Bet the MLS Playoffs: Andrew Chase looks to stay hot with picks of Orlando vs NYCFC, Red Bulls vs Crew
Orlando City's Chris Mueller, right, and Junior Urso scream in celebration after Mueller scored a goal against the Columbus Crew during an MLS soccer match in Orlando, Fla., Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. Orlando won 2-1. Stephen M. Dowell/Orlando Sentinel via AP

Bet the MLS Playoffs: Andrew Chase looks to stay hot with picks of Orlando vs NYCFC, Red Bulls vs Crew

Orlando City vs New York City FC, noon EST; New York Red Bulls vs Columbus Crew at 3 pm.

Last night’s Major League Soccer play-In games brought the hype. The New England Revolution advanced to the playoffs with a 95th minute winner, and Nashville dominated Inter Miami on all fronts. We finished up 3.5 units for those who followed along @AndySoccerLocks on Twitter. Now we look to continue that trend today!

There are two games today to kick off the first round. Orlando City will be hosting New York City FC at noon Eastern time, and the New York Red Bulls head to Ohio to face the Columbus Crew at 3 pm.

Orlando City had the best unbeaten run in the league this season, going two months without a loss from the end of August to the end of October. In-state rival Inter Miami knocked them off, and for some reason that game has always been a struggle for Orlando.

Lucky for them, New York City FC has been a favorable matchup and Miami is already out of the playoffs as of last night. Orlando have not lost to NYCFC in their last five outings with two wins and three draws. Orlando is also no stranger to the knockout stages, stringing together that brilliant run in the MLS is Back Tournament that saw them losing in the final to the Portland Timbers in a close one.

New York City FC come into this game on a four game winning streak, but when you look at the quality of wins they’ve had this season they do not stack up to Orlando’s resume. You could argue that wins against Toronto FC and in the New York Derby to end the year are worth noting, but I would argue that Toronto’s massive lapse in form to close the year and choke the Supporters Shield to Philadelphia are not as impressive as a mid-season win against that side.

The Columbus Crew have had a rollercoaster of a season. They have always been a team that has been respected by the league, finishing third in the East and in the league. However, their form was all over the place to close out the season, coming in with 3W-2D-5L in their last 10. This comes after having only one loss and three draws the entire season before the final stretch.

I am not doing a very good job of selling this one for Columbus. Their major advantage today is their record against the Red Bulls, boasting two wins and a draw in their last three. New York secured the 6 seed going 9W-5D-9L in the regular season, barely beating out Nashville SC and the New England Revolution for that sixth seed to escape the play-in games.

Columbus are experienced, they’ve got the history against New York, and they’ve got a favorable matchup against a team I personally rate below some of the clubs who played last night in the play-in’s. The Crew are not one of my teams I tweeted out futures for to win it all, but there is no way they choke today in the first round at home.

The Plays:

Orlando City to Advance -125 - 1 Unit

Columbus Crew Moneyline - EVEN - 1 Unit

Andrew Chase has 56.5 wins, 32.5 losses, and 18 pushes in Major League Soccer in 2020, netting a return of +23.375 units since July. During the MLS is Back Tournament he put together a record of 16 wins, 7.5 losses, and 4 pushes to net 11.4 units. We look to continue this strong record today and keep it rolling! Thank you everyone for your time and your trust. Good luck to all.

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