Two of the biggest rivalries in Major League Soccer will take center stage for the first time in 2021 this weekend.
El Trafico between Los Angeles FC and the LA Galaxy and the Cascadia Cup showdown between the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers will both be on national television.
The one thing both matches have is in common is the road team is favored at DraftKings Sportsbook. Seattle is a +133 favorite and LAFC sits at +104 on the money line.
LAFC and Seattle are the only true road teams to be favored in Week 4. CF Montreal is a favorite against the Vancouver Whitecaps, but that game is being played in Utah because of the ongoing border restrictions between the United States and Canada.
Winning on the road has been tough for any club in MLS over three weeks. Eight losses have been suffered by home sides, with the Philadelphia Union owning two of the defeats.
The Union can earn three points on the road for the first time on Saturday versus the Chicago Fire, and if you plan on betting on Jim Curtin's men, like one of our experts, there is plenty of value on the board.
The full odds for MLS Week 4 can be found on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Portland Timbers (+188) vs. Seattle Sounders
Portland was one of three MLS teams eliminated from the Concacaf Champions League earlier this week.
Sure, it's difficult for the Timbers to re-focus and win a rivalry match, but it could also be the perfect match for the team to get right and put all of its energy into the league campaign.
Portland won three of its last five meetings with the Sounders and it allowed more than two goals once during that stretch.
Giovanni Savarese's side scored twice in each of its last three wins over the Sounders, all of which ended in 2-1 results.
Both teams to score is at -215 and Over 2.5 goals sits at -180, so you are not getting value based off the recent trends in the Seattle-Portland matchup. That makes the Timbers the best value play in Sunday's marquee match.
Atlanta United (+300) vs. Inter Miami
Atlanta United falls into the same category as Portland as a team trying to put its CCL shortcomings in the rearview window.
Inter Miami will be without forward Robbie Robinson and defender Nicolas Figal for Saturday's match in south Florida. The second-year side lost its first home meeting with the Galaxy, who like Atlanta, have one of the top five strikers in MLS leading their attack.
Josef Martinez is not at 100 percent yet on his way back from an ACL tear last March, but he is getting closer. He looked sharp in front of goal during the first leg of the CCL quarterfinals against the Union.
Atlanta could take advantage of Figal's absence in central defense and create a wealth of chances for Martinez. Atlanta's key to staying ahead on Sunday should be Santiago Sosa, who is the early front-runner for Newcomer of the Year.
If Sosa halts Miami's advances and springs the attacking players forward, the Five Stripes could run rampant over Miami's back line.
Colorado Rapids-Minnesota United Under 2.5 Goals (+130)
Minnesota United sits at the bottom of the Western Conference and has conceded seven times.
Those numbers would make you think Over 2.5 goals is the perfect play for the Loons' Saturday trip to face the Colorado Rapids.
In the words of a wise college football sage, "Not So Fast My Friend!".
Four of the seven goals conceded by the Loons came against the Sounders on opening weekend and they held Austin FC to one goal on four shots on target last week.
Colorado scored on two occasions in 2021 and the only three tallies it conceded came against Austin FC in Week 2. The Rapids shutout FC Dallas and Vancouver.
We're going to see a ton of goals across MLS this weekend, especially with the two top rivalry games, but this one has potential to be a snoozer.
Joe Tansey (1-0)
Toronto FC (+265)
Toronto FC is going to be really stinkin' good again.
The addition of Yeferson Soteldo is yet another game-changer for TFC and he is expected to play in some capacity against the New York Red Bulls.
Just like the Atlanta and Portland calls in the value plays, I think the CCL rebound angle absolutely exists with TFC.
The Red Bulls already lost once at home and their only clean sheet came against the Chicago Fire, who are not exactly a good team.
Sean Brace (0-1)
Philadelphia Union (+220)
Speaking of the Fire, they face a tough task on Saturday afternoon against the Union. The game can be heard on The Gambler with pregame coverage starting at 12:30.
Yes, this is a homer pick for Sean, but it also makes a ton of sense.
The Union are significantly better than the Fire, they have a defense that pitched three shutouts in CCL play and the only mistakes made in MLS play were stupid ones.
The only team that has conceded more goals than Chicago is FC Cincinnati. Hello, Kacper Przybylko goal-scoring props.
Kevin Kinkead (1-0)
El Trafico Over 3.5 Goals (+108)
Seven of the 10 meetings between the Galaxy and LAFC featured three or more goals.
Chicharito is in incredible form to start the season. The Galaxy defense is still a bit suspect and Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi will be running at their back four for 90 minutes.
That has the recipe for a shootout, and let's be honest, no one around MLS wants this national TV game to be a 0-0 stinker,