Eight teams are left in the MLS playoffs, which sets up a conference semi-finals round loaded with opportunities at top-used soccer betting sites. Keep reading to get our expert picks on this round of the 2022 MLS playoffs — advice that's free of cost to you!
3-Way Moneyline: LA Galaxy at LAFC
El Trafico rivalry escalates with a second-round playoff matchup between two of MLS’ biggest adversaries. Galaxy shutout Nashville 1-0 to set up this meeting with the Western Conference’s No. 1 seed, LAFC, who had the benefit of a bye week. As you’d probably expect because of their seeding, LAFC is comfortable favorites on the three-way moneyline:
If you’ve followed MLS closely since LAFC was founded in 2018 as the second team inside the city, you know this Hollywood story all too well: LAFC dominates the regular season and then completely folds during the postseason. Half of that story has already played out this season as LAFC won the Supporters’ Shield, but is the second half of the story on the horizon? Or will LAFC "exorcise the demons" once and for all?
This will mark the rival's fourth meeting this season. Two were won by LAFC, but the most recent affair in July went to Galaxy. But honestly, you can throw those previous results out the window because both teams have been transformed since July by the way of transfers. LAFC added two massive names in additions – Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) and Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus). The Galaxy added two international pieces of their own in Riqui Puig (Barcelona) and Gaston Brugman (Parma).
We’ll be honest, we’re getting queasy about LAFC once again. Look, on paper, they’re the best team in the league. But paper doesn’t win matches or titles, and this team sleepwalked into the playoffs going 4-5-1 in its last 10 games (the Galaxy are 5-1-4 in their last 10). Plus, perhaps the long bye week (10 days off) is actually more counter-productive than helpful. MLS history is full of tales of Supporters’ Shields winners crashing out before the MLS Cup, partially due to a longer-than-needed layoff.
We think this is an even matchup, especially in front of a neutral fanbase. That’s why we’re going the unconventional route and betting the draw. Our prediction is this ends 1-1 at regulation.
Over/Under 3 Goals: FC Cincinnati at Philadelphia Union
|Over 3 goals||-110||-110|
|Under 3 goals||-110||-110|
On paper, one might be surprised to find the over/under in this Cincinnati-Philadelphia clash is only three goals. Without more context that feels criminally low given the offensive firepower of both sides. Number-one-seeded Philly netted 72 goals this season — the most in the league. Cincy was not all that far behind with 64 goals, which was fourth-best in the MLS. So what gives?
Welp, here's one major reason: the Union's defense is even more impressive than its offense, as crazy as that sounds. Heck, this might be the best defensive team in league history. Philadelphia surrendered a mere 26 goals in 34 games this year. That comes out to 0.76 goals allowed per game — which is the second-lowest in MLS history. That presents a tough challenge for visiting Cincinnati, especially since Philadelphia has yet to lose a home match this year.
These two sides did square up one time at Subaru Park, the sight of Friday's matchup. Cincinnati was able to come out with a 1-1 draw. It's actually the last home game the Union failed to win. Since then? Philly won nine in a row and outscored opponents by a whopping 40-5. We expect that level of defensive dominance to continue in this one, which bodes well for the under 3 goals bet.
Spread: NYCFC at Montreal CF
No team has gone back-to-back in MLS Cup champions since LA Galacy did it 10 years ago. However, the dream remains alive for NYCFC, who got past Inter Miami 3-0 to set up this showdown between the East's three seed (New York) and two seed (Montreal). The betting opportunity in the NYC-Montreal matchup that we're most latching onto is the game's spread. Here are the current betting odds:
|Montreal spread (-0.5)||-105||-105|
|NYCFC spread (+0.5)||-135||-135|
Both these teams are red-hot coming in. The home side, Montreal, was last defeated on August 31. What's ensued since then is a seven-game unbeaten stretch, highlighted by a 2-0 victory over Orlando City in the playoff opener. If you count a Campeones Cup game, NYCFC has strung together five outright wins (no ties) themselves. We could very well see extra time being needed to sort out a victor here given those strong surges in play as of late. If so, that means NYCFC, the game's slight underdogs, will cover the spread.
How To Bet On 2022 MLS Playoffs?
You can bet on the aforementioned MLS second-round playoff matchups — plus the other one, Austin vs. Dallas — at one of the online bookmakers listed underneath. These bookies will have you covered with all things MLS playoffs betting, not just this round but the ensuing conference finals and MLS Cup. The bookies listed below are the best-rated sites around, per our latest sportsbook reviews.
Even better, it's quick and easy to go from reading this sentence to laying money down on MLS. These sites offer a wide variety of deposit methods — credit or debit cards, cryptos, wire transfers, etc. — which makes depositing money incredibly efficient. Once the money is transferred, then you're off to the betting races per se. And remember, even after the MLS Cup, the World Cup will be ripe with betting opportunities. See one of the sites below to get started!
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