine matches and owns the second-best xGA in the league at 10.1.

This one looks to be evenly matched and could end level.

Pick: Draw (+220)

Houston Dynamo vs Portland Timbers Prediction

The third of four Friday night MLS Week 23 matches sees Houston hosting Portland at 8:00 pm EST.

We expected plenty of goals in last week’s Portland game and instead, we got a 2-0 Timbers’ win and that second goal came in the 95′ minute. However, Seattle hit the woodwork or post on four occasions and had 12 corners, 16 attempts and five on target. They had every opportunity to score but it was just one of those nights.

Portland gives up the seventh-most shots on target in the league. From goals allowed, only Toronto’s 47 goals conceded is worse than Portland’s 39. That goes the same for their xGA of 39.1, only better than TFC’s 39.7. Last week’s road clean sheet was their first all season and it was rather deceiving, given Seattle’s chances.

Now the Dynamo aren’t exactly a team that will strike fear into anyone right now. They’re last in the West and are now winless in their past 15. Five of their past six games have resulted in losses after they fell 2-1 at home to Minnesota on Saturday. They have scored though in each of their past four. And at home, they’ve scored in nine of ten this season.

A win will surely come for Houston sooner or later, there’s too much parity in MLS for it to not. Or maybe it won’t. Or at least not yet. With a sputtering offense and a defense that has conceded multiple goals in six straight, it’s hard to back a Dynamo win. Houston will also be without the services of a number of players due to international call-ups. Adalberto Carrasquilla, Darwin Ceren, Maynor Figueroa, Boniek Garcia and Ariel Lassister are all away with their respective national teams.

It’s easy to back goals though. Timbers’ matches average the second-highest amount of goals-per-game in MLS at 3.2.

Three or more goals have been scored in five of six Dynamo matches. While eight of the past nine Timbers’ matches have seen both teams score.

This season the teams have already met twice. First a 2-1 win for Portland at home and then a 2-2 draw in Houston. Overall, both teams have scored in 15 of the last 18 meetings between the teams. In 12 of those 18, both have scored with at least three total goals. That’s also been the case in five of the past seven.

Portland could be a great upset pick at +240 odds. That looks like too big a number against this poor Dynamo team. But even if you want to play it safer there’s still value. Portland ‘Double Chance’ is at -120 or Portland ‘Draw No Bet’ is at +150. Unless you think Houston snaps their losing streak tonight, any of those options are good. I think Houston could at least get on the scoresheet though so backing goals is another likely outcome.

Pick: Both Teams to Score & Over 2.5 Goals (-120 at Bet365)

FC Cincinnati vs Inter Miami Prediction

Cincinnati, second-from-bottom in the East, hosts 11th place Inter Miami at 8:00 pm EST Saturday night.

FCC are bad, They have just three wins on the season and a -16 goal differential. Last Friday’s 3-2 loss to Columbus was their second straight defeat after a 4-1 loss to New England previously. It was also their 11th-straight game without a win.

Those two defeats though did come on the road. At home, Cincy has at the very least kept games close. They have five draws in eight home matches and all have come in their previous five home dates. Over those five home matches, their scores have read 2-2, 1-1, 0-0, 1-1 and 0-0. Overall, at home, they’ve scored just six, but have conceded only ten. The Under has cashed at a 6-2 rate as well during their home games.

Inter Miami may be only three wins and six points better than Cincinnati. but they have won three of five and have suffered just a single defeat in their past eight matches at 4-3-1. Last Friday they drew their Florida rivals Orlando City SC 0-0.

Road matches for Miami have been rather low-scoring. In fact, they are 7-2 to the Under on their travels. Each of their past six away games have cashed on the Under 2.5 total. Only two of those six reached two goals, while three had just one, to go along with Friday’s scoreless draw.

Inter Miami did win in Cincinnati (3-2) in the TQL Stadium opener back in May, but I see a lower scoring outcome this time around.

Pick: Under 2.5 Goals (-125)

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