MLS Is Back Odds, Picks and Predictions: Orlando City vs. Montreal Impact, Philadelphia vs. New England Revolution (Saturday, July 25)

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Jeremy Reper/ISI Photos/Getty Images. Pictured: Nani

Things are about to get real at the MLS is Back tournament, with two matches in the knockout round taking place Saturday in Orlando.

There are 16 teams left in the Major League Soccer competition, being held at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Defending MLS Cup champion Seattle has advanced, along with Eastern Conference powerhouse Toronto FC and tournament favorite Los Angeles Football Club.

Needless to say, exciting matches are on deck and we get things started with Montreal taking on Orlando City in the evening’s opener.

Before we get to Saturday’s matches, let’s take a quick look at a few teams that could provide value as a futures bet at this point in the tournament.

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MLS Is Back Knockout Round Preview

It was a mix of formful results and wild surprises in the group stage of the MLS is Back tournament, with some big names exiting early and several teams at long odds doing more than enough to march on.

Oddsmakers have kept Los Angeles Football Club as the tournament favorite at +275 odds, which is slightly ahead of fellow Western Conference foe Sporting Kansas City (+450) in the Major League Soccer summer event in Orlando.

However, we are fading LAFC and looking at clubs with spicier odds who, in fact, have played better thus far than the favored side.

Lets take a look at the clubs we feel have the best shot at winning the championship and pick out a bet that could provide value if you’re looking to throw a few bucks on a team and root along during the knockout rounds:

Sporting Kansas City
Current Odds: +450
Pre-tournament Odds: +1200

Things got off to a rough start for manager Peter Vermes and his club when they suffered a 2-1 loss to Minnesota United in their opener. However, Sporting kept their focus and posted wins against Colorado and Real Salt Lake to finish atop Group D with six points.

Oddsmakers agree Sporting should be considered a tournament favorite, making them the second choice behind Los Angeles Football Club for outright winner.

If you played Sporting when it closed at double-digit odds before the start of the competition, you have to be pleased since the value has disappeared on the number. If you didn’t play Sporting north of 10-1 odds, I don’t recommend jumping on it now at such a low number.

Sporting Kansas City should have its way against Vancouver in their Round of 16 match, which would set up a quarterfinal tilt with either Philadelphia or New England.


Toronto FC
Current Odds: +800
Pre-Tournament Odds: +1400

The 2017 MLS Cup champion put itself in a tough spot out of the gate, conceding two second-half goals up a man to settle for a 2-2 draw against D.C. United.

Fortunately for the Reds, that disappointing effort did not carry over the rest of the group stage. Toronto FC earned a 4-3 win against Canadian rival Montreal and played to a scoreless draw with New England, en route to four points and first place in the Group C standings.

Toronto FC closed at a ripe 14-1 odds and still offer value at the current price. The Reds have yet to play their best soccer as of yet and I can see them turning it up a notch in the knockout phase, which makes them worth a play at this number.

Toronto FC faces Eastern Conference rival New York City FC in the the Round of 16 and would face either FC Cincinnati or Portland in the quarterfinal stage of the competition.


Columbus Crew
Current Odds: +1600
Pre-Tournament Odds: +2200

Maybe the sharpest club of the group stage, the Crew looked great finishing atop Group E with three wins and nine points. Columbus did it at both ends of the pitch, racking up seven goals and posting three shutouts against its foes.

The price Columbus opened up at was fair, but the current number is simply ridiculous. The Crew is playing like a club on a mission and is well worth playing at this number. Suffice it to say, Columbus is the biggest overlay of the teams in the knockout round.

You also have to like the Crew’s chances since its located on the right side of the bracket, which is the weaker of the two groupings.

A potential showdown with either Seattle or Los Angeles Football Club looms in the semifinal round.


Portland Timbers
Current Odds: +900
Pre-Tournament Odds: +2800

The Timbers showed a lot of grit and moxie in the opening stage, going 2-0-1 for seven points to finish on top of the Group F standings.

Portland announced itself as a title contender when it rallied for a late, second-half goal to scratch out a 2-2 draw against LAFC in their final match of the group fixtures. The Timbers really had control of things deep in the contest and nearly pulled off the victory.

As mentioned before, Portland should not be taken lightly in the knockout round and oddsmakers have drastically reduced their odds to a more deserved, respectable number.

Expect fireworks in the quarterfinal round between Portland and Toronto FC if they advance in their respective Round of 16 games.


Philadelphia Union
Current Odds: +600
Pre-Tournament Odds: +1700

We tabbed the Union as the Group A favorite and the club earned a share of the top spot with Orlando City, which won it via a tiebreaker.

Philadelphia, which mustered a 2-0-1 record for seven points in group action, moved from the dark-horse category to title contender with those performances and oddsmakers took notice as well.

The Union get a tough match against New England in the Round of 16, but I expect them to get the job done against their Eastern Conference rival.


Orlando City vs. Montreal Impact Odds

Orlando City odds +107 [BET NOW]
Montreal Impact odds +245 [BET NOW]
Draw +245 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 2.5 (-132/+102) [BET NOW]
Time Saturday, 8 p.m. ET
TV ESPN2

Orlando City come into the match as the slight favorite after finishing atop Group A through a tiebreaker. The Lions went 2-0-1 in the group stage and surprised many with their play. Orlando City earned wins against Florida rival Inter Miami and group favorite New York City FC before drawing with Philadelphia.

On the other side, Montreal needed a 1-0 win against D.C. United in its finale and some help to reach the knockout round after finishing in third place in the Group C standings. Manager Thierry Henry had to be pleased with his club’s effort, but needs more to advance in this part of the competition.

With that in mind, I am backing Orlando City to win the match and move on to the quarterfinal round. The Lions have turned heads at the event and I see them continuing this run against the Impact, which really backed its way into things with two losses in three games.

The Bet: Orlando City (+107)

[Bet now at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]


New England Revolution vs. Philadelphia Union

New England Revolution odds +143 [BET NOW]
Philadelphia Union odds +170 [BET NOW]
Draw +255 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 3 (+120/-148) [BET NOW]
Time Saturday, 10:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN2

The nightcap pits two Eastern Conference foes against each other in what should be an entertaining affair.

Philadelphia earned wins against Inter Miami and New York City FC in Group A play before settling for a 1-1 tie with Orlando City. The Union and Lions each amassed seven points, but it was the latter that took first in the group on a tiebreaker.

New England was handed a similar fate, tying Toronto FC on points in Group C action, but had to settle for second place on a tiebreaker loss. The Revolution, led by manager Bruce Arena, debuted with a win against Montreal before settling for draws against D.C. United and Toronto FC to round out group fixtures.

This Round of 16 tilt has the makings of being a real chess match. Both sides have shown solid form at both ends of the field and I really could see this going either way if Philadelphia comes out slightly flat.

For that reason, I am going to back the total staying under the number, though if you are looking for a side, I would give the slight edge to Philadelphia at the odds.

The Bets: Total Under 3 Goals (-148)

[Bet now at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

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