MLS Bets: Take Austin, Nashville and D.C. on weekend card

There is a clear directive coming from The Gambler's Major League Soccer betting headquarters this weekend.

Fade the U.S. Open Cup semifinalists and teams that played in the Canadian Championship.

Sporting Kansas City and Orlando City are the two semifinalists in action this weekend. The New York Red Bulls play Barcelona in a friendly and Sacramento Republic resides in USL.

Sporting KC put everything it had into the semifinal and now its season is essentially over since the playoffs are a pipe dream from 14th place in the Western Conference.

Orlando beat the Red Bulls, but that match took a lot out of the squad and the Lions head into the teeth of an emotional cauldron at Audi Field on Sunday. D.C. United will be playing in Wayne Rooney's first game in charge as head coach.

Vancouver beat Toronto FC in the Canadian Championship and it faces one of the toughest road trips of the season in Nashville.

Other angles can be explored on the MLS weekend card, but this is the clearest narrative to work with on Saturday and Sunday.

MLS Bets

Overall Record: 35-33

Sporting Kansas City vs. Austin FC (+150) (Saturday, 8:30 p.m. ET)

Sporting Kansas City still has league games left to play, but for all intents and purposes, its season ended on Wednesday in Sacramento.

Peter Vermes' side had one chance to salvage an awful season by making the U.S. Open Cup final. Sacramento beat SKC on penalties.

Sporting KC has the difficult task of picking up the pieces and responding at home against an Austin side that resides 12 places ahead of it in the Western Conference standings.

Austin owns the most road wins of any team in the West and it needs three points to keep pace with LAFC atop the West and in the Supporters' Shield standings.

The Verde could also use a victory to re-boost morale after the Red Bulls surprisingly went into Austin and won last Sunday.

D.C. United (+135) vs. Orlando City (Sunday, 5 p.m. ET)

D.C. United gets a boost on the bench on Sunday, as Wayne Rooney will coach his first game after his work visa was cleared.

The former D.C. player will take some time to pull the Black-and-Red out of the depths of the Eastern Conference, but he can at least channel an emotional win on Sunday night at Audi Field.

Orlando exerted a ton of injury on Wednesday night to beat the Red Bulls and land in the U.S. Open Cup final. The Lions could be on tired legs and there may some rotation within the squad.

D.C. has a single win dating back to May 14, but it has played some decent soccer in recent matches after Rooney was officially announced as head coach.

United has one of the top scorers in MLS in Taxi Fountas and new acquisition Miguel Berry is hungry to prove himself after a trade from Columbus.

All sorts of motivations are emanating from the D.C. locker room this week and United should catch Orlando in a vulnerable spot at home.

Nashville SC (-180 & -1.5, +175) vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (Saturday, 8 p.m. ET)

Like Orlando and Sporting KC, Vancouver put everything into a midweek cup match.

The Whitecaps won the Canadian Championship on Tuesday over Toronto FC and it will be hard for them to replicate such a result in Nashville on Saturday.

The tired legs from the midweek result and the long plane ride from Vancouver to Nashville likely took a lot out of the Whitecaps.

Nashville could use a straightforward win after a loss to LAFC and a draw with FC Cincinnati in its last two games.

Despite not getting a ton of results lately, Nashville's expected goals total has been consistent. Nashville's xG has been over one in each of the last six games. That is a good indication of the damage Hany Mukhtar and Co. can do versus a tired back line.

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