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September 2, 2020, GMT+0000, 6:13 am

MLS Predictions: LAFC Title Odds Shrink

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Another busy weekend of MLS action has led to some movement in the Tournament Winners market as the season enters its final third. 

LAFC Extend their Lead

League leaders LAFC enjoyed an excellent weekend. Bob Bradley’s side, who are in only their second MLS season, secured an impressive 3-1 win in Houston against a tough Dynamo outfit, despite having very little preparation time following their midweek defeat to Portland in the US Open Cup. And their weekend was complete when city rivals and leading challengers in the Western Conference, LA Galaxy, lost the California Clasico to San Jose by the same score. 

That combination of results means that LAFC are 11 points clear of Seattle Sounders, who are now second in the West. They are also 10 points better off than the best team in the Eastern Conference, Philadelphia Union, as well as having two games in hand. Dominance in the regular season doesn’t always translate into MLS play-off success, but bookmakers are taking no chances and LAFC’s odds have been cut following the weekend action to the 12/5 mark. 

Power Shift in the Big Apple

The other big movers in the MLS winners market this weekend are both in the East, where New York Red Bulls secured an important win over their city rivals New York City FC. City went into the weekend as the second favourites behind LAFC, despite having some ground to make up in the East, but their 2-1 loss has seen them pushed out to 12/1 joint fourth-favourites, along with the Red Bulls, whose odds have been cut significantly as a result of their Hudson Derby victory. 

Philadelphia Falter Again

A run of seven wins in nine games in the spring propelled Philadelphia to an unexpected lead in the East, and while they still hold a four-point advantage over DC United, their form has dropped off alarmingly since the middle of May. Heading to Utah at the weekend, they’d only won three of their previous nine, and their record was further damaged by a humiliating 4-0 defeat at the hands of Real Salt Lake. A play-off spot seems a certainty, but with a string of tough games coming up in the home stretch, they could be heading into the knock-out stages low on form and confidence. 

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