With a 4-1 record and a 57% ROI (net profit of 6.3 units), week five was our best to date.
By now you should know the drill: I assign each line with a star (★) rating, and each star corresponds to one unit for the purposes of ROI calculation.
Week 5 Results: 4-1 (22-10-2 OVR / +31.96% ROI)
Minnesota United Win/Draw Double Chance (-160, ★★★★): Last week's theme was road value. In the podcast I posited that oddsmakers were weighting the lines too heavily toward the home sides, and not giving enough credit to visiting sides of higher quality or in better form. In the end, road teams outright won three of the five matches, including two of our three favorite lines of the week.
While a very small sample size, and one week does not a trend make (and for the record, home teams have earned 42 points on the season, while visiting sides have secured only 27), there are a few more games this round in which I feel the road side is criminally undervalued.
Ottawa is arguably not as bad as their record (4 points through 5 games) and goal differential (-4) might indicate, but a team as talented (and in as good form) as Minnesota should not be getting this much value on a Win/Draw double chance. The Loons have won their last three with a combined score of 6-0. I would expect this line to move quite a bit before kickoff.
If you're looking for better payout at slightly higher risk, Minnesota United Draw No Bet (+120) and Minnesota United to Win (+200) are also worth a look.
My favorite high-value flier of the week is Minnesota United Half Time / Full Time result (+360, ½ ★).
Indy Eleven vs FC Edmonton under 2.5 (-115, ★★★): The more I see them play, the more I believe FC Edmonton to be one of the most underrated sides the league. They're certainly not flashy, but they're a tough, physical squad with an experienced coach and are more than capable of earning a point in almost any matchup.
Through five games FC Edmonton have scored and conceded three goals each, giving the Eddies the lowest combined goal total in the league (1.2), and by a fairly large margin (second lowest is Tampa Bay with 1.6). All of their games in 2016 have finished with a combined two goals or less.
Edmonton lack a tremendous amount of quality in the attacking half, but they've shown their ability to play an effective compact defense which has kept their games close and low-scoring.
Having to systematically break down a team whose sole focus will be to grind out a result will be a challenge the Eleven have not faced this season, and it'll be interesting to see how well they handle it. There are certainly worse plays than Indy Eleven to win (-110, ★★) this week (especially given Edmonton's match congestion), but I'll admit a 1-1 or 0-0 draw wouldn't be the most shocking result in the league this week. I do think Indy to win is a good hedge for the under, however, as it's very unlikely the visiting side earns a point if the two teams combine for three goals or more.
It's difficult to imagine the Eddies picking up their second road victory in four days, but there's very little value to be had in Indy Eleven Draw No Bet (-220).
For an in-depth look at this matchup, be sure to check out our very own James Cormack's match preview.
New York Cosmos to win (+100, ★★★): Miami FC is in complete disarray. Their defense has consistently struggled, having yet to keep a clean sheet through five games. They have the worst points-per-game record in the league (0.4).
It gets worse: Nesta's men have had one of the easiest early schedules in the entire league. Their remaining spring games are against the New York Cosmos, Carolina Railhawks, FC Edmonton, Indy Eleven, and Minnesota United. Good luck with that.
I see no reason to believe they get a result against the Cosmos.
Rayo OKC Win/Draw Double Chance (TBD, ★★): The line has not been released at the time of publication, but I expect Jacksonville to once again be overvalued and this line to land right around -130.
Rayo's defense continues to be a a concern (having conceded as many as anyone but Miami), but they should have more than enough going forward to earn a point against an all-around unimpressive Jacksonville side playing their second game in four days.
We've been tracking these predictions in a points-based system throughout the season: 3 points for correct game result, 1 point for each correct score (by team), and 1 additional point for a perfect game. It's a tight battle through five weeks:
James: 55 points
Seth: 53 points
Caleb: 50 points
Have any questions about any of the numbers or terminology found in this post? Reach out to @CalebRamp on Twitter.
Remember: All gambling and betting line discussion is for entertainment purposes only. If you do choose to gamble, be sure to do so legally and responsibly.
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James and Seth (@SoccerBits) can also be found on Twitter.