MLS Picks: Playoffs Edition

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MLS Playoffs First Round

Wednesday, October 28th

(4) D.C. United vs. (5) New England Revolution

Think of the worst possible way you could end your season heading into the playoffs. Now multiply that by 10 and you get D.C. United. Their embarrassing 5-0 loss to Columbus to close the season will do them no favors as they host the Revs in this one-game playoff. New England backed into the playoffs, but have the attacking firepower to beat anyone. With Jermaine Jones finally healthy, they go to D.C. and knock them out of the playoffs.

Winner: New England Revolution

Confidence Rating: 60%

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(4) Seattle Sounders vs. (5) LA Galaxy

What a crazy season it’s been for the defending MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy. They began slow, made a slew of great roster additions and became the best team in the league. Somewhere along the way, they lost their focus and slipped all the way down to the fifth seed in the West. This means they must go to possibly the most intimidating atmosphere in MLS for a one-game playoff. Seattle isn’t exactly clicking on all cylinders either, but with the home crowd behind them and Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins, they pull it out in the end.

Winner: Seattle Sounders

Confidence Rating: 55%

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Thursday, October 29th

(3) Montreal Impact vs. (6) Toronto FC

All hail Didier Drogba. He is the new king of MLS and we all shall bow to him. What an unbelievable turnaround it’s been for the Impact since they signed the former Chelsea legend. His two goals on Sunday helped them beat TFC. With Toronto’s defensive struggles and Montreal’s impressive home field advantage, it’s hard to see anything different happening when the two face off again on Thursday.

Winner: Montreal Impact

Confidence Rating: 70%

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(3) Portland Timbers vs. (6) Sporting Kansas City

SKC snuck into the playoffs by the skin of their teeth and have been in some atrocious form of late. The Timbers are hitting their stride at the perfect time with Fanendo Adi and Darlington Nagbe leading the way. Their 9 goals in their final two regular season games are a cause for optimism. They continue their hot streak in front of the raucous Timbers Army and advance.

Winner: Portland Timbers

Confidence Rating: 65%

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MLS Playoffs Conference Semifinals

Sunday, November 1st

Highest Remaining Seed vs. (1) New York Red Bulls

The Supporters’ Shield-winning Red Bulls will take on the highest remaining seed in the East after the one-game playoffs. According to my prediction, that team would be the New England Revolution. No matter who they end up playing, be careful with this pick. Playing away during the first leg of a two-legged playoff is a tricky task. RBNY could play it safe and attempt to sit back and counter for the away goal. A draw is likely, but a narrow win for the Revs is not out of the question.

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Highest Remaining Seed vs. (1) FC Dallas

Western Conference champs Dallas will take on the highest remaining seed in the West. That would be the Seattle Sounders if I’m correct. This would be a very difficult match-up for Dallas. In this first away leg, Seattle would be the pick thanks to their amazing home support. Same goes for if they end up playing the Galaxy. The only club they’d be favored over away from home is Sporting KC.

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Lowest Remaining Seed vs. (2) Columbus Crew

The Crew would match-up against Montreal if my predictions are accurate. Columbus is a difficult team to judge. They always play well in the regular season, but seem to struggle in the postseason. Montreal is the pick if that pairing occurs. If they play D.C., then it’s the Crew.

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Lowest Remaining Seed vs. (2) Vancouver Whitecaps

Is a Cascadia Derby match-up on the cards? If my picks are correct, Portland would take on the Caps in the conference semifinals. What a tasty pairing that would be. Both offer talented attacking players and solid overall teams. Portland would have to be favored at home. If it happens to be Seattle they play, the same goes. Pick the home team.

 

Rob Usry, Easy Streak contributor

@RobUsry

DraftKings and FanDuel Scandal

The Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) feud between DK and FD and all the advertising the American people have had to suffer through, reminds me of another 2 party system that bombards us with ads at a certain time of year. I think we are all just as sick of these DFS ads as we are of the political ones.

In this funny video, it says the two companies have spent $100 MILLION on 30,000 commercials that aired. They are “carpet bombing” us. These two companies in a couple of years have been valued at over $1 billion dollars which is an impressive ascent, or at least it seemed impressive until we learned that these companies are saturated in scandal and corruption.

Even the personality in this video WHO IS A SPONSOR OF FANDUEL admits to never winning. We now are starting to see why. It was just discovered that the two companies have employees using their insider information to win on each other’s sites and there are people with huge bank rolls equipped with algorithms which seems fishy on its own. When you see the breakdown of the percentage of people that win (the far left column) and how much they make (the ROI on the right column) it starts to look even more suspect.

DFS Economy

Source: http://www.sportsbusinessdaily.com/Journal/Issues/2015/07/27/Opinion/From-the-Field-of-Fantasy-Sports.aspx

ONLY 1.3% (OR ABOUT 1 IN 100) WIN MONEY (SHOWN AS POSITIVE ROI ON THE CHART)

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Matt

MLS Weekend Matchups

Soccer Matchups

 

Friday, September 11

New York Red Bulls vs. Chicago Fire

The Red Bulls continue their march towards the top spot in the Eastern conference with wins in four of their last six matches. They should handle the lowly Chicago Fire with ease at home.

