By Garrett Hinners
BANKER (New York City vs. Real Salt Lake)
Back to back sweeps on the article plays! Let’s go for three straight and the parlay this week is niiiiiiiiiice.
NYCFC are hosting Real Salt Lake on Sunday and this is after their game tonight versus Seattle in CONCACAF Champions League (CCL). RSL have surprised me here in the early goings of the season as they sit third in the Western Conference after seven games. When they lost Rusnak to free agency over the off season I was sure they were going to take a step back from the fringe playoff team of last season (and they still might), but fading the Champions League teams has been quite profitable so far this season and the books are hanging a spread out there that I honestly cannot believe.
Analytically speaking, Salt Lake are an average MLS side. They do everything okay and nothing terribly. New York, on the other hand, have been much better defensively in league play than last season, so far, and have struggled mightily to score at times. It is pretty obvious that NYC is focused on CCL as their league form is down and they are up against it tonight in that competition. They are down two goals on aggregate and will have to play the best XI they can field to try to mount the comeback. This sets up for a less than ideal situation this weekend, regardless of the final result. Maxi Moralez, who is arguably their best playmaker, did not play the first leg against Seattle, will not play tonight, and so has to be questionable, at best, to play this weekend.
Real Salt Lake is +1 on the spread. Through seven games this season this line would have hit six times with only one push. They are against the spread darlings at the moment. In the last five head to head matchups between NYC and RSL this would have lost only once. NYC rank 18th in big chances created while RSL rank 5th and RSL are conceding 0.2 goals less a game than NYC. I cannot see this doing anything worse than pushing, but getting the hard one instead of the asian +.75 or the price on +.5 is critical for me here.
For the parlay this weekend I’m going for some extra value in spots I love but do not want to eat the juice on.
If you watched the show, you know Portland both teams to score (BTTS) is a favorite of mine, home or away. They are going into Houston who are around even money favorites. Now that Houston has figured out how to score, BTTS has hit in their last four games and Portland has scored in every single game so far this season with BTTS hitting in six of seven for them.
I’m not sure I could be bigger on LAFC than I am this weekend. They are hosting a very bad Sporting KC team who have given up 2.25 goals per game on the road. Those goals were conceded against middle of the road offenses, as well. Now they have to hold up against the best offense in the league who is coming in angry after losing El Trafico last time out? Yeah, give me all the LAFC I can handle and make their team total (TT) over 1.5 the second leg.