Friday MLS Betting Odds & Picks: Montreal Impact vs. Toronto FC (Friday, Aug. 28)

Credit:

Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images. Pictured: Vancouver’s Michael Baldisimo, left, tackles Montreal midfielder Samuel Piette.

  • Toronto FC takes on the Montreal Impact at 8 p.m. ET on Friday. Toronto is the favorite at -120 and the total is set at 2.5.
  • Toronto won the teams' first meeting this season, 4-3, in the MLS is Back tournament, and Jeremy Pond likes the over in Friday's match.
  • Check out Pond's full betting preview for Toronto vs. Montreal below.

Montreal vs. Toronto FC Odds

Montreal odds +275 [BET NOW]
Toronto FC odds -120 [BET NOW]
Draw +290 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 2.5 (-148/+112) [BET NOW]
Time 8 p.m. ET
TV TSN

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There is only one match scheduled on Friday’s Major League Soccer card, with Toronto FC going up against Montreal in the latest edition of this heated Canadian rivalry.

Despite the majority of the major professional sports leagues taking a step back from competition due to the social unrest blanketing the North American landscape, another chapter of the 401 Derby is still slated to go off as planned at Stade Saputo in Montreal.

This contest marks the second time this year the sides will have battled each other. Toronto FC got the best of Montreal in the first meeting, earning a 4-3 victory at the MLS is Back tournament behind a hat trick from Ayo Akinola.

The Reds have been brilliant since the restart of the regular season, going 2-0 with a pair of wins against Vancouver at BMO Field in Toronto.

On the other side, the Impact got off on the right foot earlier this week as well when it chalked up a 2-0 shutout triumph against Vancouver.

After looking at the data and numbers, there really is no comparison between the clubs. Toronto boasts an unreal 8.0 expected goals against 2.1 expected goals against for a league-leading +5.9 xGDiff figure. Its +1.49 xGDiff/90 minutes is second in the league only to Western Conference power Seattle.


Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.


In contrast, Montreal is well behind Toronto FC in the exact same categories (3.6 xGF/4.6 xGA = -1.0 xGDiff and -0.32 xGDiff/90), putting it at what would seem to be a huge disadvantage entering this tilt.

On paper, this seems like it would be a relatively easy game to handicap. You have a Toronto FC side that’s established itself as one of the top clubs in the league going against a Montreal team that is just starting to find its way.

However, when you combine some of the outside factors with this being anything but normal times in MLS play, we could be in for a surprise in Quebec.

With that in mind, I am backing Montreal as a live underdog and getting a goal in this spot. The Impact is going to come in with a chip on its shoulder and, in my opinion, really go after a result.

I am also playing the total go over the number as well. Three of the last five matches between the franchises have seen the total hit three goals or more, including 10 goals in the last two games.

The Bet: Montreal +1 (-190); Total Over 2.5 Goals (-148)

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