Winner: New York Red Bulls

Confidence Rating: 90%

 

Saturday, September 12

Philadelphia Union vs. Columbus Crew SC

The Union’s shock win at San Jose last week gives them a much-needed confidence boost as they host the Crew. However, Columbus’ high-octane attack should have league-leading goal scorer Kei Kamara back, making them the favorites. But be cautious of the Union.

Winner: Columbus Crew SC

Confidence Rating: 60%

Houston Dynamo vs. Real Salt Lake

Both teams are having dismal seasons so far and both enter with just two wins in their last six matches. We give the slight edge to the Dynamo being at home.

Winner: Houston Dynamo

Confidence Rating: 55%

FC Dallas vs. New York City FC

Dallas has won back-to-back matches entering their matchup with NYCFC. They should have Fabian Castillo and Tesho Akindele back in the fold making them the clear favorites at home against the struggling expansion team.

Winner: FC Dallas

Confidence Rating: 75%

Colorado Rapids vs. DC United

Eastern Conference leading DC United travel to Colorado to take on the Rapids and should win easily against the struggling Rapids. The pressure will be on DC as the Red Bulls are just lurking two points behind in the standings. Expect them to come out trying to prove a point.

Winner: DC United

Confidence Rating: 80%

LA Galaxy vs. Montreal Impact

Despite Didier Drogba’s hat trick in his first-ever MLS start, expect the defending MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy to roll over the Impact at home. The star-studded Galaxy boasts an incredible attacking lineup which is nearly unbeatable at the StubHub Center.

Winner: LA Galaxy

Confidence Rating: 85%

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Seattle Sounders

The Quakes had their four-match win streak snapped last week, while the Sounders are getting all of the star players back from injury. We expect Seattle to go to San Jose and come out victorious with Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins up to their old tricks once again.

Winner: Seattle Sounders

Confidence Rating: 75%

 

Sunday, September 13

Toronto FC vs. New England Revolution

Perhaps the most intriguing matchup of the week will take place in Toronto when TFC hosts the Revs. This one is extremely tough to predict as both sides have tons of talent. However, with Sebastian Giovinco still an injury doubt, we have to lean towards the Revs.

Winner: New England Revolution

Confidence Rating: 51%

Orlando City vs. Sporting Kansas City

It’s been a terrible run of form lately for Orlando with just one win in their last eight matches. SKC hasn’t been much better as they’re currently riding a three-match losing streak of their own. Sporting boasts more talent and experience. We believe they’ll pull off the road win and get back on track.

Winner: Sporting Kansas City

Confidence Rating: 60%

 

Written by Rob Usry, Easy Streak Contributor

@RobUsry

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Kicking into Gear

Kicking into Gear

Welcome to the first ever Easy Streak weekly MLS guide. Each week, we’ll break down every match up available for you to pick from. We will be giving you the best tips and an expert prognostication for each game in hopes of getting you the most points possible. For every game we’ll expand upon which team is the best pick and how confident we are of the prediction. Let’s get started!

This week offers six different games, an abbreviated slate of games with international soccer on the docket as well – four games on Saturday, one on Sunday, and one on Wednesday. Without further ado, here are the picks:

Saturday, September 5th

New England Revolution vs. Orlando City

The Revolution host Orlando on Saturday; the Revs have won three straight games and only lost once in their last six games, while Orlando has gone winless in their last five. Even without Jermaine Jones due to international duty, the Revs are strong favorites in this one at home.

Winner: New England Revolution

Confidence Rating: 80%

 

Montreal Impact vs. Chicago Fire

This one is a matchup of two struggling sides on the outside looking in at a playoff spot. The Impact just fired their manager despite being just one point out of the sixth and final playoff spot. However, Chicago has had a dreadful season with not much optimism for the final two months. Montreal at home are the small favorites.

Winner: Montreal Impact

Confidence Rating: 60%

 

Seattle Sounders vs. Toronto FC

Both of these teams had extremely high expectations entering the season. The Sounders have won two of their last three after being mired in a horrible two-month losing streak. Their star-studded roster has been hit by the injury bug all season, but they are finally getting close to full strength. Toronto has been carried by Sebastian Giovinco all season, but the Italian star is sidelined with injury, making Seattle the clear favorites at home.

Winner: Seattle Sounders

Confidence Rating: 75%

 

San Jose Earthquakes vs. Philadelphia Union

The Quakes are on an unbelievable run of form with a four-game winning streak that includes victories over three of the top teams in the league. They are at home and playing possibly the worst team in the league; this should be the lock of the week.

Winner: San Jose Earthquakes

Confidence Rating: 90%

 

Sunday, September 6th

Columbus Crew SC vs. FC Dallas

This matchup is a tough one to call. Both are third place in their respective conferences and have had up-and-down form recently. Dallas will be without their main goal threat Fabian Castillo who is on international duty. That factor, coupled with the game being in Columbus, leads us to favor the Crew.

Winner: Columbus Crew SC

Confidence Rating: 55%

 

Wednesday, September 9th

Vancouver Whitecaps vs. Colorado Rapids

The Whitecaps have alternated winning and losing each of the last six weeks. They’ve conceded top spot in the West to LA in doing so. They face off against the last place Colorado Rapids. The Caps score a ton of goals while, amazingly, the Rapids have let in the fewest amount in the league. On paper this looks like an easy pick, but in MLS there is never a sure thing.

Winner: Vancouver Whitecaps

Confidence Rating: 65%

Written by Rob Usry, Easy Streak Contributor

@RobUsry

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