Best Bets: Introducing Backheeled Bucks, Spoon vs. Shield, and much more

Backheeled
Bucks
  • Total Backheeled Bucks Wagered To Date: $60.00
  • Total Backheeled Bucks Won To Date: $96.59
  • Backheeled Bucks Net Profit: $36.59 (61% rate of return)
Mar 19, 2022; Cincinnati, Ohio, USA;  FC Cincinnati forward Brandon Vazquez (19) celebrates scoring his second goal of the game against Inter Miami CF in the second half at TQL Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

We’re back baby, after two winning weekends in a row! NYCFC and Montreal pulled through for us last Saturday, making us some big-time Backheeled Bucks. 

Oh, speaking of Backheeled Bucks, I want to quickly introduce a formatting tweak for Best Bets. You might have noticed it up above, but we’re going to start tracking our net profit in “Backheeled Bucks”. 

What are Backheeled Bucks? Well, besides being legal tender somewhere deep in rural Wisconsin, they’re a way to keep track of how well (or, heaven forbid, poorly) we’re doing here on Best Bets on a weekly basis. If we assign a $10 BBs wager to each of our six picks so far, we’ve put $60 BBs on the line. From those $60 BBs, we’ve won $96.59 BBs with a net profit of $36.59 BBs over the last two weeks. 

Pretty good! 

With a few thousand more weekends like the two we’ve had so far, we might end up making more in Backheeled Bucks than Real Salt Lake’s roster makes in American dollars.

Let’s get into the picks for this weekend.

FC Cincinnati vs. the New England Revolution

Bet: Cincinnati to win, under 4.5 goals scored

Amount: $10 Backheeled Bucks

Odds: +260

If you told me six months ago that I’d be betting on the 2021 Wooden Spoon winner to beat the 2021 Supporters’ Shield winner, I would have kindly told you to physically intervene and take my betting privileges away. 

But a lot has changed in the last six months – and frankly, I’m having a ton of fun with this whole “FC Cincinnati being good” thing. They’ve won four straight games in MLS play and are just two points out of first place in the East.

Now, Cincy haven’t had the most difficult schedule so far this year. They’ve played Toronto twice and D.C., Charlotte, Miami, and Chicago all once. That’s half of their schedule against teams who are below the playoff line right now. Still, I love the odds here for Pat Noonan’s team. They’re +185 at home against the 11th place New England Revolution without any sort of goals qualifier. That’s already a phenomenal line for a home team. However, if you add the under 4.5 total goals scored tag that I’ve grown to love so much over the last few weeks, the line jumps up to +260. 

That means that if this $10 Backheeled Bucks bet lands, we’re walking away with $26 BBs of pure profit. 

The Revs certainly aren’t going to lie down and let Cincinnati run all over them in this game. Bruce Arena and Co. have stabilized over the last month, getting results in six straight games including a 5-1 win over a heavily rotated FC Cincinnati team. But between the home-field advantage and Cincy’s more comprehensive tactical approach, I’m putting $10 Backheeled Bucks on a Cincinnati win and under 4.5 total goals in this game. 

LAFC at the Columbus Crew

Bet: LAFC to win, LAFC to take over 3.5 corners

Amount: $10 Backheeled Bucks

Odds: +280

Right off the bat, I’m going to be totally honest: this is a bit of a risky one. 

LAFC just played a midweek game against Austin FC on Wednesday (which they lost 2-1), while the Crew got to stay home and relax. Columbus was one of the eight teams who didn’t participate in the midweek festivities, which means they’ll be better rested for this matchup on Saturday.

I think LAFC can win this game, though. 

Yes, they’re on short rest. And yes, they’re light at right back at the moment. But they’re still just a better team than Columbus. The Crew have had a few strong results and performances recently, but I don’t see them matching LAFC’s talent level or overall intensity. So I’m taking the away team here. 

Now, the odds on an LAFC win are fine to begin with at +185. If they hadn’t played against Austin on Wednesday, I wouldn’t blink twice at that line. But they did. So I’m going to try to squeeze value out of this game. If LAFC win and take more than three corner kicks on Saturday, we’re walking out with some major profit off of a +280 line. 

Is that corner kick bet a good idea? I…think so? According to Second Spectrum, LAFC take more corners than any team in MLS, averaging 7.4 per game. They also create a solid amount of chances from those corners.

If LAFC get anywhere close to that 7.4 number on Saturday, we’re in good shape.

Seattle Sounders at the Colorado Rapids

Bet: Seattle, double chance

Amount: $10 Backheeled Bucks

Odds: +100

Let’s finish out this week’s attempt to collect some extra Backheeled Bucks with a new kind of wager for us here at Best Bets. For Sunday’s game between the Rapids and the Sounders, I’m betting on Seattle to either win or draw in Colorado. That type of bet, where you cover two out of three possible outcomes, is called “double chance”. You get twice the number of chances as you do if you bet on just one outcome! It’s a simple concept.

I wanted to be brave here and take the +333 odds on a Seattle away win, but I’m not quite there. The Sounders are without Joao Paulo for the season and Alex Roldan will miss this game due to the red card he picked up midweek. Colorado will be missing players, too. Lucas Esteves and Austin Trusty both picked up red cards against Sporting Kansas City on Wednesday. 

That game between the Rapids and SKC was one of the wildest of the season, by the way. We got ourselves a nice little scrum featuring an angry Scottish man and a handful of red cards. Not bad for a Wednesday night.

Getting back to Sunday’s game, though, it’s worth noting that the Rapids are a very good team. They have some of the best underlying numbers in MLS and adding Gyasi Zardes has given Robin Fraser more ways to play with his team’s structure. 

So, yeah, all that to say: Joe is a scardy cat who doesn’t have the guts to put $10 Backheeled Bucks on a Seattle win (and who also apparently writes in the third person from time to time). Instead of getting all the way behind the Sounders, I took the safer double chance bet. Any result outside of a Colorado Rapids win gets us even money. 

I’ll take that.