Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake Odds, Picks, Prediction: Saturday MLS Betting Preview (August 7)

Portland Timbers vs. Real Salt Lake Odds, Picks, Prediction: Saturday MLS Betting Preview (August 7) article feature image

Diego Diaz/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured:

  • Portland host Real Salt Lake Saturday night with a chance to move into the seventh playoff spot in the West.
  • Both clubs have hit rough patches in recent games, as the two teams have just one combined point in each of their last three matches.
  • Ian Quillen explains below why he thinks the Timbers may be able to emerge from their slump at home.

Portland vs. Real Salt Lake Odds

Portland Odds+104
Real Salt Lake Odds+245
Over/Under2.5 (-152 / +112)
Day | TimeSaturday | 10:30 p.m. ET
How To WatchESPN+
Odds updated Friday night via DraftKings.

The Portland Timbers host Real Salt Lake on Saturday night in a meeting that could be crucial for both teams' postseason hopes.

Salt Lake enter the weekend holding the seventh and final playoff place in the Western Conference, sitting one point above eighth-place Portland after each have played 16 matches.

The Timbers are winless in their last three matches while RSL have a draw and a loss in their last two.

This is first of three meetings between the clubs in what could be a pivotal season series.

Can Portland Get Back On The Winning Side?

Back on July 21, the Timbers pulled off a dramatic late victory over LAFC that felt like it could be the beginning of a second-half surge.

Instead, Portland lost an early lead in a 2-1 loss at Minnesota, fell apart after halftime in a 4-1 defeat at the LA Galaxy and most recently settled for a 1-1 home draw with San Jose on Wednesday night.

The following day, Portland traded Jeremy Ebobisse — their second-leading scorer — to San Jose for more than $1 million in general allocation money.

That means Giovanni Savarese might ask team scoring-leader Felipe Mora to start for the second time in four days after going the distance and scoring his fifth goal against the Earthquakes.

Portland also signed 22-year-old Colombian striker Santiago Moreno late last month, but it's unclear when he'll be cleared to make his debut.

Outside of any concerns over Mora, Savarese should be in good position to put out a strong side. Eryk Williamson played the second half Wednesday after his return from international duty with the U.S. at the CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Diego Valeri also began the match on the bench, as did Sebastian Blanco, whose 30-minute shift off the bench was his longest since suffering an ACL tear almost a year ago.

Defensive midfielder Diego Chara will miss the match due to a red card suspension.

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Real Salt Lake Must Improve Scoring Consistency

Despite the additions of former U.S. national team striker Bobby Wood and Argentine winger Jonathan Menendez, Salt Lake's struggle this season continues to be offensive consistency.

The Claret-and-Cobalt have scored three or more goals on four occasions. On four others — including their last two matches — they've been kept scoreless.

And the advanced stats suggest the real RSL is the version of the team that at times flounders offensively and has had trouble scoring in recent weeks.

Salt Lake's 24 goals scored are fourth in the Western Conference, but their 18.61 expected goals (xG) created are the seventh-fewest in the league. Excluding own goals, RSL's goal differential is 10 better than xG predictions, the highest disparity in the league.

Salt Lake's top two scorers — Damir Kreilach (7 goals) and Rubio Rubin (5 goals) —  both began Wednesday's 1-0 loss at the LA Galaxy on the bench as manager Freddy Juarez tried to blunt the impact of two away matches in four days.

Goalkeeper David Ochoa remains out with an unspecified injury for a second consecutive match.

Betting Analysis & Pick

There was a time when Chara's absence from the Timbers XI would spell trouble.

But Portland have two wins and two losses in games when the Colombian midfield destroyer doesn't play this season, not a substantial departure from their overall form.

The Timbers also have one of the stronger home records in MLS with five victories in eight chances and continue to be healthier now than most of the season.

They're also facing two games in four days at home, which isn't quite the same task as two games in four days away.

That's enough for me to give the Timbers the benefit of the doubt despite the loss of Ebobisse and their recent hiccups, backing them to win at +104 odds and a 49% implied probability.

Despite the spot they're in, RSL is in a slightly worse one.

It's not a strong lean, though. I wouldn't go much lower than -110 odds.

Pick: Portland Timbers ML (+104)

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