Sunday MLS Betting Odds, Pick, Prediction for Portland vs. Inter Miami: Can Timbers Keep Form at Home? (Oct. 3)
Diego Diaz/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Yimmi Chara.
- Portland hosts Inter Miami on Sunday afternoon for a cross-country MLS battle.
- The Timbers have hit their stride, unbeaten in their last seven, but will be without two key players.
- Ian Quillen breaks down the game below and gives his top play on the total.
Portland vs. Inter Miami Odds
|Inter Miami Odds||+475|
|Over/Under||2.5 (-150 / +120)|
|Day | Time||Sunday | 5:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||FS1 | fuboTV|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute Soccer odds here.|
Inter Miami need a result to resuscitate their playoff hopes when they make a rare West Coast trip to visit the surging Portland Timbers on Sunday.
Three consecutive losses have left 10th-place Miami seven points beneath the seventh and final Eastern Conference playoff spot, following a 1-0 loss at Atlanta on Wednesday.
Later that night, the Timbers defeated LAFC for their third-straight victory and sixth out of seven to tighten their hold on fourth place in the West.
This is the clubs’ first-ever meeting. The Timbers roster has a combined zero career appearances against Inter, which entered MLS as an expansion team in 2020.
Can Portland Maintain Scoring Pace?
It’s probably not coincidence the Timbers’ resurgence has coincided with Sebastian Blanco’s return to full fitness.
The 2020 MLS is Back Tournament MVP has started Portland’s last seven games — easily his most consistent run in the team this year — after a protracted recovery from an ACL tear suffered in September of 2020.
But the 33-year-old departed after just 52 minutes of Wednesday’s win with a more minor knee injury.
Manager Giovanni Savarese postgame did not believe it was serious although Blanco is questionable on the team’s availability report for Sunday.
Diego Valeri is also out to a yellow-card suspension. The 35-year-old has been used off the bench recently, but he’s the most natural replacement for Blanco’s playmaking role.
That adds up to a potential trouble spot for the Timbers, who have not been as dominant in chance creation as their recent scores suggest.
Portland has outscored opponents 17-5 while taking 19 points from their last 21 possible. In terms of expected goals (xG), they’ve only fractionally bested the opposition, 10.3 to 9.7 in those games combined.
That xG performance is due in no small part to Dairon Asprilla, who has scored in three straight matches. His eight goals are easily an MLS career high.
Fading Inter Miami Outside Playoff Picture
Miami have been thoroughly deserving of their recent funk. They’ve trailed opponents 7.4 to 2.2 in xG over their last three games and been outscored 10-1 combined in their three straight defeats.
In a sign of how bad things have been, by some measures their best effort of those three was their 1-0 loss at Atlanta. It was also the only one of the trio in which they failed to record a shot on target.
For casual observers, their sudden slide after a stretch of five wins in six may be confusing.
Looking closer, most of it owes to strength of schedule. All five Miami victories in that run came against teams currently beneath the East playoff line.
Gonzalo Higuain scored his team-leading 10th goal as a late consolation tally in a 5-1 loss at Nashville SC two matches ago.
But the 33-year-old who appears to be several steps off the pace of his prime has played 90 minutes in back-to-back matches.
With three points nearly a requirement, manager Phil Neville probably has to put the Argentine in his starting XI again. It’s not an easy ask, though.
Betting Analysis & Pick
In terms of total goals, the difference between Miami’s home and away form is so drastic it almost always makes for a value play, unless there are serious mitigating circumstances.
The combined xG of Miami and their opponents is 2.2 per away match. The total has gone under 2.5 goals in 10 of those 12 games.
Portland’s games — home or away — have been considerably more open, and might give some reason for pause. But Valeri’s absence and the likelihood Blanco will be at least limited are reason to pay more attention to Miami’s trends than Portland.
Still, I’ll be a little cautious and buy the half goal on the Asian Handicap total of under 3.0 goals at -130 odds. That means you’re playing an implied 56.5% probability that games that don’t finish with three total goals finish with fewer than that.
Between Miami’s away matches and Portland’s home contests, 13 of 23 games have finished with fewer than three goals. Six have finished on the number, and only four have finished above.
Pick: Total Under 3.0 Goals (-130)
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