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New England vs. N.Y. Preview | MLS Free Pick (Oct. 21)

MLS Soccer Predictions – Thursday – New England vs New York

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The MLS began its 15th season this year and we’ve finally decided it’s time to give this league some handicapping love and provide some free SOCCER gambling analysis every week.

Onto the week’s MLS preview and prediction for the week.

Matchup: New England Revolution v New York Red Bulls
Date: Thursday, October 21, 2010
Time: Kick-off: 7:30 PM EST
Venue: Red Bull Arena in Harrison, NJ.
TV: ESPN2/ESPND
MLS Fixture Betting Lines and Odds from Bodog
Money Line: New England (+550) New York (-225) Draw (+300)
Spread: New York-1 ½
Over/Under: 2 ½

New York Red haven’t beat New England in a league match since the energy drink sponsor bought the team in march 2006, and a win Thursday would give the Red Bulls their first conference title since 2000.

The Red Bulls are 0-2-6 versus the Revs at home and are 0-9-7 since their last win over their Eastern Conference rivals — when they were known as the MetroStars in the 2005 MLS playoffs — a 1-0 home victory on Oct. 22, 2005.

The Red Bulls has already clinched a playoff berth, and leads the conference by one point over second-place Columbus who will play its season finale against the Philadelphia Union Sunday. A win on Thursday would ensure that New York would finish atop the Conference, giving them home advantage in the semifinals.

A huge turnaround for a side that finished with an MLS-low 21 points just one season ago.

However, the task at hand may have gotten a little trickier as the red Bulls will be without International star Thierry Henry who has been suffering from a right knee strain for the past week that left him sidelined for Saturday’s 2-1 loss at the expansion Philadelphia Union. Henry has two goals and three assists in 11 games. Head coach Hans Backe will hope the French striker will be ready for action when the MLS playoffs begin next week.

Meanwhile, the Revs who have missed the playoffs for the first time since 2001, are trying for its first three-game winning streak since August 2009, while enjoying their role of potential spoiler. They ended Kansas City’s playoff hopes with a 1-0 win Saturday, and are in position to ruin the Red Bulls’ dreams of an Eastern Conference title, something that they will take great pride in doing.

Midfielder Shalrie Joseph, who has scored in consecutive games, giving him four goals with a team-high five assists on the season, will look to play a critical role in the Revs efforts to increase its streak to 10 wins over New York. He scored the lone goal of the game to lead the New England in its victory over KC last weekend.

Despite the absence of Henry, the New England backline will still need to be wary of Colombian ace, Juan Pablo Angel, who is tied for third in MLS with 13 goals and considered a contender for league MVP honors. The former Aston Villa man, scored against New England in May, but has just one goal in his last eight appearances. He and will look to end his tenure with Red Bulls –after announcing his retirement–by securing an Eastern Conference crown on the way to an MLS Cup.

Prediction: With home advantage on the line, I look for New York to pull out all of the stops in this one. Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth has been in fantastic form, recording his first league shutout just one week after getting his first MLS victory as a starter, should have a solid outing against the Revs who are scoring just 1.1 goals per match. Expect NY to edge out a 1-0 win in the Garden State.

We will continue to provide free weekly MLS gambling predictions due to the responses we’ve gotten on ourSoccer handicapping forums, and survey responses we’ve conducted on our soccer betting blog.

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Matt Martz is a sports writer for the Bakersfield Californian located in Central California. Blessed is the gambler who expects nothing, for ye shall not be disappointed.

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