By Garrett Hinners
MLS is on a short week with just about everyone playing midweek. That can make for a
selection dilemma for the managers and, in turn, for bettors. On top of that, playoff races are
entering the final turn as there are only four matches left. I’m going to rely even more on hard
numbers this week than usual as MLS managers are a unique breed and it’s very difficult to
project their lineups in these situations. NYCFC vs DC United is one such playoff race and is the
target game for the banker this weekend and I’m sticking with a spot that’s been very profitable
NYCFC play their home games at Yankee stadium, and it makes things very interesting for road
teams. NY has an undeniable home field advantage there with an 8-3-3 record and a +17-goal
differential. To further highlight this advantage, they are anywhere from -160 to -170 at the time
of writing this article and this is a team who has not won in six straight matches and only one in
their last ten. Additionally, the over has not hit in their last six matches. Just a putrid run of form
for a team as talented and attacking as this NYCFC team is. I cannot play a Money Line with
that much juice combined with the form, though. Instead, I’m looking at the total.
DC United sit seventh and the final playoff spot in the East and one play that’s been a cash cow
this season the over when they are on the road. Their away o/u record is 10-4-1 as they have
the third worst goals conceded total in the Eastern conference with 30 in 15 matches. However,
they do have a healthy 1.45 expected goals (xG) for when on the road. NYCFC continues to
have one of the highest expected goal totals in the entire league and they are their best when at
home with a 2.05 xG. New York’s o/u record at home is an average 7-7 with a lot of those totals
being much closer to 3 or a little over that, but Vegas has their total for this match at a very
Given the trends on the road and the deeper analytics of both teams I will be playing the over
2.5 at -125. This is a very favorable line given the talent that NYCFC possesses and DC United
have shown they can score on anyone and be scored on by anyone.
For a parlay play, I’m sticking to totals again this week. Nashville SC is traveling to Philadelphia
with both teams having played midweek and most of the key players going a full 90 minutes.
There is bound to be a little rotation here and I love getting under three as a solid parlay leg.
Union’s o/u record at home is 4-9-2 while Nashville have an impressive under record of 4-10.
Both teams have not quite clinched playoff berths yet, but they are sitting at two and three in the
standings and there is no need to expose themselves here.
The other leg is going to be an over two in the Inter Miami vs FC Cincinnati game. Cincinnati is
coming off a thrilling seven goal game midweek and both teams are extremely leaky in these
home/away splits. Inter has conceded 31 goals in 15 home games for a -11-goal differential and
Cincinnati a staggering 38 goals conceded in the same amount of games away for -19
differential. Their o/u records respectively are 11-4 and 10-4-1. This is honestly a game where
I’ll probably be on the over 2.5 as a single bet as well, but with the over 2 in the parlay i have a
little push protection. Both the Philly under and the Miami over together should get you a price
around +109 and with these stats I love getting plus money here.
BANKER: New York City vs. DC United Over 2.5 goals at -125 (1.8)
Parlay: Philadelphia Union vs. Nashville SC Under 3 goals + Inter Miami vs. FC Cincinnati Over
2 goals at +109 (2.09)