After playing for Argentina in World Cup qualifying matches, then sitting out two MLS matches for rest, Lionel Messi is expected to take the pitch for Inter Miami on Wednesday night.
Messi participated in training on Tuesday, and coach Tata Martino said Messi’s playing status will be a game-time decision for the MLS match against Toronto FC.
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However, the betting public believes Messi will suit up with 85% of the handle and 72% of the bets on Inter Miami at BetMGM for this matchup.
The Herons could use the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, as Inter Miami is on the outside looking in for a playoff berth.
Messi has recorded 11 goals and eight assists in 11 matches for Inter Miami.
Will Messi get in the scoring column again against Toronto FC?
Let’s take a look at the odds, along with a pick from Jason McIntyre.
Toronto FC at Inter Miami, 4:30 p.m. ET Wednesday
Result at the end of regulation:
Moneyline: Toronto FC +600 (bet $10 to win $70 total); Inter Miami -280 (bet $10 to win $13.57 total)
Draw: +420 (bet $10 to win $37 total)
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Over/Under 3.5 goals
Over: +118 (bet $10 to win $21.80 total)
Under: -144 (bet $10 to win $16.94 total)
POPULAR LIONEL MESSI WAGERS
Messi to score anytime goal: -260 (bet $10 to win $13.85 total)
Messi anytime assist: -130 (bet $10 to win $17.69 total)
Messi to score or assist: -460 (bet $10 to win $12.17 total)
Messi to score first goal: +180 (bet $10 to win $28 total)
Messi to score two or more goals: +185 (bet $10 to win $28.50 total)
Messi to score a hat trick: +650 (bet $10 to win $75 total)
Messi to score or be shown a card: -330 (bet $10 to win $13.03 total)
*odds as of 9/19/2023
Pick vIa FOX Sports Betting Analyst Jason McIntyre:
It’s weird seeing Lionel Messi’s Inter Miami team near the bottom of the MLS standings. They’re currently 14th of 15 teams in the East, even though they’re one of the hottest teams in the league and won the Leagues Cup. But in dead last, way below Miami, is Toronto FC.
Since July, Toronto has given up 3+ goals in MLS/Leagues Cup games four times in 10 games. This lines up as a smash spot for Miami coming off a 5-2 loss to Atlanta, a game in which Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba did not play.
The only word of caution is that Miami has six matches in 18 days, so this might be a game in which Messi doesn’t play enough minutes to decimate Toronto.
You never want to treat a professional opponent as a “tune up” but that could be the case for Miami with a rugged road ahead.
As a result, look to the first half.
PICK: Miami 1st half -140
PICK: Miami over 1.5 goals 1st half +105
PICK: Messi score and assist +175
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