MLS Week 3 Bets: Take Atlanta United, Portland Timbers at home

You find out very early on in the Major League Soccer season who the bad teams are.

Inter Miami and Charlotte FC are two of the teams that fit that category through two weeks.

The Eastern Conference sides have a chance to reverse that narrative in MLS Week 3, but it will be hard to do against two of the highest-spending clubs in the league.

Austin FC benefited from playing lackluster defenses in Weeks 1 and 2, but now it needs to prove it can beat one of the top teams in the league.

A road trip to Portland is not welcoming for any team in MLS, and that could end Austin's strong start.

The other angle I'm attacking is the fade of Concacaf Champions League participants, and there is one in particular that I am more than willing to fade.

Week 3 MLS Picks

Overall Record: 3-4

Inter Miami vs. LAFC (-115) (Saturday, 1:30 p.m. ET, TUDN)

Inter Miami has looked awful in the first two weeks.

The south Florida side's defense was gashed open by Austin FC on five occasions in Week 2.

Imagine what an attack with Carlos Vela, Cristian Arango and Brian Rodriguez can do to that wretched unit.

Vela picked up a knock last week against Portland, but all accounts from training are that he will play a role in Saturday's contest.

Even without Vela, the Black and Gold could go into Fort Lauderdale and win this game.

Until Inter Miami shows me something different defensively, it will be on auto fade status.

Seattle Sounders vs. LA Galaxy (+235) (Saturday, 3:30 p.m. ET, Fox)

The Seattle Sounders are understandably going through a tough start in league play.

Seattle lost at home to Nashville SC in Week 1 and fell to Real Salt Lake on the road in Week 2.

The Sounders do not have a ton of motivation to beat the LA Galaxy on Saturday with the second leg of their Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal on Thursday in Mexico.

The Galaxy will have a sharper focus on earning three points on Saturday and that makes them one of the best underdogs on the Week 3 board.

Portland Timbers (-115) vs. Austin FC (Saturday, 10 p.m. ET, ESPN+)

It's time to find out who the real Austin FC is.

Austin put together two nice results against FC Cincinnati and Inter Miami, but almost anyone can beat two of the worst teams in the league.

The second-year side has to go to Portland for its first real test of the 2022 campaign and it will face a tough challenge against one of the best home squads in the league.

The Timbers gained confidence from picking up a point at LAFC last Sunday and they could provide a bit of a rude awakening for Austin FC on Saturday night.

Atlanta United (-155) vs. Charlotte FC (Sunday, 4:30 p.m. ET, FS1)

Atlanta United can draw first blood in its rivalry with Charlotte FC inside a raucous Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Sunday.

Atlanta's attack led by Josef Martinez could tear apart the Charlotte defense that gave up three goals in its first road game against D.C. United.

Life on the road for the makeshift expansion squad will be tough this season, and it is hard to imagine it pulling anything from its trip to Georgia.

Goalscorer Round Robin

Carlos Vela (LAFC ) (+125)

Chicharito (LA Galaxy) (+240)

Josef Martinez (Atlanta) (+125)

Jaroslaw Niezgoda (Portland) (+160)

I'm experimenting with this format because of all the value on the MLS board with goalscorer props.

Round-robin bets allow you to parlay every combination that you have in the bet to maximize the winnings from the bet.

I'm running with the strikers from the four games I picked above to keep track of things in a simple manner.

Vela, Chicharito and Martinez are well-known scorers across MLS.

Niezgoda does not have a goal yet this season for Portland, but he should get more chances at home against Austin's defense.

I'll see how this week's picks go, and if they do well, we may bring back the feature, or keep it as a staple this season,

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