CONCACAF Champions League Odds, Picks, Predictions, Best Bets: Seattle Sounders vs. Pumas UNAM (May 4)
Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: Seattle Sounders standouts Nicolás Lodeiro, left, and Jordan Morris.
- Major League Soccer power Seattle hosts Liga MX club Pumas UNAM in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final at Lumen Field.
- The first match in Mexico City last week finished in a 2-2 draw.
- Ian Quillen shares his best bet below.
Seattle vs. Pumas Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-105 / -120)|
|Day | Time||Wednesday | 10 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||FS1 | fuboTV | UniMás|
|Odds updated via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.|
Continental supremacy is on the line Wednesday when Major League Soccer power Seattle hosts Liga MX club Pumas UNAM in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League final at Lumen Field.
The first match in Mexico City last week finished in a 2-2 draw on a wet, wild evening at the Estadio Olímpico Universitario.
Juan Dinenno scored both goals for Pumas via a penalty just before halftime and an exceptional header early into the second half. However, the Sounders earned two late spot kicks of their own, both converted by Nicolás Lodeiro.
Seattle is trying to become the first MLS team to win the CCL since the competition was created in 2008.
Mexican teams have won all 13 previous editions, but Pumas is trying to win its first continental title since 1989 in the now-defunct CONCACAF Champions Cup.
Seattle Hoping to Make CCL History
The Sounders are the fifth MLS team to reach the final during the CCL era. However, all four previous finalists failed. And the three teams who played a two-leg semifinal failed despite earning a draw or better in the leg played on Mexican soil.
Yet, rarely has an MLS team dictated the terms of play the way Seattle did in first clash in Mexico City. A box score showing Sounders benefiting from two penalties might suggest Seattle were fortunate to earn their draw. However, they were deserving on the balance of play over 90 minutes.
The visitors created twice as many big chances overall (4-2 margin) and from open play (2-1 edge) in the contest.
It was largely a shaky first hour for center back Yeimar, who was making his first start in six weeks since returning from injury, that led to Pumas’ lead.
For what it’s worth, the 2021 MLS defender of the year finalist responded well after his side went two goals down and didn’t appear rattled by the performance.
Seattle was able to reschedule its MLS game against Vancouver for later in the season. So, manager Brian Schmetzer has not only a mostly healthy squad to choose from, but a fully rested one as well.
Dinenno Giving Pumas Chance in Finale
No one is hotter in the CCL than Dinenno, who leads the competition with nine goals scored, including six in Pumas’ last four games.
He also added two goals in a half-hour cameo off the bench over the weekend in Pumas’ regular-season finale, a 2-0 win over Pachuca that helped UNAM slide into the 12-team Liga MX Clausura playoff field.
If there’s a downside, it’s that Pumas have been almost too reliant on the Argentine sniper for their offense of late.
Former Real Salt Lake attacker Sebastian Saucedo is the only other player to find the net in the competition since the quarterfinals began. And Pumas haven’t scored away from home in the CCL since their round of 16 tie against Costa Rican stalwarts Deportivo Saprissa.
In the sense, they’ve lucked out a little bit: Away goals do not count in the CCL final. A 0-0 draw through 90 minutes is enough for Pumas to get the match to extra time, and after 120 minutes, a penalty shootout.
Arturo Ortiz returns for Pumas after serving a red-card suspension in opening contest. He went 75 minutes in the weekend victory over Pachuca.
Betting Analysis & Pick
The history of MLS failures at this stage says this is far from a done deal.
Both Real Salt Lake (2011) and Montreal (2015) earned similar opening results. Both lost the second leg at home. Toronto FC also lost its home leg in 2018, and despite defeating CD Guadalajara away, lost the title on penalties.
However, none of those teams controlled the game in Mexico the way Seattle did. And none of those teams had the clearly superior roster, not to mention the better-rested, more experienced squad.
I’m not guaranteeing victory, but I think there’s probably two ways this is most likely to go. Either Pumas hang tight throughout and late drama ensues or the Sounders get a lead, then add to it through their lethal counterattack as Pumas sends numbers forward.
The teams’ respective form in this competition points to one of those possibilities. Pumas settled for draws in two of their away legs and in the third were romped by New England by three goals. Plus, Seattle has won all three matches at home in this tournament by multiple goals.
And on the 30,000-foot level, when teams finally break through a longstanding barrier, they shatter it. I think the Sounders definitely have a chance to do that.
That said, I’m backing the Sounders to win by multiple goals at +230 odds and an implied 30.3% probability.
Pick: Seattle — Three-Way Spread -1 (+230)
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