Seattle Sounders v Houston Dynamo
It feels like Seattle are in a slight sticky spell but things might not be as bad as they first appear. The Sounders are winless in four games but have actually only lost one match all season, which we can almost excuse because it was away to high flying LAFC. I actually think Seattle have done well to grind out some of their recent draws because the scheduling has been tough and they have encountered a number of injuries and suspensions. Too many key players have been missing in action although the situation is better now. I would expect the majority of the squad to be available here, minus midfielder Gustav Svenson. Crucially, the likes of Ruidiaz upfront should be able to feature and possibly start. The Sounders have really missed his impact in the final third since he picked up a niggling heel injury a few weeks ago.
Houston Dynamo travel here almost under the radar. Nobody is really talking about this team but they currently sit 3rd in the Western Conference having won 6 out of 8 games. It must be noted that the majority of their matches have been at home though and on the road they are usually known for their struggles. Houston have plenty of confidence about themselves right now though and are full of goals. The Dynamo have managed to hit the back of the net at least twice in 6 of their 8 fixtures and have yet to draw a blank in any game. This is a notoriously bad matchup for them however, and in the last 12 head-to-head encounters Houston have only beaten Seattle once. The Sounders have won all of the last 5 meetings so clearly enjoy facing Wilmer Cabrera’s men.
I think there’s a good chance that run will continue this weekend. Seattle are starting to get all of their injured players back and should be at full strength in attack. Houston have only had two games on the road in 2019. They won one of them at Colorado Rapids (4-1) but does that really count? The Rapids are so bad! In their only other previous away game Houston lost 1-2 at LA Galaxy. I would say that Seattle is an even tougher location to visit and I don’t think this is a test they’ll pass. The hosts can be backed on a -0.5 Asian Handicap around the 1.80 mark and that will do for me. The other pick I like here is over 3 goals. This should be a really open contest between two teams who possess plenty of attacking flair and quality. It just feels like an obvious pick to me in a match where both teams are likely to score.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Seattle Sounders -0.50 at 1.800
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.00 goals at 2.010
Chicago Fire v Minnesota United
The Fire had struggled in front of goal recently but got their mojo back in midweek by hammering New England Revolution 5-0. It was a reminder that this can be quite a good offensive team at home facing mediocre opposition and they are willing to attack much more in games they are expected to win. That may well be the case again this weekend as Chicago are -0.5 Asian Handicap favourites. This may look a little on the short side facing a plucky Minnesota outfit who have surprised many this year. The Loons already have three away wins to their name in 2019 so can’t be underestimated in this clash, especially as they have had a full week to prepare for the fixture.
It’s not like Chicago were pushed in midweek though and actually they can use such a fine result to bolster their confidence. Chicago should be buzzing and confidence will be really high. Attacker CJ Sapong is rated doubtful through injury but it’s difficult to see how he would get back into the team anyway after a side has just won 5-0. Minnesota don’t have any major concerns at the moment and should be close to full strength. It has been a while since they were on the road but one thing that was very notable about their away games in 2019 has been the amount of goals scored in them. The last time Minnesota did play away was the memorable 4-3 loss at Toronto FC.
In terms of a match result I think this is a difficult affair to call. I can see why the Fire are favourites but I’m not sure I would fancy backing them at an odds-on price. Minnesota will be a much tougher test for them compared to New England, who were quite frankly a shambles in midweek. The visitors here possess plenty of pace in attack which will cause plenty of problems. I think this game will be a wide open clash and over 3 goals is the pick that stands out to me as the best bet. Every single one of Minnesota’s away games (6/6) have contained at least 3 goals in 2019. The last two Fire home games have ended 4-1 and 5-0 and matches are generally open involving them at this stadium. The overs look like the obvious and besst way to play this game.
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.00 goals at 2.020
Preview by: @meatmansoccer.
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