It was a case of what might have been for our football accumulator betting tips last week, with 3/5 selections landing.
We had backed Aston Villa to win or draw the Championship play-off final against Fulham, and were somewhat surprised when they succumbed to a 0-1 defeat. Our other losing leg – Seattle gifting Real Salt Lake their first away victory of the MLS campaign – also rankled.
Still, we go in again with another set of acca tips as we look to build our bankroll ahead of the World Cup, which is roughly a fortnight away!
|England vs Nigeria||Under 2.5 Goals||4/6|
|Columbus Crew vs Toronto FC||Toronto +1.50 Asian Handicap||4/11|
|Montreal Impact vs Houston Dynamo||Houston/Draw Double Chance||11/20|
|New England Revolution vs New York Red Bulls||Red Bulls/Draw Double Chance||4/7|
|Real Salt Lake vs Seattle Sounders||Real Salt Lake Draw No Bet||8/13|
|Five-Fold Acca Odds||7.94/1|
England vs Nigeria: Under 2.5 Goals
This is England’s first of two warm up matches, just over two weeks before their opening group game in the World Cup.
Their four friendlies since November against the likes of Brazil and Germany have been solid affairs with the Three Lions conceding only a solitary goal against Italy, a 87th minute penalty at that. In attack they’ve not pulled up many trees either though, scoring only twice across the four fixtures.
For both sets players here, this would be the worst possible time to pick up an injury prior to Russia 2018 so we can see both teams cruising in second gear, with a low goal count to match.
Columbus Crew vs Toronto FC: Toronto +1.50 Asian Handicap
Given that more than half of all MLS matches finish in a home win (52%), there is an element of risk to this wager.
But the +1.50 Asian handicap line actually allows for the Canadians to lose by a single goal margin here, and our selection still lands.
All of the data points to Columbus having an excellent campaign so far, but two key points stand out for us: nearly half of all of their goals have been scored by one man, Gyasi Zardes (8/18), and another player who has had a hand in seven of those, Federico Higuain (three goals, four assists), is suspended for this clash.
So while Toronto will be acutely aware that their hosts are far more than just a two-man team, their chances of getting a result are much greater without Higuain on the field.
They have Sebastian Giovinco, the outstanding Italian who looks ready to break out after a sluggish start to the season.
Montreal Impact vs Houston Dynamo: Houston/Draw Double Chance
Montreal Impact are really struggling at the moment. They have lost eight of their last nine games, and failed to score in their last four. Head coach Remi Garde simply cannot find a successful formula for a side that relies all too heavily on frontman Ignazio Piatti to come up with the goods.
Contrast that with Houston, whose attacking trio are enjoying themselves immensely at the minute.
They have scored more goals than any other team in the Western Conference, and have embarked on a four-game unbeaten streak in which they have netted three or more goals in a trio of those outings.
In Alberth Elis they have an early contender for MLS’ seasonal MVP award, but this is far from being a one-man band with Romell Quioto (three goals, five assists) and Mauro Manotas (five goals) also joining the party.
Furthermore, the Dynamo have conceded just eight goals from open play in eleven starts.
New England Revolution vs New York Red Bulls: NYRB/Draw Double Chance
Any amateur statistician worth their salt would have New England, at home, as a rough equal to New York Red Bulls on the road, and so why the visitors here are priced as long as 9/5 remains a mystery.
The Revolution are the archetypal so-so team, boasting a goal difference of +3 after 12 games. The Expected Goals data suggests they are the worst side, defensively speaking, in the Eastern Conference, and one clean sheet in seven is testament to the fact.
The Red Bulls, conversely, are one of the best attacking sides in the MLS, with only their NYC neighbours netting more times in open play. They have the joint top scorer in the league in Bradley Wright-Phillips, and yet his tally of eight goals in a total of 26 is a mere drop in the ocean of a strong team effort.
Crucially, the Red Bulls have also conceded fewer goals from open play than any other side in the MLS.
Real Salt Lake vs Seattle Sounders: RSL Draw No Bet
These two sides met as recently as last week, with Salt Lake prevailing 1-0.
That makes their odds-against position with the bookmakers here all the more confusing; at home this term, RSL have compiled a decent W4 D0 L1 record.
Seattle’s woes are obvious: they simply cannot put the ball in the net. They have scored just seven times this term, with the lowest total from open play in all of the MLS. The absence of top scorer Will Bruin through injury clearly doesn’t help matters.