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MLS Odds, Picks & Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers Betting Preview

MLS Odds, Picks & Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers Betting Preview article feature image
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Jeff Halstead/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Seattle Sounders standout Jordan Morris.

  • Seattle welcomes Portland to Lumen Field for Saturday's MLS matinee meeting of Cascadia combatants.
  • The Sounders are heavy favorites, but analyst Ian Quillen has found plenty of value on the road underdogs.
  • Check out below why he’s backing the Timbers to win outright at +300 moneyline odds.

Seattle vs. Portland Odds

Seattle Odds -120
Portland Odds +300
Draw +280
Over/Under 2.5 (-145 / +100)
Day | Time Saturday | 4:30 p.m. ET
How To Watch FOX | fuboTV
Odds updated as of Saturday afternoon via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute soccer odds here.

The most fierce Major League Soccer rivalry resumes Saturday when Seattle hosts Portland at Lumen Field in a Western Conference showdown.

Both teams are trying to mount second-half surges after slow starts.

The Sounders were as low as 13th place in the conference while they focused on winning the CONCACAF Champions League. Now, they’re in seventh place after winning six of their last nine contests, including a 2-1 road victory over Toronto FC last time out.

Portland doesn’t have the excuse of continental competition, but slow starts and strong finishes have become a bit of a pattern under manager Giovanni Savarese. After early 2022 struggles, the Timbers are unbeaten in their last four outings, including a 2-2 draw at Nashville last Monday.

The away team won all three MLS meetings last season, with the Sounders taking two at Providence Park. The Timbers earned a 2-0 victory in the most recent encounter last August.

Seattle Sounders

A heavily rotated squad earned the win in Toronto. However, it was an opportunistic — rather than dominant — performance and one that still cleared manager Brian Schmetzer’s need for his regulars.

He could see two of them return from injury. Defender Xavier Arreaga and striker Raúl Ruidíaz (both hamstring strains) have been upgraded to questionable on the team’s injury report.

Ruidíaz is tied for the club lead with five goals this season despite only eight appearances and 565 minutes played.

By The Numbers

  • 1.9 — Seattle points per game earned earned since completing CONCACAF Champions League play.
  • 0.78 — Ruidíaz’s lifetime goals per 90 minutes in seven games against Portland.
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Portland Timbers

The Timbers won 10 of 14 to close the 2021 regular season before their run to the MLS Cup final and there’s signs they could be on the verge of something similar now.

Jaroslaw Niezgoda has found his finishing boots with three goals in four games since the international break. Last year’s goals leader — Felipe Mora — has come off the bench three times since a preseason knee procedure.

Sebastian Blanco, who is back to 90-minutes fit after contract negotiations delayed his preseason, leads the club with six assists.

Even so, the Timbers could use some more killer instinct. They’ve settled for eight draws in 2022, which is the second-highest total in the league.

By The Numbers

  • .800 — Portland’s regular-season win percentage in Seattle under Savarese.
  • 1-3-5 — Timbers away record (W-L-D) this season.

BJ Cunningham’s MLS Model Projections


Betting Analysis & Picks

This rivalry’s recent suggests that home field means a lot less than the 49% win percentage that is typical of home MLS teams.

In fact, since Savarese took over the Timbers in 2018, these games have had reverse splits, with the away side winning nine of 12 in that span.

It could be how Savarese’s and Schmetzer’s tactics clash, the large volume of away traveling support, the reality that travel between the two cities is less rigorous than on other trips, or some combination. It’s OK not to know the cause, so long as it’s reasonable to believe there is a cause.

Given that, I’m playing Portland on a moneyline wager at +300 odds and an implied 25% probability. The Timbers are a little healthier right now and playing a little better, even if the Sounders’ recent strong run is a little longer.

Portland’s tendency to draw matches could support going more conservative with a Draw No Bet or +0.5 goals wager on the visitors. However, with the derby trends — and how they defy the home-field norms built into the odds — I struggle to see any reasonable way to back the hosts.

The Pick: Portland ML (+300)

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