Dave Farrar predicts Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact to provide plenty of entertainment, NYRB ravaging sorry Atlanta and a goal-packed Minnesota visit to LA...
“Toronto won the other regular season meeting 3-1, and even with their form being sketchy, the one constant has been the number of goals in their games, with 7 of the last 9 going Over 3.5 Goals.”
The sting may be out of the regular season for both Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact, but I still feel that there are points to prove for both sides at BMO Field, and that once again, a meeting between these two will be full of goals.
Toronto have been largely lacklustre in recent weeks, as they coasted to the Supporters Shield with plenty in hand and lost some unlikely games, including here against Montreal, by the scarcely believable scoreline of 5-3.
Toronto won the other regular season meeting 3-1, and even with their form being sketchy, the one constant has been the number of goals in their games, with 7 of the last 9 going Over 3.5 Goals.
Montreal's form has completely deserted them, and their run of seven defeats in eight games has cost them a place in the post season. The one win in that run was the 5-3 against Toronto, and rather than a whimpering finish to the season, I think that we'll see Montreal back to something near their best with the pressure off, and enlivened by the prospect of facing their biggest rival.
There'll be players rested or unavailable on both sides, but both teams' styles of play lead you to consider goals, and there are some very useful reserves in both squads, all with points to prove. I think that makes Over 3.5 Goals in this one a pretty solid bet at [2.2].
Back Over 3.5 Goals in Toronto FC v Montreal Impact @ [2.2]
The much talked about Atlanta United got a serious wake-up call last week when they were beaten at home by Minnesota United, and that showed just how much the absences of Miguel Almiron and Josef Martinez can hurt them.
Almiron will surely be kept in cotton wool until the post season, but these final few games will be important for both of these teams. They're both guaranteed play-off places, but where you finish in these MLS Conference tables decide just how tough your October task will be. Atlanta can still aim for the Top Two, the Red Bulls can move away from a nightmarish sixth place.
I was impressed with the way that New York managed to bounce back from a poor recent run and dismiss a very good Vancouver team last time, and it seemed that they found that little bit more when they needed it. They're striding towards the play-offs, while Atlanta have started limping.
This could well be the match-up for the first knockout round of the post season, with the venue reversed, and with Almiron and Martinez both available by then, I can absolutely see Atlanta winning and heading for the Conference semi-finals, but this weekend it's all about the Red Bulls.
Back New York Red Bulls to beat Atlanta United @ [2.02]
After a horrendous start to their MLS life, Minnesota United have improved considerably, and they got sweet revenge against their fellow newcomers Atlanta United last time when they went to the Bobby Dodd Stadium and beat them.
Adrian Heath will be keen to keep that strong momentum going as they head for StubHub, and while his team may well be worth supporting at around [3.5], I'm far more interested in the prospect of Over 3.5 Goals at [2.2].
Neither team has anything really to play for, both have been in free-flowing form, and with three of both team's last five games having four goals or more, and with two attacking styles and attitudes potentially blending well here, I believe that this could turn into a high scoring thriller.
It's all about players hanging on to contracts, about momentum and confidence for next season, and the way I see it anyway, it's about goals.
Back Over 3.5 Goals in LA Galaxy v Minnesota United @ [2.2]
Staked: 89 points
Returned: 110.05 points
P/L + 21.05 points