MLS Betting Tips: Toronto FC to entertain as Seattle Sounders shine
Michael Lintorn offers his best bets for Sunday night's four MLS conference semi-final first legs...
"The Seattle Sounders have triumphed on eight of FC Dallas' past nine CenturyLink Field visits."
Recommended Bet: Back Seattle Sounders to beat FC Dallas @ [2.44]
All of these matches are live on Sky Sports 5
Montreal Impact [2.78] v New York Red Bulls [2.8]; The Draw [3.5]
Though the Montreal Impact won three of their last five games to earn this spot, there is no denying that the New York Red Bulls, who topped the Eastern Conference for the second year running, are in even better nick, going 16 MLS contests unbeaten and winning six of the most recent eight.
However, in addition to two draws, they prevailed by a single goal five times in that latter sequence, while none of the past dozen MLS clashes between the pair ended in an away victory, so another tie is likely.
Recommended Bet: Back the draw @ [3.5]
LA Galaxy [1.9] v Colorado Rapids [4.8]; The Draw [3.7]
The LA Galaxy closed the campaign six points behind the Colorado Rapids but in much better form, winning at the Houston Dynamo and holding Supporters' Shield recipients FC Dallas while the latter were defeated by the Portland Timbers and frustrated at home by the Dynamo, blowing top spot.
The connecting thread was low scores. Three of the Galaxy's last four contained a goal or fewer, the Rapids' latest two featured three between them and ten of the duo's previous 13 showdowns concluded with under 2.5 goals.
Recommended Bet: Back under 2.5 goals @ [1.79]
Toronto FC [1.83] v New York City [4.7]; The Draw [4.1]
This is a unique year in which six of the last eight standing in the playoffs have never lifted the MLS Cup before, with four not even contesting a final. These two clubs have never even sampled this round, with Toronto FC advancing at their tenth attempt and New York City in their second.
This also has the potential to be the most entertaining tie. Toronto FC's last three fixtures served up four goals or more, as did six of New York City's past seven and two of their previous four meetings.
Recommended Bet: Back over 3.5 goals @ [2.5]
Seattle Sounders [2.44] v FC Dallas [3.35]; The Draw [3.4]
One of the most interesting facts about this term is that despite FC Dallas signing off with the best regular season record, they were beaten 5-0 on their travels twice, 4-0 once and 3-0 once.
The second 5-0 was inflicted by the Seattle Sounders in July and they will be confident of outshining them again having won six of their last seven as hosts - the Texans have fired nine blanks in 14 away trips - and triumphed on eight of the Supporters' Shield winners' past nine CenturyLink Field visits.
Recommended Bet: Back Seattle Sounders to win @ [2.44]