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MLS Predictions, Picks and Betting Advice For 9/16/23

Lionel Messi of Inter Miami preps for MLS match against Philadelphia Union

Betting Advice for MLS 9/16/23

WagerTalk MLS handicapper Nick Borrman presents his 9/16/23 MLS predictions and picks around key matches including Atlanta United vs Inter Miami and New York City FC vs New York Red Bulls. Which teams is he looking to pick up points and which will have goal scoring? Read his betting preview now!

New York City FC vs New York Red Bulls | Saturday 9/2 | 3:30pm ET

NYCFC +110 | Draw +245 | NY Red Bulls +220
Asian Handicap: NYCFC -0.25 | Total: 2.5

New York City FC vs New York Red Bulls Prediction 9/16/23

It’s been a disappointing season for both New York teams as both sit on the outside of the playoff picture, looking in.

I covered several Red Bulls matches at the beginning of the season and although they weren’t getting the results, I was adamant that a run was coming and that sooner, rather than later, they would start climbing the table. But that run has simply not come.

It’s still remarkable to me that it hasn’t. NYRB leads the league in xGA allowing only 1.00 per match while also leading the league in shots allowed (7.1) and shots on target (2.8). It’s simply very rare you see a team with the #1 defense in the league in any sport sit on the outside of a playoff position.

Their issue has simply been their offense as they can’t score. They were held scoreless in two of their three Leagues Cup matches and returned to MLS action with two more. On the season, they have scored more than one goal just six times in 28 league games.

NYCFC has been a carbon copy of the Red Bulls allowing 1.07 xGA per match, ranking 3rd in the league, but with the same offensive challenges. Their 28 goals scored, is four more than NYRB, but still ranks as the 3rd fewest in the East.

Understandably, these teams own the best Under records in the league as NYCFC is 9-19 Over-Under while NYRB is 10-17. The H2H series between the teams suggests more of the same as well as only one of the last eight meetings has finished Over 2.5 goals.

Prediction: Under 2.5 Goals -115 FanDuel

Atlanta United vs Inter Miami | Saturday 9/16 | 5:00pm ET

Atlanta +135 | Draw +300 | Miami +150
Asian Handicap: Pick’em | Total: 3.25

Atlanta United vs Inter Miami Prediction 9/16/23

Miami’s longshot dreams of making the playoffs took another step in the right direction during the international break as Miami beat Sporting Kansas City 3-2 despite missing nine players from their roster for international duty with Lionel Messi’s absence the obvious highlight.

The Goat scored Argentina’s lone goal in their 1-0 win over Ecuador but opted not play in their second match vs Bolivia on Tuesday citing exhaustion, though there has been some speculation about a potential injury.

While it’s all hearsay right now, we don’t know for sure if Messi will be playing this match vs Atlanta. My gut says he will be in the lineup, and he chose to skip the Bolivia match to give himself some extra rest ahead of this playoff push.

If he’s in the lineup, this is a no brainer getting a nice plus money price on Miami who just seemed destined to win every match.

Even if he isn’t, Miami proved last weekend they can win without him as Busquets and Alba really do make a difference to that lineup, but everyone from international break will also return for this match so the lineup, with or without Messi, will be stronger than last weekend.

The Three Stripes of Atlanta are very good in Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but they are susceptible for a loss as they have in two of their last three at home, losing to Cincinnati and Orlando.

So yes, I’ll give them a boost for being at home, but remember, these two teams just met last month in the Leagues Cup and while it was in Miami, the match was completely lopsided as Miami won 4-0.

I doubt we will see that scoreline this time around, but getting plus money on Miami just to win seems like too good of value to pass up.

Prediction: Inter Miami ML or -0.5 +155 DraftKings

Shop both the ML and Asian Handicap of -0.5 as both bets are the same.

Los Angeles FC vs LA Galaxy | Saturday 9/16 | 10:30pm ET

LAFC -180 | Draw +380 | LA Galaxy +350
Asian Handicap: LAFC -1.0 | Total: 3.25

Los Angeles FC vs LA Galaxy Prediction 9/16/23

El Traffico never fails to disappoint, and we usually never see blowouts in this rivalry so grabbing the +1.0 handicap head start is very appealing.

Sure, LAFC has firepower and has proven on multiple occasions that they can score three or four goals themselves, but even if they do, I don’t trust their defense, especially in this rivalry.

LAFC won their first match back from the Leagues Cup, beating Colorado 4-0 as a reminder of what they can do, but since, they lost all three matches conceding 2, 3, and 2 to each of Charlotte, Miami and Portland while scoring a combined two goals in those three matches. Why do I want to lay a full goal now?

Then, the Galaxy have been playing well. If we go back to the end of May, the Galaxy have lost just three of 14 matches, including Leagues Cup, and only one of those came by more than one goal.

It has been a defensive improvement from them as they haven’t allowed more than two goals in any of those matches. Compare that to prior in which they allowed three goals on five different occasions in their first 14 matches.

Finally, there is this series history, which is arguably more important than form for either side. The Galaxy have won the last two meetings and over the last ten, they have five wins with only three by LAFC.

However, there was only one match in those last ten that was decided by more than one goal, and that was a Galaxy 2-0 win.

So, the Galaxy have not lost against a +1.0 handicap in any of the last ten meetings between these sides and I see nothing in LAFC’s current form that suggest that might change this weekend.

Prediction: LA Galaxy +1.0 -105 DraftKings

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