MLS is Back: Betting Preview for D.C.-Revs, SKC-Colorado, RSL-Minnesota

Friday night marks the halfway point of the MLS is Back group stage.

In eight days, seven underdogs have won outright and the matches have progressively gotten more exciting, including Thursday's 4-3 Toronto win over Montreal.

While overs and underdogs have dominated our attention, there is still value in betting the favorites, who could come into deeper focus during the three-game slate at ESPN's Wide World of Sports Complex.

After a week off, the New England Revolution are back on the field for their second Group C match against D.C. United, who used two late goals to escape from Monday morning with a point.

In the other 8 p.m. ET kickoff, Sporting Kansas City will try to recover from a brutal loss to Minnesota United in which goalkeeper Tim Melia was sent off.

Colorado did not flash much in the final third in its opener against Real Salt Lake, but that could change with more urgency demanded out of its performance.

The nightcap between RSL and Minnesota could be for first place in Group D if a team comes out on top.

As always, our odds come from DraftKings Sportsbook.

D.C. United vs. New England Revolution (8 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Odds: D.C. United (+215); New England (+108); Draw (+280)

New England has to be viewed as the favorite against D.C. since it has a full week of rest and is coming off a solid performance in a win over Montreal.

Gustavo Bou and Carles Gil are one of the best attacking duos in MLS, and if Gil follows up his incredible night versus Montreal with another standout performance, the Revs could be through to the knockout round.

The containment of Gil comes down to Russell Canouse and Felipe, two experienced central midfielders that are capable of controlling the tempo of play.

The last four meetings between the Eastern Conference sides has produced at least two goals, and this could be the best opportunity to hit an over Friday.

The quartet of defenses in Group D are capable of holding opponents to minimal chances, while the Revs and D.C. are more suited to play a wide-open contest.

Keep an eye on Ola Kamara and Julian Gressel as the possible goalscorers for the Black and Red, but the best guarantee in front of goal is Bou, who scored on one of his eight shots against Montreal.

Best Bet: Gustavo Bou to score (+132)

Sporting Kansas City vs. Colorado Rapids (8 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Odds: Sporting KC (-110); Colorado (+265); Draw (+275)

Even without Melia between the sticks, Sporting KC should get past Colorado.

That has more to do with the defensive prowess of Matt Besler and others, the lackluster attacking punch shown by Kei Kamara and the Rapids and Sporting KC's ability to hold possession than who the backup goalkeeper is.

Ilie, Roger Espinoza and Gadi Kinda should overwhelm Colorado's midfield and set up plenty of chances for Alan Pulido and others to pounce on.

Colorado did not show promise in its loss to RSL and the matchups across the board do not get any easier.

Best Bet: Sporting KC (-110)

Real Salt Lake vs. Minnesota United (10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN)

Odds: RSL (+160); Minnesota (+143); Draw (+270)

The nightcap has a chance to be one of the sneaky good games of the group stage from a tactical perspective.

RSL has been nothing but consistent under manager Freddy Juarez and Minnesota possesses an underrated group of defensive-minded players that can frustrate any opponent.

Romain Metanire, Jan Gregus and Hassani Dotson could be vital in slowing down RSL's advances in the middle and down the flank, while the same can be said for RSL's Justen Glad, Everton Luiz and Kyle Beckerman.

It goes against the trend to pick the under, but I think this game finishes 1-0, 1-1 or 2-0 instead of the shootouts we've become accustomed to seeing.

Best Bet: Under 2.5 Goals (+107)

photo courtesy of Major League Soccer.

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