By Garrett Hinners
BANKER (DC United vs. FC Cincinnati)
Cincinnati FC host DC United this weekend and I find this matchup very intriguing.
Cincinnati showed almost immediately (two minutes in) that their defensive woes are going to remain an issue this season. They ended up conceding five goals when they traveled to Austin FC, an embarrassing display in week one of Major League Soccer. But, they did create some things offensively and, honestly, were unfortunate to not find the back of the net at all. Luciano Acosta was the primary reason Cincy’s expected goal total was at 1.36 as he had an expected assist total of 0.56 himself. Young Brazilian Brenner was on the bench but did not play vs. Austin and they will need him back in the starting XI to help increase those scoring chances if they hope to be competitive.
DC United played newly minted Charlotte FC in their first ever MLS game. DC won the game by three goals to none, but was quite a fortunate side. They created an expected goal total of 1.45, but let a talent barren Charlotte side get over a goal in an expected total, as well as Charlotte getting a goal called back thanks to VAR. Charlotte showed this is going to be a long season for them, but DC also showed holes and cracks very early in this MLS year.
Both Cincy and DC showed they can create enough to score, even though Cincy did not find fortune, and I am loving both teams to get on the score sheet in their matchup this weekend. Cincinnati’s defense will be a prime opportunity for any team to strike this season, so the main question is can they uphold their end of the bargain? Acosta showed his class last match and I would expect Brenner to see time here as well. One of the best bets last season was DC United overs when they were on the road. They were leaky and had to score to stay in matches, so I actually see this as a prime spot for Cincinnati to answer the call as well. It is why I am willing to lay the juice here.
As usual, I try to deliver a solid, plus money parlay every week as well. I am playing an alternate total in New England as they face off against FC Dallas. It is going to be bitterly cold on matchday with an expected high of 22 degrees and the potential for snow during the match. I am always a fan of potential unders in the cold, especially below freezing. I am going to match it with a moneyline that is just out of my juice range that I love.
Austin FC showed their offense that started clicking late last season is going to pick up right where it left off. Although I do worry about their back door some, they will score enough to grab all three points in their matchup with Inter Miami. Miami returned only 37% of player minutes from 2021 which is the most turnover on one team that I can remember. I think many teams will take advantage of this until Miami has time to gel as a team.
FC Dallas vs. NE Revolution Under 3.5 goals
Austin FC ML vs. Inter Miami