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

Serie A Stadium for matches

Betting Advice for MLS 9/23/23

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

DC United vs NY Red Bulls | Saturday 9/23 | 7:30pm ET

DC United +130 | Draw +240 | NY Red Bulls +185
Asian Handicap: DC United -0.25 | Total: 2.5

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We were riding the NYRB Under train to start the season as they were playing great defense while their offense was anemic, to say the least.  Fast forward to now and the Red Bulls still have the best defense in the league according to xG as they are allowing 0.97 xGA per 90 minutes, one of only two teams in the league allowing less than 1.0.

In their first 16 matches, New York allowed one goal or fewer in all but one match when they allowed two goals to Montreal.  Ironically though, that match still finished Under the total.  During that same time frame, the Red Bulls scored two goals only twice as their other 14 matches they finished with one goal or less.

The scoring then started coming for NY while their defense began leaking goals and suddenly, their next seven matches all finished Over 2.5 goals heading into the Leagues Cup break.  However, normalcy has seemed to return for this team as eight of the last ten matches have finished Under 2.5 goals including their four Leagues Cup matches.

DC has allowed two goals or more in nearly half of their matches, 15 of 33 including Leagues Cup, however, they are allowing just 1.13 xGA per match.  Some positive regression was due and seems to have come as they have held their opponents to one goal or less in six of their last seven matches including allowing just one goal over their last four matches.

That improved defense has led to solid results as well as they are unbeaten in those four with one win and three draws.  DC is hanging on to the final playoff spot in the conference and every point they can get right now is vital, so I expect them to stay focused defensively.

TAKE UNDER 2.5 GOALS -120 FanDuel

New York City FC vs Toronto FC | Saturday 9/23 | 7:30pm ET

NYCFC -230 | Draw +370 | Miami +500
Asian Handicap: NYCFC -1.25 | Total: 2.75

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I expect a rather straight forward NYCFC win here.  Toronto has been awful, simply awful.  Somehow, they beat Philadelphia three weeks ago but that remains their only win since the end of May.  It also snapped a ten-game losing streak, but now they have since lost the last two to Vancouver and Miami.

Going back to the beginning of May, in 21 total matches including Leagues Cup, Toronto has been held scoreless 14 times, a ridiculous 67% clip.  On the road has been even worse as they have scored in only three of their last 12 matches away from BMO Field.  They remain winless on the season with four draws and ten losses including nine of their last ten.  Their 0.76 xG average per away match this season ranks dead last in the league.

NYCFC has also struggled to score most of the season, as they have scored more than one goal just four times in their last 22 matches, though two of those have come in their last four.  However, their defense has been playing well as they have allowed just one goal over their last four matches and are unbeaten in those four with two wins and two draws.  On the season, their defense is allowing just 1.07 xGA and is a big reason why only seven of their 33 matches including Leagues Cup have finished Over 3.5 goals.

NYCFC is just two points outside of the playoff picture and beating the worst team in the league is a must with only four matches remaining this season.  I expect their defense to stay fully focused and confident that they can keep the worst offense in the league from scoring, while the patiently wait for their opportunity to find a winner.

Because NYCFC is unlikely to push the issue here, and they haven’t been the most consistent offense, I’m not comfortable laying the -1.25 handicap.  Instead, we can pair them just to win the match with Under an alternative total.


You can get even safer and pair with Under 4.5 Goals for -125.  This is a Same Game Parlay at DK or BetMGM.  Make the parlay yourself at FanDuel.

Real Salt Lake vs Vancouver Whitecaps | Saturday 9/23 | 9:30pm ET

Salt Lake +115 | Draw +270 | Vancouver +200
Asian Handicap: Salt Lake -0.25 | Total: 3.0

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It’s been a tale of three seasons thus far for Real Salt Lake.  Through their first 15 matches, RSL won just four times as they were struggling offensively.  They were blanked seven times in those 15 matches and though they did keep three clean sheets, they were conceding plenty of goals, 26 in the other 12 matches.

Then RSL proceeded to go unbeaten over their next ten matches as they began scoring.  They were blanked one time during that span but scored two or more goals in eight matches and a total of 22 during that ten-game run.

Just as soon as their scoring came, it has now left as RSL has scored one goal or less in seven of their last nine matches including Leagues Cup and the US Open Cup semifinal.  At the same time, their defense started leaking goals again allowing 19 goals in those nine matches.

One thing has been consistent though, either they or their opponents have been scoring as 25 of 33 matches MLS and Leagues Cup matches have finished with at least three goals.

Vancouver has had similar results, but more consistently throughout the season as they really haven’t been on any good or bad longer-term streaks.  22 of their 35 MLS, Leagues Cup and Champions League matches have finished with at least three goals scored, but on the road, that percentage is much higher.

Vancouver’s matches have reached at least three goals scored in 12 of 17 away matches this season in all competitions including nine of their last 11.

Finally, seven of the last eight meetings between these sides has finished with at least three goals, let’s ride the streak to another Over on Saturday.

TAKE OVER 3.0 GOALS +100 DraftKings

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