By Garrett Hinners
It’s Decision Day in MLS this weekend. Playoff spots are up for grabs and some races are incredibly tight.
There could be goals galore as caution is thrown to the wind in winner take all matches. I’m eyeing a
total for the banker this week so let’s dive in…
NYCFC have had one of the best expected goals (xG) all season. They’re at home this weekend vs
Philadelphia Union and at home they have an xG of 2.13. That’s 2.13 expected goals a game, a great
number. New York is still fighting for a top 4 spot which would guarantee them at least one home game
in the playoffs.
Castellanos, their leading striker and currently the MLS Golden Boot front runner at 18 goals, should
start as he looks to solidify that accolade in the last game of the season. NYCFC has everything to play
for on Sunday and I don’t expect much rotation.
On the opposite side of the pitch is Philadelphia. Their away matches this season have been high scoring
with an away xG of 1.62 but they also have an expected goals allowed (xGA) of 1.66 on the road. They
have locked up a top four spot already, but I don’t expect heavy rotation here against a team in NY who
has so much success at home. Any chance to limit that home access would behoove anyone who had to
play NYCFC in the playoffs.
Road teams historically have struggled play at Yankee stadium, home of MLB’s New York Yankees, where
NYCFC play their home games. If you have not seen a game played there before it has the absolute
smallest dimensions, I’ve ever seen for a football match.
Looking at book lines, both teams to score is a juiced -165 so I’d expect Philly to net 1. Based on NYCFC’s
xG and Philly’s xGA I think it’s a solid bet that NY score two goals, this is also a juiced -145. I see at least
2-1 here, so my banker for this weekend’s slate is:
BANKER: Philadelphia Union vs. New York City FC Over 2.75 at -115
I love this price for what I see as the most probable outcome.
For a parlay play I love taking Columbus Crew moneyline and parlaying with Toronto FC o2 at near even
The Crew are in the playoff hunt going up against a Chicago Fire team whose season is already over. It
was announced late Wednesday night that the Fire will not be bringing back six starters for next year
and that they’ll field a relatively young and inexperienced starting IX for this match.
I think Toronto also fields a fairly young team. This plays well into the hands of DC United who still have
an outside shot of making the playoffs. I have ridden DC United road-overs all season long and this is a
great spot for DC to expose a youthful Toronto side. United have their own defensive frailties on the
road so Toronto netting one would not surprise. I think the o2 covers easily here and when matched
with a hungry Columbus Crew moneyline this is actually one of my favorite plays of the entire weekend.
2-Leg Parlay: Columbus Crew ML + Toronto FC Over 2 goals at -102
Best of luck with all your bets this weekend!