MLS Odds & Picks: Plenty Of Betting Value On Orlando City vs. Minnesota United
Photo by Jeremy Reper/ISI Photos/Getty Images. Pictured: Nani #17 of Orlando City SC
- Jeremy Pond previews Thursday's MLS is Back semifinal matchup between Orlando City and Minnesota United.
- Find his analysis of the betting odds as well as two picks below.
Orlando City vs. Minnesota United Odds
|Orlando City Odds||+143 [BET NOW]|
|Minnesota United Odds||+175 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+250 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-136o/+104u) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Thursday, 8 p.m. ET|
The final spot in the MLS is Back championship is on the line Thursday, with Orlando City taking on Minnesota United in a semifinal match in Orlando.
The winner advances to Tuesday’s grand finale, where it will face Western Conference side Portland at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Orlando City, the lone Eastern Conference franchise left in the competition, enters this match following its stunning upset of tournament favorite Los Angeles Football Club. The sides played to a 1-1 draw through regulation and had to settle things via a penalty-kick shootout, which the Lions won to earn their spot in the semifinal round.
The shootout triumph was just another feather in Orlando City’s cap during its dream run on what’s basically “home” turf.
For Minnesota United, this competition has evolved into an “us-against-everyone” theme as the tournament has progressed. The Loons have gotten little to no respect for oddsmakers and pundits alike, which has created a large (and deserved) chip on their shoulders with the wins continuing to pile up.
Minnesota ran roughshod over San Jose in a 4-1 rout in the quarterfinal round, which came after its shootout win against Columbus in a Round of 16 fixture. The Loons have gotten a balanced offensive attack from their guys up front, but what’s been most impressive has been their defense. Minnesota has played the entire competition without Ike Opara, who is the reigning defender of the year in Major League Soccer, and still kept things in check in front of its goal.
Much like Wednesday’s semifinal game, oddsmakers have basically made this an even contest. Orlando City is the slightest favorite on the spread and three-way line, which is likely due to match location. I think if this was being played on a true neutral site, the odds would be flipped in Minnesota’s favor.
According to the data at FiveThirtyEight, Minnesota has the second-best chance to win the title via its Soccer Power Index numbers. The Loons sit at 41.9 points, which is ahead of the Lions (38.2 points) in the overall SPI numbers. That same data also gives Minnesota a 55% chance of reaching the finale and 30% shot at winning it all. In contrast, Orlando City is behind its foe (45%-23%) in those same categories.
When it comes to finding plays to land on, I really like the chances of both clubs scoring and will make it my top pick. Minnesota and Orlando City have been solid defensively throughout the competition, but both have kept only one clean sheet each in their five respective matches thus far.
I will also back the total going over the number as well. Much like the Philadelphia-Portland showdown, I anticipate seeing an early goal in this match and a back-and-forth affair between two electric sides.
The Bets: Total Over 2.5 Goals (-136); Both Teams To Score: Yes (-167) [Bet now at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]