By Brian Maurer
Another data source I find useful for fantasy sports is the gambling data, especially the over/under odds. Here is a list of a few of the more intriguing over/unders for week 1*:
FC Cincinnati vs Houston Dynamo: Over 3.5 goals (+140) - FC Cincinnati -175/Houston +380
This is one of my favorite matchups of the week. FC Cincinnati has three premium playable attackers in Acosta, Vazquez, and Brenner. They also have a playable premium defender in Barreal, and Miazga is another playable defender. Celentano is also playable this week if you are trying to find cheaper value at goalkeeper. This game has a chance for goals and those goals are likely to be weighted heavily towards being for Cincinnati. I can see myself easily picking two if not three Cincinnati players for week 1 and hoping for a 3-1 or 4-0 result to help stack some early points from their premium players.
Atlanta United vs San Jose Earthquakes: Over 3.5 (+140) - Atlanta United -195/San Jose +425
Based on the way San Jose played last season I anticipate them being involved often in over/under money lines that predict high scoring outcomes. This first match up is no different. I am a tad surprised that Atlanta is being deemed such a big favorite but they are healthier now than they were for most of last season. I am not so sure about playing anyone from San Jose in this game in particular, but I am definitely intrigued by Almada and Lennon from Atlanta for this one. Etienne intrigues me as he is a cheaper fantasy midfield option, but I am also concerned with the risk as I am not quite sure how well he will fit in Atlanta.
I like a couple of San Jose’s attacking options in this game as well. I just think I can find better value in other matchups in week 1.
LA Galaxy vs LAFC: Over 3.5 (+130) LA Galaxy +165/LAFC +135
El Tráfico has been a rivalry full of goals throughout the years. This opening week matchup is no different. I am very interested in getting a piece of the fantasy action in this matchup, and there is a chance I will make a selection from both teams. The last two times these two teams faced off the final score was 3-2. Both teams are likely to score, and I want some of that action.
Philadelphia Union vs Columbus Crew: Under 2.5 (-110) - Philadelphia -150/Columbus +350
Playing in Philadelphia is about as difficult as playing anywhere these days. Even with premium attackers it could be difficult for Columbus to find goals. I am also not head over heels about stacking Philadelphia three deep unless it's all defenders as this game is projected to be a low-scoring affair.
Nashville SC vs NYCFC: Under 2.5 (-120) - Nashville SC +115/NYCFC +220
NYCFC has some serious question marks after their offseason. Because of that, and based on how low-scoring this game is projected to be I am interested in a defender or two from Nashville. Plus Mukhtar, but that is likely to be standard in most game weeks until further notice.
Orlando City vs RBNY: Under 2.5 (-140) - Orlando City +130/RBNY +195
I was surprised this game is projected to be the most likely to have two goals or less. After further review it makes perhaps slightly more sense. Orlando City won 1-0 early on last year against RBNY, and then RBNY responded with a 3-0 win in their second meeting. Both teams also made new premium signings for their attack, but they are all unproven in MLS making their attacks a bit of a question mark until they have played a couple games. I am interested in Ojeda as his $6.5m price tag is so favorable for a designated player, even if he is a new signing.
I am also interested in several other attacking players on both teams' squads, but it seems like this first gameweek might not be the best time to test it. This game is certainly worth keeping an eye out for and staying up to date on any fantasy relevant news as the match approaches since it is a bit of an odd projected scoreline based on what these two teams seem capable of bringing into their attack this season.
*These over/under stats were all pulled from DraftKings Sportsbook