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@BurrOaks77's Wednesday MLS Picks - 8/31

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Atlanta United FC @ Philadelphia Union

I am having a hard time understanding the price point on this game. Philly is the best team in the east by a significant margin. They are five points clear of Montreal and pushing for the supporters shield. I expect to see The Union’s best lineup tonight as they make the final push for the playoffs. Atlanta has an outside chance of making it into the playoff picture. Currently they sit in eleventh place with 33 points. The sixth and seventh playoff spots in the east belong to teams with 36 points. However, as I’ve mentioned before, Atlanta sucks out loud on the road. They are an abysmal 1-5-7 in road games this year. I don’t think it’s my bias towards Philly causing me to think that The Union at home being -145 on the money line is some serious disrespect.

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The Philadelphia Union have been an absolute wagon lately. They hold an MLS leading goal differential of +37 and have won their last two matches 6-0. Leading the charge is Daniel Gazdag who is coming off his first career hat trick vs Colorado. Gazdag has had nine goals in his last nine games. He’s also The Union’s PK taker and has been mispriced as a CAM most of the year. Gazdag is currently tied as the third leading goal scorer in the MLS with 16 goals to his name. The Union’s next best offensive weapon is Julian Carranza. The 22 year old Miami transfer is having a breakout season with 13 goals and seven assists. Carranza isn’t afraid to mix it up either, and has ninne yellow cards to his name. Philly also has arguably the best keeper in the league in Andre Blake. So not only can the Union score at an extremely high clip, but when their offense sputters, they can rely on the defense to do a great job as well.

Atlanta has been riddled with injury the entire season. Unfortunately, that can’t be an excuse for the front office or club supporters. Atlanta has one of the highest payrolls in the MLS and playoffs are a minimum expectation on this club. After last year’s coaching scandal and making the first round of the playoffs, the expectation was to build on that momentum this year. The one thing Atlanta can still rely on is having one of the most elite goal scorers in the MLS. King Josef Martinez has seven goals on the year and has struggled to consistently be on the field. When he is healthy, it's easy to see that he’s one of the most elite strikers in the league. He holds the MLS record for being the fastest player to reach 100 league goals. If the King starts, or even subs on to this game, he’s really the only person I think can slip one behind Blake.

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Oaks' Picks 🌳

Burroaks77's Picks:

  • Philadelphia ML -145 BetMGM (play to return 1.5u)
  • Philadelphia to score in both halves +108 Barstool
  • Philadelphia clean sheet +225 Caesars (0.5u)

Burroaks77's Props: (wait for lineups)

  • Gazdag AGS +170 Barstool
  • Carranza AGS +170 Barstool
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