The 2021 MLS season kicks off on Friday, April 16, and week 1 has a slate of 13 games all of which are very interesting match ups. Out of the 13 games, three stand out as the marquee matches of week 1: Orlando City - Atlanta United, LAFC - Austin FC, and Inter Miami - Los Angeles Galaxy.
Orlando City - Atlanta United is a rivalry, where Oscar Pareja’s side will want to continue their good form from last year, while for Atlanta United it’s a new start under new head coach Gabriel Heinze. For LAFC - Austin FC it will be Austin FC’s first ever game, while for LAFC it is the start of a long road where the club will look to claim their first title. Inter Miami - LA Galaxy presents a tale of two teams who need to live up to expectations, both teams had very weak seasons in 2020 and both teams are now under new leadership.
The odds are in at DraftKings and while Inter Miami, Atlanta United, and LAFC are favorites in their respective games, it won’t be easy. Here are the best betting opportunities for these MLS games in Week 1.
Orlando City - Atlanta United
After early dominance by Atlanta United the tables have turned in this rivalry match, in their last three games Orlando has won 1 and drawn 2. Both Orlando City and Atlanta United are paying out well at +104 and 250 respectively. Orlando City has played very well under Pareja and this will only be Henize’s third game in charge where the five stripes have seen improvement.
A good betting option would be to pick who might score the first goal and a good candidate would be Nani, who at +440 is a safe bet to put the ball in the back of the net. If you like Atlanta United, then Argentine playmaker Ezequiel Barco could be a good bet at +700 to score the team’s first goal.
LAFC - Austin FC
LAFC and Austin FC could be a sea of uncertainty, you never know what could happen in an MLS game, but the reality is an expansion side has very little chance to beat LAFC. In this game an interesting betting option might be to bet on what the over/under will be, over 3.5 goals is paying out a reasonable +135. LAFC will being the fire power of Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi so the chances that Austin FC get through this one without conceding is remote.
Inter Miami - LA Galaxy
Inter Miami - LA Galaxy presents the same variables as Orlando City - Atlanta United, Inter Miami are unlikely favorites in this one at -120, while the new look LA Galaxy are paying out +300. Despite having a very bad season last year the Galaxy have been together longer than Inter Miami and with Chicharito and Sebastian Lletget in the mix they will be a handful.
Inter Miami will need to rely on the firepower of the league's most expensive player, Gonzalo Higuaín, who at +410 could be a good option to score the first goal in this contest. Neither team has been very good in defense so an over of 3.5 would be interesting at +165.
An interesting parlay for these games would be an Atlanta United win, LAFC win, and a draw between Inter Miami and Los Angeles Galaxy. At $100 the bettor stands to win $1850 in winnings if they can hit all three games.