117 days after its initial suspension on March 12, Major League Soccer is set to make its return with the MLS Is Back Tournament kicking off on July 8.
The tournament opens with a special encounter between hosts Orlando City and their Florida rivals Inter Miami in the pair’s first ever meeting against eachother. The game will kick off at 8:00PM EDT, and will be followed that evening by fellow another side, Nashville FC, taking on Chicago Fire.
Here’s our MLS betting tips for Group A’s openings on July 8.
Orlando City might have earned themselves a seeded spot in the group draws for the MLS Is Back tournament as hosts, but their dire form over the past year has gone a long way in placing them as outsiders for a win on home soil with odds of +2500. The Lions finished the 2019 regular season in 22nd place, missing out on the postseason play offs, and come into the tournament ten games without a win if you include the tie and loss against Real Salt Lake (+3300) and Colorado Rapids (+4000) during the 2020 season.
Inter Miami’s debut season in Major League Soccer might not have brought with it any wins either, but their 1-0 and 2-1 losses to 2019 postseaon playoff sides LAFC (+450) and D.C. United (+3000) were close affairs and far from disastrous for David Beckham’s side. That being said, they are still a expansion side with just two games of Major League soccer behind them so their outsider odds of +5000 in our MLS betting markets shouldn’t be too surprising to see.
Miami’s story of hard fought losses is fairly similar for fellow expansion side Nashville too. Entering their first season as an MLS side, Nashville opened their account with a home 1-2 loss to 2018 MLS Cup winners Atlanta United (+1000). They followed this up with a road loss to the Portland Timbers (+1700), but again it was only a single goal that separated them at 1-0. There’s definitely a lot of heart in this Nashville team, but will it be enough to see them through a Group A fixture list that contains Orlando City, Philadelphia Union (+2500) and Chicago Fire?
Speaking of the Fire, Chicago head into their opening game in Orlando with plenty to prove. Having missed out on the postseason last season, despite an admirable run of results to close out the campaign, the Fire were another side yet to pick up a win when the curtain came down on the 2020 regular season. And whilst we have them as one of the favourites to escape Group A in our MLS predictions, their odds for the overall tournament of +4000 show they still have some ways to go before we make them one of our favourites.
What do you make of our predictions for the tournament’s opening games? Prepared to back our MLS picks? The MLS Is Back Cup promises to be an exciting and unpredictable tournament which we cannot wait to begin covering as all the unfolds!
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