Saturday MLS Odds, Picks & Prediction: Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas Betting Preview

Saturday MLS Odds, Picks & Prediction: Portland Timbers vs. FC Dallas Betting Preview article feature image

Diego Diaz/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Portland Timbers standout Dairon Asprilla.

  • Portland hosts FC Dallas in Saturday's Major League Soccer showdown.
  • The Timbers hope they can get the best of the visitors in this crucial Western Conference meeting.
  • Ian Quillen details below why he's backing the Texas outfit to get a positive result in this Western Conference tussle.

Portland vs. FC Dallas Odds

Portland Odds+110
FC Dallas Odds+220
Over/Under2.5 (-145 / +100)
Day | TimeSaturday | 10:30 p.m. ET
How To WatchESPN+
Odds updated Saturday afternoon via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

Portland hosts FC Dallas in the Saturday nightcap on what’s going to be a busy Major League Soccer slate of matches, with this contest rife with playoff implications.

The visitors enter the weekend fourth in the very tight Western Conference standings, sitting three points ahead of the eighth-place Timbers in the race for seven playoff positions.

They also won these teams' previous meeting, which resulted in a 4-1 rout in North Texas back in March.

A lot has changed since then, and it's Portland which enters the latest affair unbeaten in its last nine fixtures following Wednesday's 1-1 home draw against Nashville.

Dallas suffered a 1-0 road defeat the night before against seventh-place Seattle, albeit with a rotated Starting XI that lacked its top two scorers.

Portland Timbers

The Timbers have a history of second-half surges under manager Giovanni Savarese. However, this is setting up to be a longer if more gradual game, with the hosts drawing five times during their nine-game run.

Jaroslaw Niezgoda has scored six times during those nine outings. He's now the de facto starter at striker after Felipe Mora had season-ending knee surgery, which was announced this week.

Portland's MLS-high 11 draws have been more bad than good. The Timbers were the only team with more wins than losses entering the weekend outside the playoff places.

By The Numbers

  • 0.74 — Niezgoda's goals per 90 minutes in Portland's latest nine-match run.
  • 4-2-7 — Portland's record (W-L-D) in games this season started by 2020 MLS is Back Tournament MVP Sebastian Blanco.
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FC Dallas

After scoring 20 goals in their first 12 games, manager Nico Estevez's men have only found the net 13 times in their last 12 encounters. And Dallas only has six goals combined from Argentine imports Franco Jara and Alan Velasco.

As a result, when United States internationals Jesus Ferreira (12 goals) and Paul Arriola (nine goals) aren't starting — as they weren't in Tuesday’s setback — Dallas’ chances significantly decrease.

That's one reason the club made a move this week to acquire fellow American international Sebastian Lletget from New England. Lletget is a more attacking midfielder than scorer, but his familiarity with Ferreira and Arriola could help bring balance to an uneven front four.

By The Numbers

  • 5-1-2 — Dallas' record (W-L-D) when Ferreira scores.
  • 3-2-2 — The club’s away record (W-L-D) against teams currently holding playoff spots.

Betting Analysis & Pick

This meeting sets up better for the visitors than it might seem.

Dallas has had an extra day of rest and is already in the Pacific Northwest after its trip to Seattle. Arriola and Ferreira should be fresh after coming off the bench against the Sounders as well. And Lletget should create an immediate impact since he's already match eligible and fit, plus he obviously knows those two very well.

Further, Dallas has a better away track record against the more proactive home sides. That, by necessity, will probably describe Portland at this stage.

The Timbers have missed the hugely important midfielder Eryk Williamson the last two games, and were a bit fortunate to escape both with a point. He's questionable to play, but it seems unlikely the box-to-box workhorse would get slotted back into an immediate start.

Both teams are prone to draws, though. And given the splits, there's more value here on a Double Chance bet than playing a Draw No Bet wager, as unsexy as it might be.

I'm showing a little restraint and taking Dallas getting +0.5 goals on spread line via the Asian Handicap at -145 odds and an implied 59.2% probability. That wager has hit 62.5% of the time (15 of 24) between Portland home fixtures and Dallas away games, before the other context that leans in the visitors' direction.

The Pick: Dallas +0.5 via Two-Way Handicap (-145)

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