MLS Betting Odds, Picks & Predictions: Portland Timbers vs. Los Angeles Football Club (Sunday, Oct. 18)

Credit:

Michael Janosz/ISI Photos for Getty Images. Pictured: Portland’s Diego Valeri and Jorge Villafaña.

  • Portland and Los Angeles Football Club are set to battle Sunday, highlighting a stacked Major League Soccer card.
  • Jeremy Pond breaks down the match and gives his top plays and some bonus picks from around the league.

Portland vs. LAFC Odds

Portland Odds +128 [BET NOW]
LAFC Odds +180 [BET NOW]
Draw +270 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 3.5 (+100/-130) [BET NOW]
Time 10 p.m. ET
TV MLS Live on ESPN+

Odds updated as of Sunday at 11 a.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


Things should be the definition of lit on Sunday when Portland hosts Los Angeles Football Club at Providence Park, highlighting a stacked Major League Soccer card.

The Timbers have been on their game as of late, reeling off five consecutive wins before Wednesday’s 2-1 road loss against Real Salt Lake. That brilliant form has them tied with Seattle and Sporting Kansas City on 30 points each, with the Sounders edging out their Cascadia rival and Midwest powerhouse for the top spot via the tiebreaker.

On the other side, LAFC had to be shaking its head after its stunning 2-1 loss to Vancouver in its most recent outing. The last time LAFC and Vancouver met, the Black and Gold delivered a 6-0 shellacking to the Whitecaps, which made this latest result more than just a head scratcher.

Manager Bob Bradley has to be frustrated by his club, which can look like world beaters one night and a bottom feeder the next. The form LAFC has shown backs that assessment up, with it going 3-3 over its last six fixtures. It’s simply hard to predict which version of this team you’re going to get on a match-by-match basis.

 

Despite its stellar form and record, Portland actually boasts pretty mediocre statistics. The Timbers currently sit on 21.0 xGF and 23.3 xGA this season, which results in a subpar -2.3 xGDiff and -0.16 xGDiff/90 minutes.


Expected goals (also known as xG) is an advanced statistic that gives an indication of whether results are based on sustainable factors like a steady creation of scoring chances, or whether it is down to aspects such as luck or outstanding goalkeeping.


In contrast, LAFC actually has the better numbers. The club boasts 23.3 expected goals and a decent 19.9 expected goals against for a +3.4 xGDiff, along with a +0.24 xGDiff/90 minutes. The xGDiff and xGDiff/90 minutes numbers are good enough for third overall in the conference.

With all that said, I really like Portland to get the job done against an LAFC side that’s simply not playing well. The Timbers are winless in their last five meetings with their conference rivals, but I fully expect the tide to turn in their favor at Providence Park.

Simply put, Portland is better and realizes a win here, combined with anything but Seattle and Sporting KC victories, would put it atop the Western table.

I am also backing the Timbers to score at least two goals. Portland has scored at least twice in its last four meetings with LAFC, so I see no reason for that trend to halt against an opponent coming off that bad defeat.

The Bets: Portland — Draw No Bet (-137); Portland Total Over 1.5 Goals (-148)

BONUS PLAYS

  • Vancouver +1 (-127) vs. LA Galaxy: I backed the Whitecaps as live underdogs Wednesday in their 2-1 win against LAFC, which gives me even more confidence in them going up against a Galaxy side that has lost six consecutive games. Vancouver is playing its best brand of soccer at the moment, so back the visitor getting a goal at Dignity Health Sports Park.
  • San Jose/Seattle — Total Over 2.5 Goals (-177): This play would probably fall inside my top three picks on the Sunday card. The Sounders hung seven goals on the Earthquakes the last time these sides met, which has me thinking we could see a plethora of goals again. Throw in the fact San Jose is coming off a 4-0 rout of the Galaxy, and you have the makings of a wild affair.

[Bet on the Portland-LAFC match, Vancouver-LA Galaxy match & San Jose-Seattle match at DraftKings and get a $1,000 sign-up bonus.]

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