Adam Chernoff - MLS Week Four

6 min


My football betting background comes from South America where the top talent plays overseas, and only a handful of domestic clubs may have stars talented enough to get the international call-up. This week is the first time I have priced markets where each club is affected by global friendlies.

Due diligence is at a premium.

Despite a couple of significant market shifts, the model generated prices which were remarkably accurate for a third week in a row.

Here are all of the projected scorelines for the six matches this weekend:

New England v New York City

Dallas v Portland

Columbus v DC United

New York Red Bulls v Minnesota

Colorado v Sporting Kansas City

Vancouver v LA Galaxy

The New England v New York City market has been quite stable all week. New England opened at 2.52 and currently sits at 2.50. The model suggests a price of 2.18 creating an edge to lean on.

New York City has won the first three weeks out of the gate but have been fortunate to do so.

Their expected goals for tally is just 3.90, more than two full goals shy of their actual mark of 6. The +2.10 xG differential is second highest in the league. Add in the fact that they will be without four starters (two to international duty and two to injury); this club is overpriced for the first time this season and ripe to fade.

The big pricing standout this weekend is Columbus. The model projects a price of 1.39 (71.98% implied probability), a significant edge at the current market price of 1.58.

The advantage arguably gets bigger considering that DC United is without eight players (five to international duty and two to injury) compared to Columbus who will be missing only two.

The market bouncing back and forth is due to Columbus missing Zack Steffen, one of the best goalkeepers in the league.

He has started the last 37 matches. DC United is one of the worst defensive clubs on the road, and only three clubs have allowed more shots against this season. The model projects plenty of scoring opportunities for the home side and I will back the short price expecting them to play to their offensive potential.

Colorado v Kansas City is the second match of the season where the model has generated a draw price lower than the market draw price. Last week was the first (winner with DC United v Philadelphia). Kansas City sits +2.70 actual goals higher than their expectancy. There is no better place for their attack to cool off than the thin air in Commerce City (1,574m above sea level). I am tempted to back the under with the draw, but the market has already shifted (1.90 to 1.60).

Draws are so few and far between in this league, (20% draw rate), and the 1×2 markets rarely adjust in time when the O/U market moves. A lot of overlay sits in the current price of 3.30 which should be closer to the model projection of 2.93.

The model projects a significant edge on Vancouver, but the market has shifted considerably (2.00 to 1.60). This is due to Los Angeles travelling without eight starters and potentially missing two more. Vancouver will be without Watson and Kamara, their two biggest assets. Way too many question marks for me to be involved in this match.

I will go with three wagers and look for a third consecutive winning week:

  • New England 2.50
  • Columbus 1.58
  • Colorado Kansas City Draw 3.30 (half stake)

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