Portland Timbers vs. Los Angeles Galaxy: Major League Soccer Betting Odds, Picks & Preview (Saturday, May 22)

Portland Timbers vs. Los Angeles Galaxy: Major League Soccer Betting Odds, Picks & Preview (Saturday, May 22) article feature image
Credit:

Michael Janosz/ISI Photos/Getty Images. Pictured: Los Angeles Galaxy star Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.

  • The Los Angeles Galaxy make the trip north to Oregon for Saturday's game against the Portland Timbers.
  • Both clubs are looking to get an edge in Major League Soccer's tough Western Conference.
  • Ian Quillen breaks down the match and tells us why he fancies a draw in this tilt.

Portland vs. LA Galaxy Odds

Portland Odds -115
LA Galaxy Odds +290
Draw +265
Over/Under 3.5 (+115 / -150)
Day | Time Saturday | 3:30 p.m. ET
TV ABC
Odds updated Friday evening via DraftKings.

Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez makes his first visit to Providence Park on Saturday when the Los Angeles Galaxy take on the Portland Timbers in a lunchtime affair in the Pacific Northwest.

Chicharito scored his first Major League Soccer goal against the Timbers at the 2020 MLS is Back tournament, but it came in a 2-1 defeat in Florida.

With last year’s league schedule highly regionalized, the two sides have not met since that showdown.

However, this match could be a crucial one in determining the pecking order for challenging Seattle for Western Conference supremacy.

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Portland Coming Off Impressive Road Win at San Jose

The Timbers enter this match easily of their best and most important performance of the season, which came in a 2-0 win at San Jose last Saturday that marked a coming out party for Eryk Williamson.

Although Williamson’s importance to the Timbers had already been increasing, a growing injury list thrust him into his third start and greater role of  importance. He met the challenge with two assists in the victory, the first on an incisive run with a diagonal ball and the second on a cross from the right flank.

The Timbers still have nine players on their injury list as of Friday, including holding midfielder Diego Chara (thigh) and center back Larrys Mabiala (thigh), not to mention manager Giovanni Savarese’s top two goalkeepers.

And Portland rode its luck a bit to keep a clean sheet last week. Logan Ketterer was exceptional in his MLS debut and saved a penalty, as San Jose failed to score despite generating more than two expected goals (xG) worth of offense, according to MLSsoccer.com.

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Chicharito, Los Angeles Off To Stellar Campaign

The Galaxy easily dispatched of Austin FC, 2-0, last weekend in a win that might have been larger had Chicharito not missed an early penalty kick.

As it is, he still scored his seventh goal of the season and Los Angeles gave its most dominant performance of 2021, which perhaps was to be expected against the expansion debutant.

While shot totals between the sides were close, the hosts generated the far-higher quality chances, representing a gap of 2.3-0.9 xG in the contest, according to MLSsoccer.com. It was the first time Los Angeles has outperformed its opponent by more than 1.0 xG this season.

The Galaxy has also largely avoided injuries, perhaps because first-year manager Greg Vanney has spread the workload around.

So far, 15 players have made at least two starts and 18 have made at least three appearances to help Los Angeles begin the weekend in second place in the Western Conference.

Betting Analysis & Pick

Even hampered by injury, Portland has one of the deepest rosters in the league. That said, the Galaxy’s early results aren’t being given enough credit.

With Sebastien Lletget, Jonathan dos Santos and Victor Vazquez providing support for Chicharito, Los Angeles has yet to create less than at least 1.0 xG per game.

Meanwhile, Portland is missing arguably its two most important defensive pieces in Chara and Mabiala. Last weekend’s performance in their absence was admirable, but not necessarily sustainable.

There’s a chance the Galaxy sneak out of Portland with all three points and, of course, a not insignificant chance the Timbers hold serve at home. However, for me, the value is on the odds of +265 for the draw, which suggests a 27%-implied probability.

This is an evenly poised match, with both teams due to share some spoils after nothing but wins and losses so far.

Pick: Draw ML (+265)

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