MLS 2018 Eastern Conference Finals Betting Tips and Picks

Author Image Article By Admir Aljic
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MLS 2018 Eastern Conference Finals Betting Tips and Picks

Quick Tips:

  • Bet New York Red Bulls to advance at +115 with 888Sport.
  • Bet over 3.5 goals in first game at +170 with 888Sport.

The 2018 MLS Eastern Conference Finals feature two teams who are chasing their first league title, although their history in the league are extremely far apart.

  • Atlanta United came into the league just two seasons ago, and they’ll be squaring off with the Red Bulls, who have been in MLS since its inception in 1996.
  • The Red Bulls hold the season and series edge over the MLS newcomers, taking three wins and a draw from four all-time meetings between them with two wins coming in this year’s regular season.

MLS betting should heat up significantly for the Eastern Conference final, but what should you be putting your money on?

Can Atlanta Avenge the Regular Season?

Anyone who followed MLS this season knows that Atlanta United held on to the top spot in the Eastern Conference for most of the regular season. A magical late run by the Red Bulls put them 2 points ahead of Atlanta after #DecisionDay, and it lifted the Red Bulls to their third Supporters Shield in the last 6 years.

The key for Atlanta is to obviously get Josef Martinez and Miguel Almiron going early and often. The Red Bulls kept Martinez off the scoresheet in both of their regular season wins over Atlanta, and not many teams can say they kept Martinez off the board this year. With the regular season goal scoring record in tow, Martinez will certainly need to lift the home crowd to get the first leg result they will need to even possibly advance to the MLS Cup.

The line setters at 188Bet show Atlanta United as the favorites to win the MLS Cup at +150, and they are favored in the opening leg at -120 on the 1X2 3-Way Line vs the Red Bulls on November 25 at what will likely be a jam-packed house. We know this because Atlanta set the new playoff record in attendance against NYCFC in their second leg win to advance to the Conference Finals. There were 70 526 folks in attendance for that game at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and we expect no less in game 1 of this two-legged affair.

Long History, No Silverware for the Red Bulls

The Red Bulls have gone by many names and have had many players come and go. In this 23rd campaign of Major League Soccer, the Red Bulls have never trotted around the field with the MLS Cup trophy in their hands.

They know what role history has played against them, and new Head Coach Chris Armas is hoping he can continue his positive influence on the Red Bulls.

Red Bull Captain Luis Robles appeared on NBC’s Sports Final this past weekend, and spoke about his massive impact on the team’s late run to the MLS playoffs. Robles has held 14 clean sheets this season, and spoke highly of both Martinez and Almiron in his interview. In his opinion, Miguel Almiron should be the MVP of the league, despite what Martinez achieved this season.

While some have come and go, Bradley Wright-Phillips has came and conquered in his time in New York. The team’s all-time leading scorer with 124 goals, he is twice past Juan Pablo Angel’s 62 goals behind him.

The Red Bulls broke four major team records in the 2018 MLS regular season, but none of that will matter unless they end their 23-year drought without a MLS Cup in their showcase.

Eastern Conference Finals Pick and Prediction

Did you hear that? It may not be the 4th of July, but I expect plenty of fireworks to come our way in the opening leg in Atlanta. That O/U is listed at 2.5, but the +170 value for over 3.5 at 888Sport is the play.

Expect goals to come from both contests, although the weather in New Jersey for the second leg could be something to be concerned about.

Regardless, goals will be scored, and as I posted in my preview for the MLS Conference Semifinals, I expect the Red Bulls to advance, so bet them at +115 with 888Sport to host the MLS Cup game come December 8.

Eastern Conference Finals Schedule 2018

  • November 25: New York Red Bulls @ Atlanta United FC
  • November 29: Atlanta United FC @ New York Red Bulls

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Admir Aljic
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