Philadelphia Union vs. Portland Timbers: Sunday Major League Soccer Betting Odds, Preview & Picks (May 30)

Philadelphia Union vs. Portland Timbers: Sunday Major League Soccer Betting Odds, Preview & Picks (May 30) article feature image

Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Andre Blake.

  • Coming off back-to-back 1-0 wins, the Philadelphia Union host the Portland Timbers on Sunday in Chester.
  • Portland has also won back-to-back games and will have to deal with Union goalkeeper Andre Blake, who has been among the league's best early in the season.
  • Ian Quillen breaks down the matchup and delivers his best bet for the game below.

Philadelphia vs. Portland Odds

Philadelphia Odds-123
Portland Odds+275
Over/Under2.5 (-172 / +127)
Day | TimeSunday | 7 p.m. ET
Odds updated Saturday evening via DraftKings

Both Philadelphia and Portland will look for their third consecutive victories when they meet on Sunday evening at Subaru Park.

The Timbers have arguably been the more convincing of late, with a 2-0 away win in San Jose followed by a 3-0 home victory against the 10-man LA Galaxy.

But there’s something to be said for the Union’s ability to see out 1-0 victories against rivals New York Red Bulls and D.C. on back-to-back weeks.

Might they do the same against a Portland team traveling east for the first time since the 2020 MLS is Back Tournament last summer?

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Blake's Performance in Net Has Boosted the Union

Philadelphia’s Concacaf Champions League commitment probably put a dent in their early league form. But the results have looked better since manager Jim Curtin’s side sealed their semifinal place in the event.

Since defeating Atlanta over two legs in their quarterfinal, Philadelphia is unbeaten in four MLS matches and has kept clean sheets in their three wins in that stretch.

Last year's top scorer for Philly, Kacper Przybylko, has picked up two league goals in that run to go with the five he has in continental play. 

Between the posts, Andre Blake has maintained his 2020 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year form. He's tied for the MLS lead with four clean sheets, tied for second in saves (26) and sits fifth in save percentage (83.9%) entering the weekend.

Blake's performances may partly explain why the Union have exceeded their expected goals (xG) totals recently. During their four-match unbeaten run, opponents have created at least 1.0 xG worth of opportunities, according to StatsBomb. Philly fractionally trailed D.C. in xG in their last win.

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Injured Timbers Relying on Unlikely Names

The injuries keep mounting even as the Timbers' performances keep improving.

Last Saturday, it was Andy Polo suffering a season-ending thigh injury under a late challenge from Galaxy defender Derrick Williams. He’s one of nine players listed as out on Portland’s injury report against Philadelphia. First-choice goalkeeper Steve Clark has been upgraded to questionable for the first time since he suffered a left thigh strain in the season opener.

Portland's roster has weathered this stress partly because of the emergence of players like midfielder Eryk Williamson and striker Felipe Mora. Both men were once considered depth pieces, but it will be hard to knock them out of the starting XI if and when everyone gets healthy.

Mora in particular entered the weekend eighth in individual xG at 3.27, according to American Soccer Analysis, despite playing only 357 minutes. He had a second-half brace in Portland's win over the Galaxy.

Betting Analysis & Pick

Philadelphia is closer to full strength and playing at home, while Portland's two wins came against 10 men and facing a San Jose side on short rest.

So why do I think there's more value on the draw at +309 odds than the Union at -123?

Part of it is circumstance. There's not a lot of obvious motivation for the Union to draw upon in facing a club they rarely see with a three-week break for international play.

And part of it is how these teams match up. The Timbers — especially a version of the Timbers who have to lean on their younger, more athletic players — might be a less suitable opponent for Philly's high pressure approach than others.

Then there's the xG numbers. Both teams have been playing matches that are more even in xG than the final scores have suggested.

The Timbers are due a draw and the Union pretty much play only tight matches this year.  Knowing that, an implied probability of 24.4% on the draw is pretty good.

Pick: Draw ML (+309)

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