MLS Odds & Picks: It’s A Coin Flip Between Timbers, Union on Wednesday
Emilee Chinn/Getty Images. Pictured: Portland Timbers
- Jeremy Pond previews Wednesday's MLS semifinal between the Timbers and Union.
- Find betting odds for the match below as well as his pick.
Portland Timbers vs. Philadelphia Union
|Timbers Odds||+155 [BET NOW]|
|Philadelphia Union Odds||+150 [BET NOW]|
|Draw||+265 [BET NOW]|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-155/+118) [BET NOW]|
|Time||Wednesday, 8 p.m. ET|
Things are going to get very real Wednesday at the MLS is Back tournament, with Philadelphia taking on Portland in a semifinal match in Orlando.
The winner advances to Tuesday’s championship, where it will face the winner of Thursday’s semifinal between Orlando City against Minnesota United.
Philadelphia is hoping it can continue its run and maintain the same form that helped it earn a 3-1 upset victory against Sporting Kansas City in the quarterfinal round of the competition.
On the other side, Portland has shocked oddsmakers and pundits alike during its dream tear through the opposition in Florida. The Timbers, who closed at 28-1 odds to win the showcase at the start of the tournament, cruised to a 3-1 win against New York City FC in their quarterfinal tilt.
Sportsbooks have made this a toss-up match, with Portland only holding a tiny edge over Philadelphia on the spread and three-way line. And I think they have it right.
Statistically speaking, Philadelphia has the best chance of lifting the tournament hardware, sitting atop the FiveThirtyEight Soccer Power Index at 44.4 points, which is ahead of last-place Portland (39.2 points) in the overall SPI numbers.
According to FiveThirtyEight, the Union has a 57% chance of reaching the finale and 31% shot at winning it all. In contrast, the Timbers are well behind their foes (43%-21%) in those same categories.
As for the history between these sides, everything points toward the total going over the number of goals in this match and I am going to back that play.
There have been at least three goals scored in the last five matches between these franchises across all competitions. I see this semifinal producing an early goal and things opening up at both ends of the pitch.
When it comes to a side, this one really is as even as it gets. I think these clubs could play 10 consecutive matches and each would end up with five victories each based on their current forms.
However, I am going to give the slight edge to Portland in this showdown. The Timbers have triumphed in the last four games between these sides and have a little more punch on offense, which should put them in prime position to reach the championship.
I would not be surprised if this played to a draw, but I am going to take a swing on Portland to get the job done in regulation.
The Bets: Portland, Draw No Bet (-125); Over 2.5 Goals (-155)