August 5, 2017

MLS Asian Handicap Previews – Saturday 5th August

Chicago Fire v New England Revolution

Has the Chicago Fire bubble burst? That is the question on everyone’s lips following two consecutive defeats. Prior to these setbacks, the Fire had gone a monstrous 11 straight games without defeat and many were talking about them as major MLS Cup contenders this season. I don’t think they can be written off so quickly, but the true level of Chicago is probably a little bit behind the real top sides like Toronto and Dallas. One factor that has to be considered is that both of those aforementioned defeats came away from home, where it is extremely difficult for any MLS side to play, not least the Fire who have had road issues for many years., This season they’ve improved a bit away from home, but made their own stadium a complete fortress.

Chicago has the best home record out of anyone in the entire MLS (9-1-0) scoring 27 goals and just conceding just 4. This is absolutely phenomenal and just shows how dominant they’ve been at Toyota Park in 2017. The Fire dominates the midfield with the likes of Dax McCarty and Bastian Schweinsteiger, whilst up front Nickolic and Accam has been in brilliant form. This is the challenge facing New England when they travel here this weekend. The Revs have won their last two games, albeit both were at home and against poor opposition LA Galaxy and Philadelphia. This is a completely different and much tougher assignment. The Revolution have the worst away record in the Eastern Conference (0-3-7) and have yet to taste victory on the road.

I expect Chicago to bounce back here and taking them on a -0.75 Asian Handicap looks a good way to go. At very worst I’m expecting them to win by one goal, but such has been their home dominance this season then it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them prevail by two or more. I also think over 3 goals is worth backing in this fixture. The Revolution are leaky at the back but should come here with positive intent. They are a threat going forwards with the likes of Kei Kamara and Lee Nguyen so I could see them registering a goal. Something like 3-1 or 4-1 is my expected scoreline so I’m happy to take both bets with strong confidence.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendations: Chicago Fire -0.75 at 1.930 and Over 3 goals at 1.940

New York City FC v New York Red Bulls

All eyes are on the Big Apple this weekend where the two New York teams take on each other at Yankee Stadium. There’s already an intense rivalry between these two sides and the fact that this is 3rd vs 4th in the Eastern Conference raises the stakes even higher. The form of NYCFC has been inconsistent recently. They beat high flying Chicago but then came back down to earth last weekend, losing 4-0 at Toronto. Patrick Vieira’s men can be frustratingly hot and cold sometimes, but they better make sure they are on top form against a resurgent Red Bulls outfit who have now won four in a row.

It was a poor start to the season for Jess Marsche’s men but things have been much better in recent weeks. The Red Bulls have been totally dominant against the likes of Montreal, San Jose, and Minnesota. However, it’ll be much tougher asserting any authority on NYCFC. The first meeting between the two teams this season resulted in a 2-0 victory for City at Red Bull Arena. Prior to that fixture, it was the Bulls who had generally had the edge over their rivals since their inception. You sense a change of dynamic in New York though now and both teams are much more evenly matched.

The Red Bulls won this fixture 7-0 last season and would love a similar outcome again this weekend. There’s no doubt the visitors head into the match in red hot form, but City are in decent knick as well. This should be a really interesting and exciting game, I can’t make up my mind who is going to win. NYCFC are favorites around the 2.05 mark on a -0.5 Asian Handicap and this is probably about right. Home advantage is very important in MLS but has to be reduced in a fixture like this with two teams from the same city. The pick I like is over 3 goals. Both teams will be going at it hell for leather and I can’t envisage this being a tight fixture. The way both are playing right now the chances and therefore goals should hopefully flow.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Over 3 goals at 1.917

By @meatmansoccer.

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