The Format: Each betting line is assigned a star (★) rating. For the purposes of ROI calculation, each star corresponds to a single unit.
2016 Spring Season Results: 41-20-5 / +25.33% ROI / +28.24 units.
Indy Eleven -.25 (-110, ★★★): Even though they're on the road, the Eleven couldn't have asked for a better matchup to kick off the fall season. As our own James Cormack detailed in his match preview, Puerto Rico's 2016 campaign will primarily be about gaining experience. We've been surprised before, but anything above the bottom of the fall table for Carmelo Anthony's club will likely be seen as a victory.
Indy will be without skipper Colin Falvey and a few others, but even with Indy playing it safe in regards to injuries, it's nearly impossible to imagine NASL debutantes are the ones to finally knock off the undefeated spring champions.
If you're not inclined to care about hedging your losses in the event of a draw, Indy to win outright is currently hovering around +120.
New York Cosmos -1 (-110, ★★★): No two teams have a larger home/away result disparity than the New York Cosmos and Ottawa Fury. The Cosmos are a force at Shuart, outscoring their opponents 9-1 and winning all five of their Spring matchups. As good as the Cosmos are at home, the Fury are just as terrible on the road: winless in league play and outscored 9-2.
The only argument which could be made in the Fury's favor would be New York's midweek US Open Cup loss, and any fitness impact the short turnaround might have. I don't think it will matter much here, and the Cosmos kick off the fall season with a multiple-goal victory.
Miami FC Double Chance Win/Draw (-110, ★★): For my money, Fort Lauderdale vs. Miami is the most interesting matchup of the weekend. The Strikers are one of the hottest teams in North America (having lost only one game since April 30th), while Miami continues to break current-era NASL records with their incredible midseason roster overhaul.
The Strikers will be coming off an exhilarating (but exhausting) 120-minute US Open Cup victory over Orlando City FC midweek, leaving them as the lone NASL side to represent the league in the quarterfinals.
New-look Miami FC (now boasting the expensive midfield in the league) will admittedly take time to gel properly and showcase their full potential. I have my doubts they win on the road, but I like the value in a double chance line at these odds.
Minnesota United to win (-125, ★★): It's difficult to explain Carolina's complete collapse after the first four games of the season. There were no headlining injuries or transfers, and while international duty might have played a minor role toward the end, it can't be blamed for the squad only earning only two points in the final six games.
They've brought in USL record breaker Matt Fondy from Jacksonville in an effort to boost an attack which had grown stagnant, and it'll be interesting to see how a proper striker (albeit one who failed to impress in his short time in Jacksonville) can increase the lethality of Da Luz, Shipalane, and Albadawi.
Minnesota's inconsistency is what cost them a shot at the Spring title, but I like their chances at home against a team who hasn't earned a point on the road since April 23rd.
We are 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.
Caleb: 124 points
James: 107 points
Seth: 107 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.