MLS Weekend BANKER and Parlay: Betting Picks and Predictions


By Garrett Hinners

The MLS congested schedule continues, and the playoff race is tight. I’ve got my eye on a plus money
play in Atlanta for this week’s banker so let’s dive in…

Atlanta bolstered their roster during the transfer window by bringing in the talented Luiz Araujo from
Lille and I’m on record saying this guy could win a MVP award if he sticks around in the MLS for a few
seasons. He’s been incredible with two goals and three assists in his last four games. Araujo partnered
with Martinez, who has missed most of October due to injury, is a nasty pair to have to deal with for any
team. Atlanta have been a fortress this season at home only losing three games so far there. They’re
getting a mouthwatering matchup vs the very depressing Toronto FC.

For Toronto the season cannot end soon enough. They are the worst road team in the Eastern
Conference and going to Atlanta is a tough place to try to turn around your away form. Toronto have
conceded 38 goals in 16 road games and only netted 14. Toronto is in an interesting spot here as this
will be game 5 of a 6-game stretch over 19 days. A lot of soccer in a short amount of time for one of the
oldest rosters in the MLS. The final game of this portion of a compacted schedule is a semifinal match vs
Pacific FC in the Canadian Championship. This tournament represents the only chance Toronto have of
winning anything this season and I’m willing to bet (literally) that the starting eleven that face Atlanta
will not be Toronto’s best.

So, how am I attacking this game? Atlanta’s moneyline is juiced and, while it could be a decent parlay
piece, I’m trying to maximize my play without increasing the variance. Atlanta United have kept a clean
sheet in 44 percent of their home games this season and both teams to score has only hit at 38 percent
inside the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. On the flip side Toronto is hitting both teams to score at 56 percent
while on the road, but I think some player rotation in the lineup is going to play a role here. I see Atlanta
trying to play a very sound game defensively as only 3 points separate them, in sixth place, from ninth.
Only seven teams in the Eastern Conference will make the playoffs so every point from these final three
games of the season is crucial.

Given how stout Atlanta is at home and the possibility that Toronto may be looking forward to the
match with Pacific, I think both teams to score “no” is sitting at excellent value with a +128 price tag
currently.

The parlay for this week is straight forward. I am taking Philadelphia Union moneyline (-275) as they face
another bad road team in Cincinnati FC. Philly have a home record of 10-3-3 while Cincy’s away form is
just the opposite at 3-3-10. Philadelphia are sitting in third right now, but cannot take their foot off the
gas with seventh place DC United still within striking distance. I am pairing this with the tried and trusted
alternate under in a Nashville SC road game. Nashville over/under record when away is 5-11. These
games have only gone over 2.5 goals in 31 percent of their games. They face off against Orlando City and
neither team is going to want to drop points, or form, as the regular season winds down. I’m going with
an alternate total here at under 3.5 (-300) which gives me a parlay price of -123. That’s a price I cannot
pass up given the circumstances and stats surrounding both legs.

Banker: Atlanta United vs. Toronto FC: Both Teams to Score “No” at +128 (2.28)

Parlay: Philadelphia Union ML vs. FC Cincinnati + Orlando City vs. Nashville FC under 3.5 at -125 (1.8)

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