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MLS Week 3 Odds & Picks: Minnesota United Favored for Third-Straight Win

Ryan Metivier

by Ryan Metivier in Soccer News

Mar 11, 2020 · 8:48 PM PDT

MLS ball on the display before the Chicago Fire and Portland Timbers an MLS soccer match, Saturday, March 31, 2018, in Bridgeview, Ill. (AP Photo/Kamil Krzaczynski)
  • Week 3 of the MLS regular season kicks off this Saturday, March 14, 2020
  • Can Minnesota continue their high-scoring ways after scoring eight goals in two games?
  • Get the odds, analysis and best bets for MLS Week 3 below

MLS Week 3 kicks off Saturday afternoon with NYCFC hosting FC Dallas at 12:30 pm EST. This weekend features 12 matches taking place with both Montreal and LAFC not on the schedule for the weekend. Though neither team has won yet this season, all eyes will be on Inter Miami’s home debut in the league against the LA Galaxy.

Let’s take a look at the odds for all of this weekend’s matches and dive into a few best bets for MLS Week 3.

MLS Week 3 Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total
NYCFC -0.5 (-125) -125 O 3.0 (+110)
FC Dallas +0.5 (+105) +325 U 3.0 (-140)
Draw N/A +275 N/A
Team Spread Moneyline Odds Total
Inter Miami -0.5 (+110) EVEN O 3.0 (+105)
LA Galaxy +0.5 (-130) +235 U 3.0 (-125)
Draw N/A +265 N/A
Team Spread Moneyline Odds Total
Toronto FC -1.0 (-145) -245 O 3.0 (+110)
Nashville SC +1.0 (+120) +650 U 3.0 (-125)
Draw N/A +355 N/A
Team Spread Moneyline Odds Total
Columbus -0.5 (-145) -145 O 2.5 (-120)
Real Salt Lake +0.5 (+115) +355 U 2.5 (EVEN)
Draw N/A +280 N/A
Team Spread Moneyline Odds Total
Cincinnati -0.5 (+105) +105 O 2.5 (-145)
DC United +0.5 (-125) +240 U 2.5 (+110)
Draw N/A +260 N/A
Team Spread Moneyline Odds Total
Atlanta -0.5 (EVEN) EVEN O 3.0 (-105)
Sporting Kansas City +0.5 (-125) +245 U 3.0 (-115)
Draw N/A +265 N/A
Team Spread Moneyline Odds Total
Vancouver 0.0 (-120) +145 O 3.0 (+110)
Colorado 0.0 (EVEN) +170 U 3.0 (-140)
Draw N/A +235 N/A
Team Spread Moneyline Odds Total
Orlando 0.0 (-145) +125 O 3.0 (+110)
Chicago 0.0 (+110) +185 U 3.0 (-140)
Draw N/A +235 N/A
Team Spread Moneyline Odds Total
Philadelphia -0.5 (-135) -135 O 3.0 (-115)
San Jose +0.5 (+110) +310 U 3.0 (-105)
Draw N/A +295 N/A
Team Spread Moneyline Odds Total
Houston 0.0 (-125) +140 O 2.5 (-140)
Seattle 0.0 (+105) +175 U 2.5 (+110)
Draw N/A +235 N/A
Team Spread Moneyline Odds Total
New England -0.5 (-115) -115 O 3.0 (-110)
Portland +0.5 (-105) +270 U 3.0 (-110)
Draw N/A +290 N/A
Team Spread Moneyline Odds Total
Minnesota -0.5 (-110) -110 O 3.0 (-105)
NYRB +0.5 (-105) +270 U 3.0 (-115)
Draw N/A +280 N/A

All odds taken Mar. 11

Pick 1: Philadelphia Union vs San Jose Earthquakes

The Union play host to the Earthquakes Saturday night at 7:30 pm EST. It’s the home opener for the Union who were shut out 2-0 on the road to Dallas in Week 1, but played out a thrilling 3-3 draw in LA on Sunday night. Against LAFC, Philly took the lead three times, but each time LAFC fought back. The game took the early lead for “Game of the Year” and while this one may not match what we saw on Sunday, it should still provide entertainment.

San Jose will be disappointed to enter Week 3 with just a single point after opening with two home games. In Week 1 they drew 2-2 with Toronto, yet had fallen behind 2-0 and only drew level in the final moments of the game. Last week they turned in an embarrassing performance which saw them lose 5-2 to Minnesota.

While the season is young, the loss has continued a worrying trend for Earthquakes’ backers. Going back into last season they’ve now failed to win eight matches, losing seven. They’ve also allowed multiple goals in six of those eight games. However, they’ve also scored in six as well.

Union games were a virtual lock to have at least two goals last year at 33-1. Over 2.5 goals hit in 20/34 and BTTS cashed in 21/34.

For San Jose, two goals were scored in 29/34, Over 2.5 cashed in 26/34 and BTTS in 22/34 in 2019. Basically, their games have been goal fests. Let’s take a sample size of their past 20 in MLS. Of those, 13 have seen both teams score, while 14 have gone Over 2.5 goals.

These teams met once last season in September in San Jose which resulted in a 2-1 Union win. The Earthquakes were without all of Cristian Espinoza, Chris Wondolowski and head coach Matias Almeyda.

