MLS Week 1 Picks: Take Columbus, Orlando at home

The best advice most people give you about betting on Major League Soccer is to not do it.

I typically fall into that camp, but I work for a station called "The Gambler", we have rights to a MLS team and this is an untapped content market, so here I am.

MLS is wildly unpredictable and that makes it so frustrating to bet on and so exciting to watch every week.

Week 1 of the MLS season is even more unpredictable because of all the turnover that happened across the league.

The strategy for Saturday and Sunday is to ease into the season with some of the most trustworthy teams at home.

Week 1 MLS Bets

Columbus Crew (-140) vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET)

I've been looking at the Columbus Crew all week and the number finally dropped in my favor ahead of Saturday's opener.

The Columbus Crew shouldn't be forgotten with Lucas Zelarayan and Gyasi Zardes in attack. They added winger Yaw Yeboah to the squad to bolster that depth.

Vancouver came alive late in the second half of last season, but now it has to re-create that form for a full season, and that could be difficult.

The Whitecaps have an average defense and they are turning to Thomas Hasal in net to replace Maxime Crepeau. Hasal has a ton of potential, but he may not be ready to win a game on his own in Week 1.

Additionally, Vancouver striker Brian White, who I believe is a Golden Boot contender, picked up an injury and likely will not play on Saturday.

All of those signs point to the Crew beginning the season with a home victory.

San Jose Earthquakes vs. New York Red Bulls (Saturday, 6 p.m. ET)

Over 2.5 Goals (+100)

San Jose manager Matias Almeyda and New York Red Bulls boss Gerhard Struber are both not happy with the construction of their respective rosters.

It is a chef's kiss moment for the schedule makers that turns this average matchup on the Week 1 slate into kind of a must-see matchup just for the potential chaos.

San Jose games under Almeyda are typically pure, unfiltered chaos because of the man-marking system he employs.

The Quakes started last season with four straight games that featured three or more goals, and a similar start could be in play as they find their legs in the system again.

San Jose's Jeremy Ebobisse and RBNY's Patryk Klimala are two of the goal scorers to watch in this game, and you might make a small fortune off the scorer props since they are all over +200.

I'll stick with the game over to keep things simple for Week 1, but I wouldn't blame you for dabbling on Ebobisse at +300 or Klimala at +220.

Orlando City (-110) vs. CF Montreal (Sunday, 1 p.m. ET)

Orlando City is flying under the radar a bit in the Eastern Conference.

The Lions bolstered their attack by bringing in Ercan Kara and Facundo Torres.

Kara scored 12 goals in all competitions for Rapid Vienna in Austria from July to December. He comes to MLS with rested legs since the Austrian Bundesliga takes a winter break. He signed with Orlando during that time and he has not played a first-team match since December 12.

Torres, 21, is one of the most exciting young signings to come into MLS and he could make an impact right away for the Lions.

CF Montreal has two Concacaf Champions League under its belt, but that will not play into its advantage in Week 1. Montreal just went through an emotional 3-0 home win over Santos Laguna and it may suffer a bit of a let down in central Florida on Sunday afternoon.

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