Sunday MLS Picks

By  Jonathan Willis

Friday, March 15th, 2019

Sunday MLS Picks

There are only three MLS games on Sunday this weekend, but four of the best teams in the league will be in action. The game of the day will be the first part of the tripleheader as New York City hosts Los Angeles FC in a battle between two teams that finished third in their conference in 2018. FC Cincinnati makes history when they host their first MLS game as the Western Conference champion Portland Timbers come to town, and the day concludes with defending champion Atlanta United looking to break into the win column when they host the Philadelphia Union.

MLS Betting Odds at
New York City FC +105
Los Angeles FC +237
Draw +263
Over/Under 3

After a fantastic inaugural season, LAFC have continued to play inspired football under Bob Bradley. They have one of the best looking offenses in the league, and if they can keep playing solid defense they might follow in the footsteps of Atlanta United in win the MLS Cup in their second year of existence.

LAFC have started the year by beating the two teams that met in the Western Conference Final last year, with Adama Diomande coming on as a super sub and netting goals in each game. Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi continue to be fantastic up front, and Eduard Atuesta continues to be fantastic in the middle of the pitch.

It is very tempting to bet them as underdogs here. This is their first road game of the year, and teams don’t typically fare well on long-distance road trips, but NYCFC have not looked as formidable as in past seasons. They drew with Orlando City and DC United in their first two games, and there could be some value in LAFC here.

FC Cincinnati +140
Portland Timbers +181
Draw +247
Over/Under 2.5 and 3

FC Cincinnati picked up their first result last week when a late goal from Roland Lamah gave them a draw against Atlanta United, and they would love to pick up their first win at home against the Portland Timbers this week. The Timbers had their share of woes in long-distance road games early in the year in 2018, and that’s why FC Cincinnati are short favorites here.

The big storyline here is Fanendo Adi playing against his former team. Adi played for the Timbers for five seasons before being traded to Cincinnati for a million bucks in allocation money last summer, but he has yet to make his mark for the expansion club.

Portland have had a rough go of it in their first two road games. The Timbers will be road warriors again with 12 straight road games to start the season, and there are some mentality questions with so much time away from home as they wait for Providence Park’s expansion to be completed.

Atlanta United -169
Philadelphia Union +417
Draw +319
Over/Under 2.5 and 3

There’s no way that Atlanta United can go three games without a win, right? The reigning MLS Cup champions seem to be missing their former coach and do-it-all midfielder Miguel Almiron. They have just one goal in two matches, and Josef Martinez has not been as explosive without Almiron to set him up.

The Five Stripes are undergoing some growing pains under new manager Frank De Boer, and Pity Martinez has not made a big impact since coming over for what was reported to be a record sum.

I think this team is too talented to fail to grab a win in their first three games though. Atlanta United have so much talent around the Martinez’s that someone has to break through soon. This should be the week as the Philadelphia Union have looked flat in their first two matches.

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