Toronto FC v Chicago Fire
These two teams met just last week when Toronto won 2-1 in Chicago. They generally have a very good recent record against the Fire, winning 6 of the last 8 head-to-head meetings so clearly this is a good matchup for them. For TFC it was a much-needed victory last week, their first in 7 games. So far it’s been a nightmare campaign for the defending MLS champions who just can’t seem to get going. All’s not lost yet but they are 8 points off the playoffs, albeit with a game in hand. There has certainly been some pressure on coach Greg Vanney, but he has plenty of credit in the bank at this club having led them to successive MLS Cup finals and also an NACL final which they lost on penalties. Toronto were in action midweek facing Ottawa Fury in the Canadian Championship and won the second leg of that contest 3-0. It was a boost to see Jozy Altidore out there for them again. They really missed him during a long injury stint.
Chicago have had a poor campaign and head into this match on the back of 4 successive defeats. Their defence is leaking a lot of goals at the moment and it feels like many moons ago since they last kept a clean sheet! The Fire have goals in them, but what’s the point if they keep conceding so many? such as when they lost 3-4 at home to Philadelphia a few weeks ago. MLS is known for its strong home-field dominance but the Fire have already lost 6 times in front of their own fans. Perhaps they will be pleased to be on the road here against a TFC side that have themselves shockingly lost 4 times at BMO Field already this season. I would expect this place to become more of a fortress now that the Toronto injury crisis has lessened though. Talking of injuries, the Fire have been crippled this year as well and numerous men remain out on the sidelines. The most notable is of course Dax McCarty who makes such a massive difference in the middle of the park.
I think now is a good time to start riding the Toronto train again. I know one swallow doesn’t make a summer but winning last week could be a massive boost for them. Following that up by winning in the Canadian Championship midweek should give them a boost. Key players like Jozy Altidore are back fit again and perhaps the team will start to improve. I fancy TFC to win this match and I’m quite happy to back them on a -1 Asian Handicap. If they were facing a better team then I might think again, but the Fire don’t seem in very good form. The favourable H2H statistics give me some extra confidence as well, this just feels like a very good time to be betting against Chicago. I have to say over 3 goals is worth backing as well. Both teams have been involved in some high scoring contest recently and neither can keep clean sheets right now. Even if the Fire put in a stinker of a performance and do nothing Toronto could cover this line on their own anyway.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Toronto FC -1.00 at 1.980
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.00 goals at 1.900
LA Galaxy v Orlando City
After a sticky start to the season, LA Galaxy have picked up their form in recent weeks. Prior to the LA derby on Thursday night they had lost just 1 of their last 10 games and generally shown improvement in all areas of the field. This can’t be too much of a surprise because of the quality at their disposal. Zlatan, Dos Santos, Ola Kamara etc. The one weak spot for the Galaxy is still at the back where certain teams can expose them. The one thing that we do know is that LA are capable of outscoring anyone right now. The StubHub centre has been less of a fortress in the last couple of years but recent wins here 3-0 against RSL and 4-0 vs Columbus Crew perhaps show they are getting back to being dominant here. Everyone should be licking their lips at the prospect of facing a woeful Orlando this weekend.
Orlando head into this match having lost a massive 12 of their last 13 MLS fixtures. Amazingly, they still aren’t out of playoff contention and could still push their way into the top six with a strong finish to the season. That looks unlikely though because the team are in a real mess. Slight improvements have been seen in recent games but it’s not enough. They keep making the same mistakes at the back and upfront big chances are getting missed regularly. One good piece of news is that the horrible Justin Meram looks set to be traded away from the club. Maybe Orlando will pick themselves up and head in the right direction at some stage, but that feels like a long way off right now.
The Asian Handicap line on LA Galaxy is -1.5 here, and that is probably fair. Orlando have been battered away from home this season losing 8 out of 10 times. Some recent scorelines include 0-4 1-4 2-5 and 0-3, so real maulings have been dished out. The Florida outfit have shown some slight improvement recently and their injury situation isn’t as bad. You feel that this team has enough of a goal threat in them but that constant ability to leak goals is a real problem. Both of these teams were in action on Thursday night so neither of them have any added extra advantage. The trip out to the West Coast could take a bit out of Orlando though, especially as things haven’t been going well for them recently. I would love the handicap on the Galaxy to be -1 or -1.25 but my feeling is that this will end up a comfortable LA victory. I’m happy to take this handicap anyway, and also over 3.5 goals. Truth be told, Galaxy could cover this on their own but something like a 3-1 or 4-1 win for the hosts could be on the cards overall.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: LA Galaxy -1.50 at 2.200
Asian Total Goals Betting Recommendation: Over 3.50 goals at 2.090
Preview by: @meatmansoccer.