Recent form has seen Philly go 2-0-3 (WLD) vs San Jose, with scorelines of 2-1, 1-1, 2-2, 1-1, and 2-1. I expect that trend to continue and for the Union to pull out the home win.

Pick(s): Philadelphia win (-135), Philadelphia over 1.5 goals (-170), both teams to score and over 2.5 goals (-115)

Pick 2: Minnesota United vs New York Red Bulls

Last week I strongly considered a longshot bet on Minnesota United on the road to San Jose as nearly 3-1 underdogs. Their 3-1 road win over Portland in Week 1, coupled with a shaky come-from-behind draw for San Jose at home to Toronto made the Loons look enticing. Winning on the road is tough though and not wanting to be a prisoner of the moment reacting to Week 1 only, I passed. This week I won’t.

The Loons have now won 3-1 and 5-2 on the road this year. On Sunday, March 15, they close out the weekend schedule as -110 favorites at home to the New York Red Bulls.

Minnesota were impressive in Week 1, playing a strong counter-attacking style in their win over Portland. Last week they had the game won by halftime at 4-1 in San Jose. For the second week in a row they didn’t hold much possession, but it didn’t matter as they scored five times on ten shots on target. They currently lead the league in goals with eight and each of Kevin Molino, Luis Amarilla and Ike Opara have two goals each. In their home opener, the Loons will be looking to carry on from last year’s success where they turned Allianz Field into a fortress, losing just once.

The Red Bulls didn’t add much to their roster this offseason but have made it through the opening two weeks undefeated. However, a closer look may tell a slightly different story. Week 1 saw them defeat last year’s bottom side FC Cincinnati. But while New York looked well in control for the first half at 2-0, FCC got themselves into the match in the second half. They still lost 3-2, but overall held more possession and only had one fewer shot on target than New York.

Last week the Red Bulls traveled to Salt Lake where they scored early (13′ minute) and held onto that lead all the way til stoppage time when Damir Kreilach finally drew RSL level in the 91st minute. I say “held onto” the lead, because outside of that early goal, New York offered little else offensively. The goal was one of only two shots on target for them in the match. RSL held the advantage in attempts (21-4), on target (5-2), possession (63.3%) and most notably in xG at 3.96 to 0.18. Some better finishing by RSL could’ve seen things get ugly for the Red Bulls on Saturday.

With the way Minnesota has been playing so far, they’re likely to be less wasteful with their chances. While the Red Bulls won the first two meetings with Minnesota when the Loons were historically bad, last year Minnesota were 2-1 winners at Red Bull Stadium. Look for the all-time head-to-head series to be even by the end of the weekend.

Pick: Minnesota win (-110)

Pick 3: Toronto FC Win & Seattle to Score (2-Game Parlay)

For my money, this looks like a pretty straight-forward parlay for this weekend. It won’t return a huge payout, but at -128 odds you’re still getting nearly an 80-percent return on investment.

Toronto are undefeated at 1-0-1 this season and were moments away from being 2-0-0. They gave up a 2-0 lead in San Jose in Week 1, capped by a game-tying free kick in stoppage time. Then last week, they were 1-0 winners at BMO Field over fellow MLS Cup contenders NYCFC. New York finished first in the East last season and openly stated they were looking for revenge over TFC for last year’s playoff loss. In the end, it didn’t matter as New York put just three shots on target.

Expansion side Nashville SC will face a tall order to leave BMO Field with points on Saturday at 4:00 pm EST. Nashville wasn’t dealt an easy start in MLS, hosting Atlanta United in Week 1 and traveling to Portland last weekend. They did manage to score their first goal vs Atlanta in a 2-1 losing effort but were shut out 1-0 in Portland.

Despite the loss, Nashville more than held their own, holding more possession and finishing with more attempts (14-3) and shots on target (4-2) than Portland. They also attempted 34 crosses compared to the Timbers 11. That’s not to say those were all great scoring chances, but it does illustrate their ability to compete. The difference in the game came from a moment of brilliance from Diego Valeri scoring a volley early in the 12′ minute.

The Timbers have been very inconsistent of late and have struggled at home but their edge in offensive talent proved to be the difference. Toronto have been very consistent and also boasts a stable of attacking talents. They have just one loss in their past 16 MLS matches and that came in MLS Cup. Anything less than three points for TFC will be a shock result.

When it comes to Houston vs Seattle at 8:30 pm EST Saturday, it’s hard not to consider some sort of play on the Sounders. At +190, Seattle could even be considered a great value play on the moneyline. They looked a little shaky Week 1 but still prevailed at home 2-1 over Chicago with two second-half Jordan Morris goals. Last week they again left it late but remained undefeated with a 1-1 draw against Columbus. Though that one goal did only come through a Raul Ruidiaz 79′ minute PK.

The Dynamo earned a point Week 1 vs LA Galaxy (1-1) but didn’t look overly impressive. Then last week had their doors blown off in a 4-0 route to Sporting Kansas City in a game that was 2-0 just 26′ minutes in.

Houston are generally strong at home (10-3-4 last year), but Seattle won each meeting 1-0 last season. The Sounders have also won each of the past seven head-to-meetings. Betting them to simply score once in this game looks like a no-brainer.

Pick: TFC win & Seattle to score (-128)

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