The MLS is Back Tournament has already provided plenty of shocks, spills and drama in its opening few games. Hosts Orlando booked a winning start to the tournament, whilst NYCFC stunned our MLS betting predictions by slipping up to the Union.
Here’s three more previews for the tournament’s July 10-11 fixtures to sink your teeth into.
In our pre-tournament round of betting previews, we tipped 2019 MLS Cup winners Seattle Sounders as rounding off Group B with the full nine points. Whilst that isn’t technically possible now due to Dallas’ removal from the competition, we still back them to have too much in their locker for San Jose and the Whitecaps looking forward. The Sounders head into their opening game on the back of a win and a draw during the 2020 regular season, and the likes of Jordan Morris and Raul Ruidiaz have continued their hot streaks from last campaign. Their outright odds of winning the tournament are at +750 look like a decent punt right about now, but you can also get odds on them qualifying out of the group in our MLS betting markets at +110.
In comparison, San Jose’s failure to clinch a postseason play off last season has seen their odds of escaping straight out of Group B widened to +350. Tipped as a potential dark horse for the tournament, we just don’t see a way past the Sounders here.
One of the blockbuster clashes of the entire group stage of the tournament, Frank De Boer’s Five Stripes take on the Red Bulls in what could honestly be a real tough match for the 2018 MLS Cup winners. Whilst Atlanta did win their two opening games from the 2020 regular season, they were both only by one goal margins against two of the lowest rated sides in the region, Nashville and Cincinnati. They’ll also still be without MLS legend Josef Martinez, whose torn ACL will rule him out of the entire tournament run.
New York Red Bulls were also unbeaten in the opening two regular season games this year, beating Cincinnati and then earning a road draw against Real Salt Lake. Their odds of +225 against Atlanta’s +135 might not look too appealing, but our MLS betting tips could point to this being the upset to root for.
Cincinnati have been plagued by more issues off the pitch than most during this lockdown period, with the troublesome change of management to Jaap Stam and continued issues around the likes of Jurgen Locadia and his loan spell with the club. Last season’s wooden spoon winners, Cincinnati head into the tournament on the back of two losses during the regular season. Locadia did, however, manage to find the net and grab an assist in both these games. Truth be told, their odds of +700 are probably a little bit on the generous side of things.
The Crew have had a hectic offseason with a couple of high profile departures, but have equally strengthened up in these areas with some exciting acquisitions of their own. They opened up their regular season with two rough games against NYCFC at home and Seattle Sounders on the road, but managed to come away with four points from both games. Their odds of +300 should be worth backing given the quality in their ranks.
What do you make of our predictions? Will the big boys in Major League soccer be able to handle the pressure of being favourites? The MLS Is Back Cup promises to be an exciting and unpredictable tournament, and we will bring you all the action as it happens!
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