Toronto vs Cincinnati Picks, Preview, MLS Game Betting Predictions

Luciano AcostaAfter picking up a fantastic win against one of their Canadian rivals last time out, Toronto FC will continue playing on home soil on Saturday (7.30pm ET). They will host high-flyers Cincinnati, which is far from easy to do. Can the hosts continue moving in the right direction? This TFC vs FC Cincy preview, with its predictions and betting picks, will answer that.

After a couple of poor results, losing first at home to the NYCFC franchise, before coming up short on the road in Nashville, TFC regained the winning thread in resounding fashion last weekend, beating Canadian rivals CF Montreal 5-1 at BMO Field. Such a win will have given the men in red plenty of much-needed confidence ahead of this fixture against one of the best teams in MLS right now. It will be interesting to see how John Herdman’s men fare.

Things continued to go smoothly for Cincinnati last weekend, as they got the better of St. Louis City on home soil, thanks once again to a certain Luciano Acosta pulling the strings. The 2023 MVP has continued to show MLS fans that he’s the main man this time around, and with the little Argentine in strong form, Saturday’s visitors at BMO Field look incredibly hard to face. They have now won six games on the spin, a run that has left them sitting second in the Eastern Conference, just one point behind Inter Miami.

TFC high-scoring hosts

In recent weeks, Toronto FC have shifted through the gears offensively. We’ve seen Federico Bernardeschi show a much higher level of form than he’d previously treated MLS crowds to, scoring six and assisting five in just 13 appearances, beating his totals from the entirety of the previous season. We have also seen Matty Longstaff, another player with experience in one of Europe’s top leagues, add to the offensive power of the Canadian team. The return of Lorenzo Insigne, yet another high-class operator, who assisted twice in his first start since returning to full fitness, has allowed Saturday’s hosts to be even more threatening.

The guys from BMO Field scored five last time out in MLS, while they banged in eight in the Canadian Cup during the week. Of course, this is a much tougher test, but such preparations can only be viewed as a positive.

Cincy in form but too reliant on one man?

While the hosts have shown that they can threaten via various offensive channels in recent games, the visitors have been rather reliant on one player. Luciano Acosta has the quality to carry this side. However, there is only so much one man can do. Should the Argentine, who has either scored or assisted each of Cincinnati’s last eight goals, have a dip in form, the Orange and Blue may find it much tougher to get results.

Moreover, away from the comforts of TQL Stadium, Pat Noonan’s men have kept a clean sheet in just one out of eight (in all competitions) this season, which doesn’t exactly bode well ahead of a game against a hugely in-form frontline.

TFC looking for an unusual win in this fixture

Since Saturday’s visitors made the step up to MLS in 2019, they have enjoyed plenty of luck against TFC, especially in the last couple of seasons. Last term, they won home and away against Toronto, winning 2-3 at BMO Field, after winning 3-0 at home. They have also won four of the last five renewals of this fixture. However, when the pair met at the start of the current campaign, they were locked at 0-0, so there’s hope for the hosts here.

Home goals the way to go in the betting

The hosts are up against one of the best teams in Major League Soccer here, but they themselves are one of the strongest looking teams right now, especially in an offensive sense. Moreover, despite not conceding many goals of late, the Orange & Blue have given plenty of chances away, so this could very easily become the first game in a while where they ship multiple goals. After all, they are up against some of the best offensive players in the division, all of which arrive at this juncture in fantastic form.

In their most recent away game, FC Cincy conceded once, but they allowed the Columbus Crew to fire off plenty of shots and get into good areas. A more clinical team, such as one with top players like Insigne and Bernardeschi, may have taken more advantage. Away against Atlanta shortly before that, they also conceded, surrendering 1.69 xG, while at Montreal before that, they gave away a couple of goals, so we really shouldn’t be surprised if a very impressive TFC makes plenty of offensive headway on this occasion.

After all, the hosts have scored at least twice in four of their last five MLS fixtures, scoring two or more in each of their last three, while that last home performance was electric.

Frankly, given the offensive quality that John Herdman has at his disposal, coupled with the recent final-third form of key players and the team as a whole, the hosts look quite generously priced to notch at least a couple of goals here. The stateside-facing sportsbooks may have got the price wrong so for the predictions and picks for this preview, it is this one:

  • Toronto FC to Score Over 1.5 Goals @ best odds of +158 with BetOnline.