Best Bets: Sporting Kansas City’s new look, great value in Canada, and more MLS bets

Backheeled Bucks
  • Total Backheeled Bucks Wagered To Date: $480.00
  • Total Backheeled Bucks Won To Date: $632.51
  • Backheeled Bucks Net Profit: $152.51 (32% rate of return)
Aug 21, 2022; Kansas City, Kansas, USA; Sporting Kansas City forward William Agada (23) celebrates with midfielder Erik Thommy (26) after Agada scores a goal at Children's Mercy Park. Mandatory Credit: Gary Rohman-USA TODAY Sports

Not to flex or anything, but we killed it last week. We went three-for-three on our picks and now have enough money to help pay Sportsology’s consulting fee on behalf of the Houston Dynamo and their coaching search. Too much of a deep cut? Too much of a deep cut.

Here are my picks for this weekend’s MLS action.

CF Montreal vs. Columbus Crew

Bet: Montreal to win, over 6.5 corners

Amount: $10

Odds: +100

Look, when I see an even money line for an extremely hot MLS team, I take it. 

CF Montreal are hot right now. They’ve won five straight games and haven’t lost a single match in their last 10. The best part about Montreal is that they’re not just hot: they’re good. They’re second in the East only behind the record-breaking Philadelphia Union. They’re fifth in the league this year in expected goals difference per game, according to American Soccer Analysis, and they’re fourth in that metric since July 1.

So yeah, Wilfried Nancy’s team is good. (P.S. an ambitious MLS team should hire Nancy away from Montreal because he looks like one of the best coaches MLS has seen in quite some time.)

The Columbus Crew, for their part, aren’t bad. They’re sixth in the East and have a nice six-game unbeaten streak going. Their last loss, though, was to CF Montreal back at the beginning of August. Even with Cucho Hernandez in the Crew’s attack, Montreal still have the talent advantage in this game. 

A Montreal win with at least seven total corners gets us even money on Friday.

Sporting Kansas City at Houston Dynamo

Bet: SKC to win, over 1.5 total goals

Amount: $10

Odds: +250

I mentioned the Houston Dynamo earlier, so let’s talk a little Houston/Sporting Kansas City, shall we? To be totally frank, SKC is a much better team than the Dynamo. 

Houston just fired their manager, Paulo Nagamura, and don’t look like they’re rowing in any particular direction. The Dynamo also have had the second worst xGD per game in all of MLS since the beginning of July, according to ASA. They create almost nothing in the attack and have one of the leakiest defenses in the league.

Those numbers are a pretty big contract to SKC, who have been good since the start of the summer. Per ASA, Kansas City are ninth in the league in xGD per game since July 1. Erik Thommy, who they signed in the summer transfer window, has been a revelation in central midfield: the German already looks like an elite ball progresser with both his passing and his dribbling. With Thommy’s skill in midfield and William Agada’s movement up top, Sporting Kansas City are fun to watch again.

Even more important than SKC being fun to watch, though, is that they’re better than the Houston Dynamo. If their matchup on Saturday involves at least two goals, we’re more than doubling our money.

Toronto FC at Atlanta United

Bet: Toronto double chance, over 1.5 total goals

Amount: $10

Odds: +115

Things, uh, aren’t going well in Atlanta at the moment. They’re losing games, they’re not creating enough in the attack, and Josef Martinez is flipping tables and spilling chicken and rice. 

Like I said, things aren’t going well in Atlanta. 

So with my final pick this week, I’m backing Toronto FC to get some sort of result on the road against Atlanta United. To be clear, things haven’t been all that great for Toronto recently, either. Bob Bradley and Co. have a 1% chance of making the playoffs in the Eastern Conference, according to FiveThirtyEight’s projections. With only one win in their last five games, Toronto desperately need a result. And doesn’t a game against an imploding Atlanta United team feel like the perfect time to snag one on the road? 

Toronto FC’s underlying numbers are very good and they’re unstoppable in the attack at times (which means that goals qualifier is basically just a formality). I think Toronto has what it takes to get a point on the road and win us some Backheeled Bucks.

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