Only two games on the slate today and we’ll be in action for both.
After a poor start in Week 1 of the MLS season last week we’ll try to bounce back in Week 2.
Atlanta vs. D.C.
Both of these squads will be looking for better performances this week—Atlanta having been blown off the pitch in Houston to the tune of 4-0, and DC, for giving up a one goal lead to 10-men Orlando in the 93′ minute to settle for a 1-1 draw.
What can we expect this week? For one, Atlanta is just too good a squad to face a similar fate this week and came into this season as one of the top favourites to lift MLS Cup. Last week may have been bad, call it terrible, but they are a completely different beast at home in Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Last season they were near unstoppable at home going 11-3-3, while scoring 48 times.
We can also expect that DC will struggle on the road. As the season is too young still, we’ll look at DC’s 2017 record on the road and see they only managed to win three times and conceded a whopping 40 times, good for third worst in the league as far as road goals allowed.
Let’s also look a little deeper into their match on the road last week. Sure they held a 1-0 lead for most of the game until the dieing minutes, but let’s not forget Orlando went down to 10 men at halftime. So they had an entire half with a man advantage and still came out with only 40.9% possession. On top of that Orlando completed far more passes (462-327) and completed 180 “final third” passes—a figure that was actually tied for second worst of all teams last week.
If DC allows anything similar this week to a full strength Atlanta squad, Atlanta has the weapons to finish their chances and redeem themselves from last week.
DC does have a 3-0 record vs. Atlanta last season going for them and do welcome ex-United member Yamil Asad to their team, who started his DC career off with a bang, scoring their goal last week.
Pick: Altanta United -200
NYCFC vs. LA Galaxy
Each of these teams got off to good starts to their respective 2018 MLS campaigns last week, NYCFC winning 2-0 on the road to SKC and LA winning 2-1 at home to Portland.
NYCFC were tough to break at home last season, only losing twice and averaging just under two goals per game with 33 in 17 games, while LA, historially poor on the road in past seasons, actually held the second best road record in the West with a 5-3-9 mark, and 28 goals scored.
Major absences for both teams this week include CB Maxime Chanot for NYCFC after seeing red last week and midfielder Romain Alessandrini for LA after he pulled a hamstring in last week’s match.
It’s a rare match when NYCFC don’t score at least once at home, having only failed to do so once in their past 18 league matches. However it is also rare for them to keep clean sheets at home, having allowed at least one goal in 15 of those 18 matches.
New striker Ola Kamara already struck once last week and with a missing starting CB (Chanot) in the New York backline, the LA attack should be able to create some chances. In fact they have netted at least one goal in their past six MLS matches.You can’t put much stock into pre-season results, but it’s worth noting LA won 3-0 vs. NYCFC in February during pre-season play.
Pick: NYCFC/LA BTTS -150
DOUBLE: +150 for 1 Unit
MLS Season Record: