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MLS Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Sunday Best Bets, Featuring Portland Timbers vs. Philadelphia Union (May 22)

MLS Betting Odds, Picks, Predictions: Our Sunday Best Bets, Featuring Portland Timbers vs. Philadelphia Union (May 22) article feature image
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Abbie Parr/Getty Images. Pictured: Portland Timbers standout Sebastian Blanco.

After four Saturday matches on the Major League Soccer schedule, the rest of the week’s slate concludes with Sunday’s games.

New York City FC plays host to the Chicago Fire at Yankee Stadium, which has become one of the unique home-field advantages in the league.

Austin FC looks to build on a midweek, statement-making win when it hosts a stubborn Orlando City side.

And the Portland Timbers host the Philadelphia Union in a nationally televised nightcap to round out the card.

That said, here are our Week 13 best bets.

NYCFC vs. Chicago

NYCFC Odds -225
Chicago Odds +550
Draw +340
Over/Under 2.5 (-145 / +105)
Day | Time Sunday | 5 p.m. ET
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Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Yankee Stadium, with its asymmetrical layout and compact pitch dimensions, is the most unique home-field advantage in the league.

And while New York City FC has sometimes been forced to other “home” parks since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when the club is in the Bronx, it shows.

The Cityzens have scored three or more goals in 10 of 18 games played on 161st Street since the start of manager Ronney Deila’s tenure.

When it comes to Chicago, it’s facing an opponent whose defense is beginning to be exposed after a promising start under first-year coach Ezra Hendrickson.

The Fire have conceded 10 goals in their last three away trips, including a midweek 3-3 draw against the New York Red Bulls. Their 11.9 xG allowed in six away matches in the second-worst mark in the Eastern Conference and third-worst in the league.

A price of +155 odds and an implied 39.2% probability might seem awfully steep to back a team scoring three or more goals. However, in this particular case, it actually represents value.

Quillen’s Pick: NYCFC — Team Total Over 2.5 Goals (+155)

Austin FC vs. Orlando City

Austin Odds +105
Orlando Odds +240
Draw +250
Over/Under 2.5 (-145 / +100)
Day | Time Sunday | 8 p.m. ET
How To Watch ESPN+
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

Austin FC has nothing left to prove, right? 

Well … that’s not quite true. While Los Verdes’ second-year success is impressive, I still want to see them dictate the terms against quality opponents that are more focused on disrupting Austin than playing their own game. 

That’s exactly what manager Josh Wolff’s men will probably face with manager Oscar Pareja’s obstinate Orlando City coming to town.

The Lions have won half of their six away matches by willing to sit in a low block and suffer. They’ve conceded more than a goal away only once. And their away matches have featured more than two goals just once.

Austin has also played lower-scoring affairs against the higher-quality sides that have paid a visit. Matches against Minnesota United, Los Angeles Galaxy and Seattle saw Austin score only two total goals.

Overall, the under has hit in half of Austin’s home matches in 2022 and three of four games against teams that reached the playoffs last season. 

Add in the fact the Lions have a full week of rest and this could be tougher than most suspect for Austin’s attack.

If Austin does get a goal early, it could certainly spiral into three or four in total. However, I’m good playing the chance that it doesn’t and backing the total staying under 2.5 goals at +100 odds and an implied 50% probability.

Quillen’s Pick: Total Under 2.5 Goals (+100)

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Portland vs. Philadelphia

Portland Odds +135
Philadelphia Odds +185
Draw +230
Over/Under 2.5 (-115 / -120)
Day | Time Sunday | 10 p.m. ET
How To Watch FS1 | fubo TV
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.

The Union offense has created more home xG, but scored more consistently on the road. 

Part of this is about playing without the weight of expectation after a white-hot start to the 2022 campaign. And some of it might be Philadelphia’s press creates more high-probability chances (if not higher volume) when opponents are more aggressive.

The Timbers have been consistently inconsistent home and away. Yet, they should have playmaker Sebastian Blanco in the starting XI after he came off the bench midweek. And he looked close to recapturing his late 2021 form when he had two goals and two assists in a 7-2 home win over Sporting Kansas City a week ago.

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The Union are far better defensively than Sporting KC, but there’s still probably a goal for either side in this contest.

If Philadelphia was in better attacking form, I’d play the over in this affair. And if these teams hadn’t already drawn an abnormally high number of times — in games not particularly even in terms of xG — I’d play them to share the point.

Instead, I’m going a little more conservative and playing Both TeaMs To Score (Yes) at -140 odds and an implied 58.3% probability. It’s a trend that has hit eight of 11 times (72.7% rate) between Union away games and Timbers home matches.

Quillen’s Pick: Both Teams To Score — (-140)

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