We are into the final month of the MLS 2023 regular season and the race for the playoffs is very much on now. It continues on Wednesday night when a full fixture list takes place across the two Conferences.
As ever this season, if you want full coverage of any of these matches you will need an MLS Season Pass on Apple TV although some matches are available without one for Apple TV subscribers. Bookmakers will stream them as well.
Wednesday’s fixtures are as follows: (00.30 unless stated)
CF Montréal v FC Cincinnati
Charlotte FC v Philadelphia Union
Columbus Crew v Chicago Fire FC
D.C. United v Atlanta United
Inter Miami CF v Toronto FC
New York City FC v Orlando City SC
New York Red Bulls v Austin FC
Houston Dynamo FC v Vancouver Whitecaps FC (01.30)
Sporting Kansas City v Nashville SC (01.30)
St. Louis City SC v Los Angeles Football Club (01.30)
Colorado Rapids v Seattle Sounders FC (02.30)
Real Salt Lake v FC Dallas (02.30)
LA Galaxy v Minnesota United FC (03.30)
Portland Timbers v San Jose Earthquakes (03.30)
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We might go some way to finding out who is the best in the Western Conference heading into the playoffs when the top two in the division meet as St Louis City SC play host to the champions Los Angeles FC in what is the marquee match of the night. The leaders of the Eastern Conference are also on show on Wednesday evening. FC Cincinnati will go across the border to take on a CF Montreal side who are really beginning to look over their shoulders in the race for the playoffs. Orlando City SC have moved into second spot in the race for the Supporters’ Shield and they make the trip to the Big Apple to take on New York City FC.
Best of the Rest
The race for the playoffs will really intensity from here on in and five teams look to be chasing the final two spots Minnesota United and Portland Timbers currently have the play in slots and both are in action in the later kick offs on Wednesday. Minnesota make the trip to LA Galaxy while the Portland Timbers host San Jose Earthquakes. Sporting Kansas City head the chase should one of the others slip up and they are at home to Nashville SC while FC Dallas go to Real Salt Lake and Austin FC make a trip to New York Red Bulls. Some big teams are on the outside of the playoffs looking in over in the East. Chicago Fire, Charlotte FC, both New York teams and a certain Inter Miami are hoping teams above them slip up. Miami host bottom placed Toronto FC in a match they can’t afford to slip up in. Charlotte FC host the Philadelphia Union while the Chicago Fire have an awkward looking trip to Columbus Crew.
I’ll take two bets in this midweek set of matches. The first one comes in the match which will naturally carry some attention as the bottom two in the Eastern Conference meet when Inter Miami host Toronto FC. Miami saw their playoff hopes dealt a huge blow when they were beaten in Atlanta over the weekend so they are probably going to need to win five and possibly six of their last seven to make it into the playoffs. They’ll need to sort out their goal difference in that time too and Toronto might well be the first victims of that goal difference clean up. Toronto are already planning for next season and still haven’t won on their travels this season. They are 0-4-9 for the season with just seven goals scored in those 13 games and 24 against. Whether Messi is fit and starts or not there is so much more to this Miami attack since Tata Martino has arrived and I’m expecting a very comfortable midweek home win for the superstar laden side.
I can’t let that marquee Western Conference clash go to waste though. This feels like a big game for St Louis City SC. Their form since Leagues Cup hasn’t been fantastic but it can be hard to maintain intensity when you are clear at the top of a table. Here they have the motivation of sending a marker out to Los Angeles FC in what very well could be a clash repeated in the Western Conference final later in the campaign. With that in mind, I’m expecting the best of St Louis here, which we saw in the early stages of the season is a very good level. On the same token, LAFC are proud champions and they will come out fighting fire with fire here. They are not yet secured of home advantage in the first round of the playoffs so this is a big game for them too. Two top class sides in MLS usually equates to a lot of goals and I’m not sure a goal line of 3 will be high enough in this one.
Back Inter Miami (-1.5AH) to beat Toronto FC for a 3/10 stake at 1.85 with Bet365
Back St Louis City SC vs Los Angeles FC – Over 3 goals for a 3/10 stake at 1.93 with Bet365