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Best MLS Matchday Six Betting Picks for Saturday, March 30th

FC Dallas Forward Jesus Ferreira One of Two Matchups Highlighted for the MLS Games With Betting Odds Tomorrow

Major League Soccer returns to action with Matchday Six and Last Word on Soccer is here to provide the best MLS Betting Picks and analysis for Saturday, March 30th. This weekend, key players will be returning from international duty and teams will have finally navigated out of the murky waters of the Concacaf Champions Cup fixture congestion. To help with identifying leans, my Goals Added (G+) model uses just a simple Poisson distribution using total team G+ for divided by total number of games played. The model will be tested throughout the weekend for accuracy before using it too much as a crutch. What you don’t need calculations to find are the teams who have been the worst at conceding Goals Added. Those teams will be the key focus for the bets today. For more information about Goals Added, American Soccer Analysis provide a great explanation of the metric and stat and you can find all the data I’m referencing right from their website as well.

Best MLS Matchday Six Betting Picks With Four Teams Involved

Austin FC vs FC Dallas

Beginning first with a fun Copa Tejas matchup, it’s Austin FC and FC Dallas. Neither team is looking their best at the moment. You have two Texan teams who each have their own issues and struggles. Austin as a side, have lost the clear desire and motivation to win games. They struggle to get the ball to the potent Sebastián Driussi, they don’t have a consistently performing starting eleven, and the side are among the league’s worst in the advanced stats. Last in the West in xGoals For (3.4), first in xGoals Against (10.5) and last in Goals Added difference. They are currently languishing and it’s only a matter of time until head coach Josh Wolff’s seat goes from hot to blazing.

For FC Dallas, the side have struggled offensively and are in amidst of a three game losing streak-two of which came at home. The side are still finding an identity amidst a very unforgiving injury bug. Just recently, the club announced Paxton Pomykal is sidelined for the rest of the season and Asier Illaramendi is confirmed as “OUT” by Nico Estevez. While Illaramendi is a big loss for the side, they are still vert astute in their defense. Their best player according to Goals Added is center back Nkosi Tafari. His 0.52 G+ Rating is fifth best among other MLS center backs. One would imagine his defensive contributions should effectively nullify Austin’s attack.

The advanced stats suggest that Dallas’ Jesus Ferreira and Petar Musa should feast on this Austin backline who’s aforementioned 10.5 xGoals Against is not only a conference worst but a league worst. On paper, Dallas just need someone to feed the attack and get them looks. This means this match will be contested mostly in midfield. It’s up to the collective efforts of Liam Fraser, Sebastian Lletget, and/or Patrickson Delgado to play up to the next level and start asserting themselves in the midfield. Austin’s midfield of Daniel Pereira and Alexander Ring are two of the bottom five of players in Goals Added metrics with Pereira accumulating -0.1 and -1.4 respectively. In short, those two have been more of a negative for the side and one should expect Dallas to win the midfield battle and overrun this rather poor Austin side.

With Dallas as a favored winner in this matchup, the level of risk is up to you. For a safer bet, Dallas Draw No Bet is among the safer of the plays to take. A draw results in a push and you get your wager back. For a bit more risk, Dallas to win is at +190. If you expect Ferreira to light it up and really get it going, you can take Dallas’ team total of Over 1.5 at +150 and Over 2.5 at +500. The choice is up to you but the model likes Dallas given how poor Austin have been.

MLS Betting Picks:

  • FC Dallas Draw No Bet (+100)
  • Petar Musa AGS (+260)

Nashville SC vs Columbus Crew

Nashville and Columbus face off in this clash of gold. The reigning MLS Cup Champions, Columbus Crew, suffered their first loss of the season in a 2-0 road loss against Charlotte FC. The Crew should have done much better in their prior contest but could justifiably claim their result was mired by the hands of the referee. Replacement referee Christopher Calderon red carded Derrick Jones, disallowed the opening Crew goal, and awarded ten minutes of stoppage time in the first half that saw both teams see out an entire hour of soccer. The refereeing was bad for Columbus over the weekend. It had reached such a boiling point this past weekend that Major League Soccer and the PSRA finally agreed to a deal ending a month-long lockout. With a much improved ref situation and the benefit of their international players returning, Columbus will be motivated to right last week’s (undeserved) wrongs.

Of teams in the East, Columbus’s defense is among the best. With their fourth best 5.1 Expected Goals Against, the Crew are stout in defense. Despite not being active in defensive stat categories, their possessive style of footy prevents opponents from heating up and getting in to rhythm. It’s hard to really attack when you don’t have the ball and the Crew have been coached by Wilfried Nancy to hold and protect the ball. They concede the second most Shooting G+ actions and are above average in teams G+ differential. The defense is a strong basis for their potent attack to finish games off. Columbus are spearheaded by Juan Cucho Hernández who’s shooting stats are among the best in the league.

Cucho will be coming up against a heavily rotated Nashville backline. Nashville come to this game after a 5-0 loss on the road against LAFC. The game featured Hany Mukhtar and Sam Surridge, who had been dealing with injuries up to that point, but did not feature Walker Zimmerman. Nashville didn’t even have the benefit of starting their depth option in Lukas MacNuaghton and  instead were forced to played third string center back Brent Kallman. To add insult to injury? Nashville are the second to worst team in the league for G+ differential and have the second worst xGoals in the East. It hasn’t helped that they had a gauntlet of games mired with injuries.

Given Nashville SC’s recent thrashing and a highly motivated Columbus Crew with title aspirations, this one has all the makings of a Columbus get-right game. On the road, they were hard done not to beat Charlotte. They will go again for this upcoming road game. I don’t envision Nashville pressing and wanting to win the ball off of this Columbus side. Columbus will likely out possess and out class Nashville on the defensive end. It will only be a matter of time until they break Nashville’s low block and find the ball in the back of the net. Cucho Hernandez will be itching to get back on the score sheet after his disallowed goal completely changed the momentum of the game.

Since we’re taking Columbus, again, the risk is up to you. Their Moneyline is at a nice +125 and Cucho at plus money is an automatic bet for me especially north of +150. I think you’d also do well to ladder Cucho’s Goalscoring Props up to a hat-trick. I’m not one for first/last goalscorer bets so that’s up to your discretion. Plenty to like from Columbus in this road encounter.

Best MLS Betting Picks:

  • Columbus Crew ML (+125)
  • Cucho Hernandez AGS (+170)

READ MORE: Why the MLS Hall of Fame Needs to Happen

Major League Soccer returns this weekend, March 30th for Matchday Six. If you’ve enjoyed these Best MLS Betting Picks, please share and gamble responsibly. There is plenty of more plays and analysis happening over at @juanners715 on X/Twitter.


Photo Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports, of a Jesus Ferreira Headshot, on March 16, 2024.


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