MLS Expert Picks Matchweek 1

Expert Picks For Matchweek 1: Atlanta Take Down Defending Champions

Happy opening of the 2024 MLS season. I know the official kick-off happened already with Inter Miami defeating Real Salt Lake 2-0 in mid-week. But we're getting our first full slate of weekend games. To me, that is when the season really begins.

Welcome back MLS fans.

MLS Expert Picks: Matchweek 1

Columbus Crew vs Atlanta United
The Game: Columbus Crew vs Atlanta United, Saturday, Feb 24, 2 PM

Columbus Crew-175O3.5 (+110)
Atlanta United+370U3.5 (-135)

Pick: Atlanta United ML (+370)

I'm coming out swinging with pick number 1. Taking Atlanta United against the defending champions is obviously risky. But Atlanta has a massively talented squad with perhaps the second-best offensive unit (on paper) in the league. They've also got revenge on the brain after Columbus eliminated them in Round One of the playoffs last year.

We don't have any data to go on with the season just beginning. So this is a pure narrative pick.

LAFC vs Seattle Sounders
The Game: LAFC vs Seattle Sounders, Saturday, Feb. 24, 4:45 PM ET

LAFC-150O2.5 (+100)
Seattle Sounders+400U2.5 (-125)

Pick: U2.5 (-125)

Seattle kept an elite defensive squad from last season intact. The Sounders had the join-best defensive record with 32 goals conceded in 34 games.

I get that LAFC has the reigning Golden Boot winner in Denis Bouanga, but they weren't elite offensively with him. LA held the ninth-best scoring recording in the league with 54 goals. Not to mention the goal creation they lost with Carlos Vela still not signed.

LA Galaxy vs Inter Miami
The Game: LA Galaxy vs Inter Miami, Sunday Feb 25, 9 PM ET

LA Galaxy+155O3.5 (+120)
Inter Miami+135U3.5 (-150)

Pick: Inter Miami ML (+135)

Having played in mid-week is something to consider when handicapping this game. The Herons have the oldest squad in the league at an average of 30.4 years of age. 

Miami started the year with a 2-0 win over Salt Lake with 60% of the xG and 55% of the possession. 

Are we really going to start betting against Miami's star-studded roster two games into the year? Messi, Suarez, Busquets and Alba are the odds on favorite to win the MLS Cup for a reason. I'm taking Miami until I have a really good reason not to.

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