April 17 MLS parlay (+546): LAFC to roll on opening day of 2021 season

Carlos Vela of LAFC
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Ricky Dimon

Soccer

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Since graduating from Davidson (The College That Stephen Curry Built), I have been writing about sports -- just about any and all you can think of! -- and coaching tennis in Atlanta, GA. Beyond the four major sports, I am an avid tennis fan and cover the ATP Tour on a daily basis. If I'm not busy writing, you can generally find me on a tennis court or traveling the world wherever a sporting event takes me.

The first weekend of Major League Soccer action in 2021 has arrived. Following two matches on Friday, eight are on Saturday’s schedule and three more will grace the pitch on Sunday.

Let’s take a look at our four-team parlay for Saturday.

Toronto ML (+115)

Orlando City ML (+107)

LAFC ML (-222)

Sporting Kansas City Win or Draw (-175)

Parlay Odds: +914



Toronto to beat Montreal (+115 Money Line)

Toronto’s 2020 Major League Soccer campaign ended in frustrating fashion with a defeat to Nashville in the playoffs but Greg Vanney’s men were impressive in the regular season, finishing second in the standings with an average of 1.91 points collected per game. They are under new management this year with Chris Armas replacing Vanney but they still possess the reliable core of Michael Bradley, Alejandro Pozuelo and Jozy Altidore. They are also fresh from beating Leon 2-1 in the Concacaf Champions League and should get the better of their Canadian counterparts Montreal Impact, who lost 13 of their 23 regular-season games last year.

Toronto FC forward Ifunanyachi Achara

Orlando City to beat Atlanta United (+107 Money Line)

Atlanta United are through to the quarter-finals of the Concacaf Champions League, having won both legs of their last-16 contest with Alajuelense, and they look set for a good season but Orlando City represent a tough opening game. Orlando were runners-up at the MLS is Back tournament last year and finished fifth in the overall MLS standings last year. Home form was key to their success and they look even better after signing Alexandre Pato during the off-season. They have enjoyed wins over Philadelphia Union, Columbus Crew and Minnesota in pre-season friendlies and should come out on top in this clash.

Los Angeles FC to beat Austin FC (-222 Money Line)

This year’s MLS expansion side Austin FC could hardly ask for a tougher start to the season than a trip to the Banc of California Stadium to face 2019 Supporters’ Shield winners Los Angeles FC. LAFC endured a disappointing MLS campaign last year, finishing 12th in the overall standings and losing to Seattle Sounders in the first round of the playoffs, but somewhat made up for that with their showing in the Concacaf Champions League. In the continental competition they beat Cruz Azul and Club America before losing to Tigres in the final in December 2020 and are once again considered one of the favourites to lift the MLS Cup this year. It is always challenging to predict how an expansion side will fare in MLS but any of the 27 teams involved this year will have to be at their best to keep tabs on last year’s Golden Boot winner Diego Rossi and the top scorer in 2019 Carlos Vela, who was out most of last year injured. Take LAFC to beat new side Austin FC.

Sporting Kansas City win or draw vs. New York Red Bulls (-175)

Sporting KC finished top in the Western Conference last season before getting upset by Minnesota in the conference semifinals. The Wizards are a little banged up heading into the season, but they should be the superior side no matter what. They return a veteran core led by goalie Tim Melia. Head coach Peter Vermes (13th season) is the longest-tenured coach in MLS history and he welcomes some newcomers in the player personnel department such as center back Nicolas Isimat-Mirin and midfielder Remi Walter. The Red Bulls are coming off a sixth-place finish in the East, compiling a minus-2 goal differential during the regular season. They lost right away in the playoffs to eventual MLS Cup champion Columbus. Not too surprisingly, New York made a change at the top and now Gerhard Struber is at the helm as head coach. There just isn’t much to be enthused about when it comes to the Red Bulls, at least not early in the year when they try to adjust to a new coach’s system.

Pickswise is the home of free soccer picks and predictions. Make sure to also check out our MLS tab throughout the 2021 Major League Soccer season for more expert picks. 

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