August 31, 2018

MLS Asian Handicap Previews – 2nd September Sunday

FC Dallas v Houston Dynamo

There could be a danger that FC Dallas’ season is starting to fall apart somewhat. They still remain top of the Western Conference but now a number of teams are starting to breathe down their neck following a bunch of poorer results. Dallas have lost 3 of their last 5 games – shockingly a couple of those defeats have been against basement team San Jose Earthquakes! Quite how this is possible I’m not sure but nearly a third of the Quakes’ measly points tally has now come courtesy of Oscar Pareja’s men! They head into this game on the back of a 3-4 reverse over in California on Wednesday night. I would say it’s highly likely that Dallas totally overlooked that game and their minds were already focusing on the upcoming  ‘Texas Derby’

Houston was also in action in midweek and suffered a 1-0 loss at to New York Red Bulls. Perhaps this was expected, although it was a strange sort of match in which both sides rested key players. The Dynamo know that they are highly unlikely to make the playoffs this season. Their whole campaign is pretty much all about the US Open Cup final which comes up in a few weeks against Philadelphia Union. It’s vital that coach Wilmer Cabrera gets his team spot on for that game. In the more shorter term, I suspect he was eyeing up this Texas derby against Dallas because for the fans and for the rivalry it’s a far more important game.

This will be the third and final meeting between the two clubs this season. It’s the Texas Derby and they are playing for something called’ El Capitan’ which is a replica 18th-century mountain howitzer cannon trophy. Houston have won the last two editions of this ‘trophy’ but they actually have a poor winning record in the fixture, taking 3 points just once since 2012. Incredibly, the last five head to head meetings have all ended in a draw. The most recent of those came just a couple of weeks ago when Houston equalized late to earn a 1-1. For the majority of that game, Houston was incredibly flat though and was lucky to salvage anything. Something hasn’t been right with them for a while and 6 defeats in their last 7 MLS games sums up the problem. If Dallas can get over their midweek disappoint I think they have a great chance of snapping out of their funk and getting their hands on the El Capitan cannon. FC Dallas can be backed on a -0.75 Asian Handicap line and this is good enough for me. They are the better team and should have enough to beat off a vulnerable Dynamo.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: FC Dallas -0.75 at 1.980

Toronto FC v Los Angeles FC

Due to the fantastic recent form of Philadelphia Union, it now looks like there is only going to be one playoff spot up for grabs in the Eastern Conference this year. The top 5 look fairly locked up but Montreal Impact appear vulnerable in 6th. The likes of New England, DC United and Toronto have all got every reason to believe, but with games running out it’s vital points are accumulated more quickly. In defense of their MLS crown, Toronto have had a nightmare really. Greg Vanney’s men have lost a whopping 13 out of 26 matches and fallen well short of expectations. However, reaching the final of the NACL and winning the Canadian Championship again has been some consolation. If they finish strongly then this is a team that still can’t be underestimated. Jozy Altidore will be back up front after serving what was a stupid and needless suspension which is a massive boost.

This is the first ever competitive meeting between the two sides and LAFC have had an excellent debut season so far. Manager Bob Bradley has done an excellent job here and they possess some great technical and fast players who have been dangerous all year. Incidentally, Bradley’s son Michael will be up against him here in the Toronto midfield which is an interesting side note for the fixture! LAFC have managed to win 5 road games in 2018 but struggled in recent times with the low point being a 5-1 humiliation at Minnesota of all places. As far as the visitors are concerned, it’s all to play for right now and they are well in the hunt to win the Western Conference, which would be some achievement in their debut MLS campaign.

Toronto are -0.25 Asian Handicap favourites for this match which is probably about fair. I’m not sure which way the game will go. I think if I had to side with anyone it’d be with the visitors because their lightning fast counter attacks could cause all sorts of problems to a TFC defense which has looked leaky all year. With the likes of Giovinco and Altidore in your team though, Toronto can’t be discounted and can outscore anyone on their day. The pick I like for this game is over 3.25 goals. Toronto have been involved in many high scoring contests this season and their matches seem way more frantic in 2018. LAFC actually head into this game on the back of four consecutive under 2.5 matches, but some of those have been freakish and actually contained a lot of chances. When all is said and done I’m expecting this affair to have at least four goals in it anyway.

Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.25 goals at 2.040

Preview by: @meatmansoccer.

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