Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers Odds, Picks, Prediction: Sunday MLS Betting Preview (August 29)
Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Portland Timbers goaltender Steve Clark chats with teammate Diego Chará.
- Longtime rivals Seattle and Portland square off in Sunday's Major League Soccer action.
- The Sounders, who are one of the favorites to win this season's MLS Cup, are going for the first-ever series sweep between these clubs.
- Ian Quillen breaks down the match and details why he's backing Portland to cover in this latest Cascadia clash.
Seattle vs. Portland Odds
|Over/Under||2.5 (-150 / +120)|
|Day | Time||10:30 p.m. ET|
|How To Watch||ESPN | fuboTV|
|Odds updated Sunday morning via DraftKings.|
Seattle looks for its first-ever Major League Soccer season sweep of Portland on Sunday when they meet for the third time this season.
The Sounders were the road team in their previous two wins, including a 6-2 romp two weeks ago that set a league record for most goals scored by one team in this rivalry. However, the Timbers are unbeaten in their last five league trips to Seattle, winning three and drawing two of the contests.
And Portland might also have the motivational edge in this spot, if such a thing is possible in this series, knowing it has a chance to move back above the Western Conference playoff line with a victory.
Seattle Has Owned Cascadia Rival This Season
The Sounders’ early win over Portland was the first of three consecutive victories on a brutal road trip that pushed them back to the top of the conference table.
Manager Brian Schmetzer’s group found a different way to win in each meeting. Against Portland, it was a strong performance bolstered by some other-worldly finishing, including a likely MLS Goal of the Year nominee from Jimmy Medranda.
In Dallas, it was a second-half ambush. Several regulars began the game on the bench, with Raúl Ruidíaz scoring the only goal in a 1-0 win only seconds after entering the match after halftime.
Then, Seattle went the late-drama route in Columbus, with Xavier Arreaga scoring in the 88th minute and Will Bruin a minute later to rally for a stunning 2-1 triumph against the Crew.
As impressive as that week-long stretch is, it isn’t all that surprising. The Sounders’ current 7-1-2 road record (W-L-D) is the best in the league.
Goalkeeper Stefan Frei has been upgraded to questionable for this game after missing 16 league matches due to a blood-clotting issue that developed following a knee sprain.
Portland Seeking More Consistency on Pitch
It’s been a frustrating season for Portland, which continues to show flashes of promise of a return to its 2020 MLS is Back Tournament-winning form, but with almost no sustained success.
The Timbers’ last three games provide an excellent example. The 6-2 loss to the Sounders was embarrassing, but also a little bit fluky, with the Sounders leading expected-goals totals only 2.7 to 2.2 in the contest.
Portland followed that with a gritty 1-1 draw on the road against Sporting Kansas City, only to go on from there and be thumped, 3-1, by an Austin FC side that had won only two of its previous eight home matches.
If there’s reason to think things can still improve in the final third of the season, it’s that the Timbers continue to consistently score. They’ve found the net in their last 10, and in all but three of their games overall.
However, the defense just has to get better. The club’s 39 goals conceded are worst in the conference and second worst in the entire league.
Betting Analysis & Pick
For the second time in as many days, I’m fading the home team in a major MLS rivalry game.
And there are two reasons for that.
The first is Seattle’s fluctuation from an underdog at +185 odds on the road two weeks ago to the favorite at -170 odds seems calibrated to MLS home teams’ 47% winning record this season.
Yet, the benefit of home-field advantage is almost certainly less in games like these that involve shorter travel distances, more familiarity and away support. Just look at Portland’s recent record in Seattle.
The second factor is the irreplaceable motivation of desperation and embarrassment the Timbers carry into this fixture. They’re already hurting from the blowout two weeks ago, and won’t want to be the first MLS team in this series to suffer a sweep.
Could Seattle overcome all that to get three points? Of course. Although the Sounders are actually slightly worse at home this year, Portland is carrying particularly bad away form into this one as well.
But again, this one is different. Enough so that I feel confident backing the Timbers to earn at least a point and will play them at +0.5 goals at +150 odds, with an implied 40% probability.
Pick: Portland +0.5 (+140)