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MLS Predictions, Picks and Betting Advice For 9/2/23

Jalil Anibaba of Nashville SC

Betting Advice for MLS 9/2/23

WagerTalk MLS handicapper Nick Borrman presents his 9/2 MLS predictions and picks around key matches including CF Montreal vs Columbus Crew and New England Revolution vs FC Austin. Which teams is he looking to pick up points and which will have goal scoring? Read his betting preview now!

CF Montreal vs Columbus Crew | Saturday 9/2 | 7:30pm ET

Montreal +140 | Draw +250 | Columbus +170
Asian Handicap: Pick’em | Total: 2.75

CF Montreal vs Columbus Crew MLS Predictions

On a neutral field, there is little argument that Columbus is the better side this year and every available metric you would look at would point to that.

Columbus average 14.2 shots per match and 5.0 on goal while Montreal create 11.0 shots and 3.7 on goal. xG averages show Columbus creating 1.56 per match while allowing 1.20, a +0.36 differential while Montreal create only 1.08 xG and only 1.32, a -0.24 differential.

However, when we look at the home/away splits, those numbers shift pretty dramatically. Montreal average the same 1.08 xG, but their defensive numbers improve significantly, allowing just 0.88 for a +0.20 differential. For the Crew, their xG average drops to 1.19 while their defensive numbers rise to 1.50 xGA per match for a -0.31 differential.

Generally speaking, Home/Away split xG averages tend to line in pretty closely with the bookmakers odds. There is a +0.51 differential advantage to Montreal at home, which we should then see a -0.5 Asian Handicap, but the current price had this set as a pick’em, or Draw no Bet at a reasonable price.

Looking at actual results suggests this would be the right side as well. All of Montreal’s success this season has come at home with nine wins and just three losses including wins over good teams like Philadelphia, Nashville and New England.

Columbus meanwhile have just two wins away from home this season which came against poor sides DC United and Chicago. They have allowed 23 goals in 12 away matches.

Columbus just lost at Houston on Wednesday night and now have a rather long road trip up to Canada for this match while Montreal were on the road in New York which is less than an hour plane ride.
Finally, Columbus has one win in the last nine trips up to Montreal.

Prediction: CF Montreal Draw No Bet or +0 -125 DraftKings

(Shop both ‘Draw no Bet’ or Asian Handicap of +0, both are the same bet)

New England Revolution vs FC Austin | Saturday 9/2 | 7:30pm ET

New England -135 | Draw +310 | Austin +295
Asian Handicap: New England -0.75 | Total: 3.0

New England Revolution vs FC Austin MLS predictions

16 matches at home this season including Leagues Cup and zero losses for the Revolution including 11 wins and five draws. They own a 38-14 goal differential and only twice have they allowed more than one goal.

Their xG average of 1.34 rises to 1.70 in Foxborough and while their xGA average drops from 1.28 to 1.06.
Austin finished 2nd in the West last season behind eventual champions LAFC, with a +16 goal differential. However, there was a problem. Those numbers were inflated as data behind their results suggested the team was overperforming.

xG showed a side with a negative differential per match with a season long tally of 34.1 xG to 35.7 xGA. Yes, Austin scored an insane 65 goals last season on only 34.1 xG.

Their 56-point haul, which was 2nd in the West, was 14 points more than expected and ranked 20th in the league compared to 4th in actual points. All of that suggested this team had only one direction to go this season and I believe we are seeing exactly that.

Since, the Leagues Cup began, Austin has not won a single match going 0-5 with their defense conceding 15 goals during that span. Then, if we look at their away numbers on the season, it paints an even worse picture.

Including one Champions League match, Austin has three wins in 14 away matches this season with a 17-31 goal differential, conceding at least two goals in nine of those 14 games.

Take the home side with confidence in this match vs a reeling Austin team that was never as good as their record appeared in the past.

Prediction: New England Revolution ML or -0.5 -135 DraftKings

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

Nashville SC vs Charlotte FC | Saturday 9/2 | 8:30pm ET

Nashville -140 | Draw +275 | LA Galaxy +340
Asian Handicap: Nashville -0.75 | Total: 2.5

Nashville SC vs Charlotte FC MLS predictions

Nashville should be happy they are facing a team that doesn’t include Lionel Messi as they have had to face Inter Miami twice over the last two weeks, one of those coming in the Leagues Cup final where they lost on PKs to finish runner-up.

However, they should be proud of that run which only reaffirms the season they have had and that they certainly are one of the top teams in the league.

However, Nashville is on a slide in the table. They are currently winless in their last five MLS matches, losing three before the Leagues Cup tournament and now losing one and drawing one since the return of MLS play. Because of that, they have fallen all the way to 7th in the East and considering how good they have been at home, they desperately need points to get back up in the Top-4 to earn themselves at least one home playoff match.

Nashville is 8-2-2 in Geodis Park with a 21-8 goal differential with their only two losses coming against two of the best teams in the league, Philadelphia and Cincinnati. They have otherwise made easy work of the teams below them in the table.

That is exactly where Charlotte resides, currently sitting 11th, though just two points back of Chicago for the 9th and final playoff spot. Like so many teams in the MLS though, they have struggled away from home with a 3-3-6 record and -8 goal differential.

Charlotte has had a favorable schedule since the return of MLS action, not necessarily in their opponents they have faced, but in the fact that they have played both of their matches at home. This will be their first road test where they were on a five-game winless run before the Leagues Cup break.

Nashville already won 2-1 this season in Charlotte and there is no reason to expect anything different at home this weekend.

Prediction: Nashville SC ML or -0.5 -140 DraftKings

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

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