August 17, 2018

MLS Asian Handicap Previews – 19th August Sunday

FC Dallas v Minnesota United

Suddenly, out of nowhere there are some question marks surrounding FC Dallas. They’ve lost two consecutive games, although still remain top of the Western Conference. The Texan outfit have won 12 matches this season, more than anyone else in the West and that is why they retain that spot. Maybe some alarm bells are starting to ring though because they were in a somewhat similar position last season and totally folded. This feels like a better and more improved FC Dallas so I have no doubt they will rebound. But this is definitely the sort of game in which they can’t afford any slip ups. It was no disgrace to lose to Seattle last weekend. The Sounders are one of the serious hot teams in MLS right now and Dallas actually played fairly well in that contest (1-2). But what they can’t afford to do is lose to the likes of San Jose Earthquakes, something which occurred a couple of weeks ago when they suffered a shock 1-3 reverse. Maybe it was just a freak ‘one off’ but they certainly won’t want to make it a habit.

Any team that faces Minnesota will fancy their chances of victory. On paper, they still have one of the worst squads in MLS although their roster has been improved this season with the additions of Darwin Quintero and Angelo Rodriguez. The ‘Loons’ certainly have a threat upfront and I actually highly rate Quintero. The Colombian has scored 10 goals and provided 8 assists in just 20 appearances which is a fantastic record. Minnesota head into this game having outscored Dallas by one goal in 2018 which just shows the sort of progress they’ve made. However, big problems for the Loons remain at the back. No team has conceded more than them in the Western Conference and they certainly can’t be relied upon to keep it tight. United have still NEVER kept a clean sheet away from home in an MLS match and it’d be a surprise if they managed to buck that trend here.

Dallas are -1.5 Asian Handicap favourites for this match which is fair enough. It is worth mentioning that just 4 of their 12 wins this season have come by more than a one goal margin though. Perhaps they can’t be relied upon to win big enough in order to cover a handicap like -1.5. I think a better bet for the match is over 3.25 goals around the even money mark. Minnesota are regularly involved in high scoring games. They have a decent offense but can’t defend for love nor money. Dallas should be able to feast on these deficiencies, but I’m not entirely sure FCD can be relied upon to keep it tight either. After all, this is a team that conceded 3 goals to the San Jose Earthquakes at home recently! The last time these two teams met Dallas won 1-0 in Minnesota back in June. But I expect this to be a much more open game of football and the final scoreline to be something like 3-1 or 3-2 to Dallas. The Western Conference leaders should have enough for victory but this is a vulnerable period for them and Minnesota could potentially cause an upset.

Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.25 goals at 2.020

Houston Dynamo v Real Salt Lake

The Dynamo started the season pretty hot and had a very strong first dozen games. But it seems like things have been falling apart since then. Houston head into this match having won just 1 of their last 9 MLS games, and lost the last four consecutively. Of course some people would argue that the Texan outfit have excuses due to a prolonged US Open Cup run. The Dynamo are into the final of that competition, at home to Philadelphia Union in September. It seems like Wilmer Cabrera’s men have been reserving their best performances in the Cup and struggled to juggle league matters in between. The big positive for Houston heading into this game is that they’ve had a full week of rest and to recharge their batteries – something that was badly needed.

On this occasion it will be Real Salt Lake who travel here on the back of a short week. They lost on Wednesday night away against LAFC (0-2) and in general the team from Utah have a miserable road record. RSL have lost a whopping 9 out of 12 contests on their travels and this should be an ideal chance for Houston to get back on track. Salt Lake always seem to have a bunch of players injured and it’s the same again this weekend, even if most of their casualties are long term. They aren’t the sort of team who will cope well having to play twice in the space of a week, especially as both contests are away from home. My feeling is that RSL will be vulnerable and it’s up to Houston to take advantage.

Despite the poor run of Dynamo form, I believe this is an ideal chance for them to snap out of their funk. They are facing RSL at a perfect time when the visitors could be struggling both physically and mentally. When you combine what with the horrible away stats that RSL have, then Houston should be able to cash in. Dynamo actually aren’t a bad side and a few freak events in recent times such as red cards at an awkward moment have cost them. If the home side can maintain their discipline then I expect a relatively comfortable victory. I don’t think this will be a particularly remarkable match by any means. Excitement levels might be quite low and truth be told I’m not sure RSL will score here if they are too jaded. My best guess is something like a 2-0 or 3-0 Houston win, so backing them on a -1 Asian Handicap makes some sense to me. They should be able to at least manage a one goal victory which would at worst yield a push for this bet.

Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Houston Dynamo -1.00 at 1.920

Preview by: @meatmansoccer.

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