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MLS Saturday Preview: East's top two face off

We're over halfway through the MLS regular season, which means the fight for the playoffs is heating up.

All bar the bottom two in each MLS conference are in the running to make the postseason, while even a cut-adrift Inter Miami side have hope in the shape of Lionel Messi.

This weekend brings another big round of games, as the top two clash in the east and the Western Conference favourites try to return to form.

Top two clash in the East

WhatFC Cincinnati vs New England Revolution
WhereTQL Stadium
When7:30PM EST, Saturday July 2, 2023
How to watchApple TV
OddsCincinnati +110, Draw +250, New England +250

The top two sides in the Eastern Conference clash at TQL Stadium with Cincinnati hopeful of extending their lead at the top of the standings.

The hosts head into the weekend seven points clear of New England and they boast the best record in MLS this term.

A big part of Cincinnati’s great season is their excellent record at home. The hosts have won each of their last 13 games at TQL Stadium across all competitions, winning a perfect 10 out of 10 in MLS this term.

New England’s away form is a mixed bag, with three wins, three draws and three losses on their travels to date.

It isn’t the type of record which inspires much confidence against the best side in MLS this term, especially as the Revolution come into this one winless in four trips, conceding eight times.

Nashville look to make gains

WhatNashville SC vs DC United
WhereGEODIS Park
When8:30PM EST, Saturday July 2, 2023
How to watchApple TV
OddsNashville -118, Draw +260, DC United +333

While the top two sides in the Eastern Conference meet, third-placed Nashville will see that as an opportunity.

They are eight points off the top and a point shy of New England, so a victory this weekend will boost them whichever way things go in Cincinnati.

DC United make the trip to Tennessee fresh from a resounding win over Cincinnati, but they’ve been beaten in five of their 10 away trips so far this season. 

The hosts are in a good place despite heading into this game on the back of a couple of defeats. Only two sides have picked up more points than them across the last eight games in MLS, while only Cincinnati and New England boast stronger home records.

DC United have lost three of their last five MLS clashes with Nashville and Wayne Rooney’s men look vulnerable to another defeat. 

Can LA hit form?

WhatFC Dallas vs Los Angeles FC
WhereToyota Stadium
When8:30PM EST, Saturday July 2, 2023
How to watchApple TV
OddsDallas +175, Draw +230, Los Angeles +162

There’s little doubt that LAFC are among the strongest sides in MLS.

However, things haven’t been quite right for the LA side in recent weeks, with them having won just two of their last nine games in all competitions.

They’ve been knocked out of the CONCACAF Champions League and US Open Cup, while they’ve lost three of their last five league games.

They could struggle on this visit to Dallas, where the hosts have won five of their last eight games. However, Dallas haven’t been excellent at the back in those wins, with seven of them seeing both teams score.

With LAFC managing just one clean sheet in five and failing to really click into gear, both teams to score looks like the best option at -134.

St. Louis out to continue dream debut

WhatSt. Louis City vs Colorado Rapids
WhereCITYPARK
When8:30PM EST, Saturday July 2, 2023
How to watchApple TV
OddsSt Louis City -118, Draw +300, DC United +280

While the defending champions are struggling, MLS newcomers St Louis City are thriving. Their first campaign at this level has them in the mix for the top prize, having won 10 of their first 19 games.

That’s put St Louis level with LAFC at the top of the standings, and given the Californian side’s struggles, there’s a chance for the debutants to leap out in front this weekend.

Colorado Rapids look like straightforward opponents for the hosts, as the visitors have suffered seven defeats across their last nine matches in all competitions, winning none.

The Rapids have lost five straight away games, leaking nine goals so all signs point to a comfortable home win.

St Louis ended a rough spell of form with their 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes last weekend and they’ve averaged 2.4 goals per game at home.

With the visitors scoring in just one of their last six games, there’s value in backing the hosts with a -1 handicap at +220.

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