MLS Odds, Betting Picks & Predictions (Thursday, July 23): LAFC vs. Portland, LA Galaxy vs. Houston

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Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images: Pictured Bradley Wright-Phillips celebrates with LAFC teammates

  • Looking for betting odds and picks for Thursday night's MLS Is Back Tournament matches? You're in the right place.
  • LAFC is a -157 favorite over Portland (+380), with the draw set at +310 in tonight's 10:30 p.m. ET match on ESPN2.
  • Houston is just a slight +138 favorite over the LA Galaxy (+150), with the draw set at +310 at 8:30 p.m. on FS1.

LAFC vs. Portland

LAFC odds -157 [BET NOW]
Portland odds +380 [BET NOW]
Draw +310 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 3.5 (-106/-124) [BET NOW]
Time Thursday, 10:30 p.m. ET
TV ESPN2
Our Bet Over 3 (-170) [BET NOW]

Odds as of Tuesday night 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 come to a close Thursday in the opening part of the MLS is Back tournament, with Group F teams going at it in Orlando.

Without question, the marquee showdown of the evening schedule features Portland taking on Los Angeles Football Club, with first place in the group on the line.

Portland, one of our dark horses to win it all at the start of the competition, comes into this match with a perfect 2-0 record and has already secured a spot in the knockout round. The Timbers earned identical 2-1 wins against the Los Angeles Galaxy and Houston in their previous games, en route to the full six points to put them atop the group table.

On the other side, LAFC silenced all the critics in its 6-2 trashing of the Galaxy in its most recent contest. Standout Diego Rossi scored four goals in that blowout victory and ignited an offense playing without star Carlos Vela, who opted to not travel to Florida to participate in the tournament due to concerns with the global pandemic. That impressive display came after a come-from-behind 3-3 draw against Houston.

With both powerhouses through to the next stage, I fully expect another open affair. These teams do not know what it’s like to play a slower, passive style and will want to secure all three points to win the group.

That said, I am backing the total to go over the number. The combatants have combined to score at least three goals in four of their last six matches and I think we are going to hit that number again.

If you are looking for a side, back Portland getting a goal on the spread. The Timbers are a legitimate title contender and a win here would really set them up for a deep run in the knockout round.

The Bets: Over 3 Goals (-170); Portland +1 (-130)

[Bet now at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

LA Galaxy vs. Houston

Houston odds +138 [BET NOW]
LA Galaxy odds +150 [BET NOW]
Draw +310 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 3.5 (+100/-129) [BET NOW]
Time Thursday, 8:30 p.m. ET
TV FS1
Our Bet Chicago Over 1.5 [BET NOW]

The opening match of the evening pits the Dynamo, which has a shot at making the knockout stage, against a Galaxy team looking for answers all over the field.

Houston is coming off a hard-fought 2-1 loss against Portland and needs to win here to have any chance of advancing in the competition. The Dynamo should have probably walked away with a win and all three points in its opener, but squandered a 3-1 lead and settled for a 3-3 draw against LAFC in one of the tournament’s most exciting games.

As for Los Angeles, things could not be going any worse for the club. The Galaxy, minus star Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, suffered that blowout defeat at the hands of LAFC in its most recent outing. That debacle came after the setback against Portland in its group-stage debut.

Historically, goals have not been hard to come by during recent matches between these sides, with the two combining for a whopping 27 goals in their last six meetings. Both clubs scored at least once in those contests and four of the games featured five or more goals.

With that in mind, the total going over the number is a strong play, but I am going to hold off and see if I can get a slightly lower live number in the first half of play.

Instead, I am backing Houston on the spread and taking them to score more than 1.5 goals. The Dynamo have looked good on counterattack and I don’t see them letting up against the subpar Galaxy defense in this tilt.

The Bets: Houston, Draw No Bet (-115); Houston Over 1.5 Goals (-125)

[Bet now at DraftKings. CO, NJ, PA, IN and WV only.]

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