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Betting preview: MLS Conference semi-final weekend

23/11/2018
The MLS semi-finals have finally arrived and first up, Atlanta United takes on New York Red Bulls at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

The Red Bulls have beaten Atlanta both times this season, defeating the home side 3-1 on its last visit. A repeat of that scoreline is a massive 35-1 with Paddy Power.

Despite losing both of the regular season games, Atlanta finds itself odds-on favourites to take a lead to New York at 4-5, while the Red Bulls are 3-1 to make it a hat-trick of victories against The Five Stripes.

It comes as no surprise to see Bradley Wright-Phillips, the Red Bulls’ all time top goalscorer, is 6-1 to be first goalscorer, after scoring a brace when last facing Atlanta.

Josef Martinez might have something to say about that though, having scored an incredible 33 goals in 35 appearances this season. He’s best priced at 14-5 with Unibet to score first.

The following day features the first leg of the other semi-final between 2015 MLS Cup winners Portland Timbers and Sporting Kansas City.

Last time these two sides met, Kansas City blew away Portland in a crushing 3-0 defeat. Portland also failed to score past them in the other fixture this season and that might explain why it is odds-against to sneak a lead from the first leg.

Kansas certainly hasn’t been short of goals this season, with three strikers scoring 10 plus goals in the campaign.

Johnny Russell, Dániel Sallói and Diego Rubio are all 7-1 to open the scoring, but as history has shown, it could be any one of those and picking which one will be a tall order. However, if you are in favour of the home side edging the win, Portland’s top goalscorer, Diego Valeri, is as short as 4-1 to score the opening goal.

Both matches are expected to be a cracker as the MLS takes another step towards finding out who will be crowned the MLS champions on December 8.

By Nathan Joyes
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