LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers Odds, Picks, Prediction: Friday MLS Betting Preview (July 30)

LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers Odds, Picks, Prediction: Friday MLS Betting Preview (July 30) article feature image
Credit:

Jeremy Olson/ISI Photos/Getty Images. Pictured: Felipe Mora.

  • The Galaxy and Timbers meet on Friday night, with LA looking to avenge a 3-0 loss from earlier this year.
  • Portland and LA both lost their last match, but the Timbers are closer to full strength tonight.
  • Ian Quillen explains below why he believes the Galaxy's defense could struggle.

LA Galaxy vs. Portland Odds

LA Galaxy Odds -103
Portland Odds +245
Draw +270
Over/Under 3.5 (+125 / -175)
Day | Time Friday | 10 p.m. ET
How To Watch ESPN | fuboTV
Odds updated Thursday night via DraftKings.

The LA Galaxy look to rebound from their worst defeat of the season on Saturday night when they host a Portland Timbers squad finally getting healthy.

Playing a fifth consecutive match without Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez and a few others, the Galaxy were beaten 4-0 last weekend at an FC Dallas side that entered losers of three in a row.

The same evening, Portland took an early lead through Felipe Mora before eventually succumbing to a 2-1 loss at Minnesota United.

This one could carry bad blood both ways.

The Timbers routed the Galaxy 3-0 in their previous meeting. But all three goals came after LA defender Derrick Williams’ challenge ended Portland midfielder Andy Polo’s season, resulting in a red card and subsequent six-match suspension.

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LA Galaxy Not At Full Strength

The Galaxy couldn’t find the back of the net in Dallas, but despite Chicharito’s absence with a calf injury, LA’s recent struggles have come more often on defense.

That reflects a longer absentee list than just Mexico’s all-time leading international goal scorer.

The United States’ Sebastian Lletget, and Mexico’s Jonathan dos Santos and Efrain Alvares are all at the CONCACAF Gold Cup. And when you take that chunk of a potential front four away, opponents are less concerned about getting caught with too many numbers forward.

That’s a bad formula when you’ve already struggled on defense at times this year, and it has resulted in LA conceding 11 times in its last five games.

Outside back Oneil Fisher (Jamaica) and Giancarlo Gonzalez (Costa Rica) are returning to LA from their own Gold Cup duty.

Fisher has made four appearances this year. Gonzalez has yet to see the field.

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Portland Victim Of Packed Schedule

The Timbers finally have Jeremy Ebobisse, Cristhian Paredes and Sebastian Blanco all available, but that doesn’t mean Giovanni Savarese has been able to field his ideal starting XI.

In their third match in eight days against Minnesota, Savaredse rotated his squad considerably as Ebobisse, Valeri and Blanco all began on the bench.

It’s still not clear if Blanco is fit enough to start having made a prolonged return from an ACL tear suffered last September.

The 2020 MLS is Back Tournament MVP has played no more than 17 minutes in any game this season, though he appeared in all three matches of Portland’s busy week.

Mora leads Portland with four goals. He’s one of five Timbers players to find the net multiple times.

Betting Analysis & Pick

Starting at last year’s MLS is Back Tournament, this Timbers offense made of much the same personnel scored multiple goals in a stretch of 10 out of 12 games.

Between Blanco’s slow fitness build and striker Jaroslaw Niezgoda’s continued absence from his own ACL tear, this offense is clearly not at that level yet.

But there are growing echoes, and a match against the leaky Galaxy could be a good catalyst toward better attacking days.

That doesn’t mean a good day going forward earns a result for the visitors. Even this version of the Galaxy is capable of scoring.

Victor Vazquez has proven his ability to conjure individual brilliance in this league.  Samuel Grandsir and Kevin Cabral are both considerably underperforming their xG in their first MLS seasons. Ethan Zubak is a capable — if unspectacular — replacement for Chicharito at center striker.

But Timbers are the more dependable offense against one of the league’s least dependable defenses. I’m playing them to score at least twice at +130 odds and an implied 43.5% probability on the belief the Galaxy’s defending woes continue.

Pick: Portland team total over 1.5 goals (+130)

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