MLS Odds, Picks, Prediction: Vancouver vs. Minnesota United Betting Preview (July 31)

MLS Odds, Picks, Prediction: Vancouver vs. Minnesota United Betting Preview (July 31) article feature image

Bill Barrett/ISI Photos/Getty Images. Pictured: Cristian Gutierrez

Vancouver vs. Minnesota United Odds

Vancouver Odds+250
Minnesota Odds-103
Over/Under2.5 (-159 / +117)
Day | TimeSaturday | 10 p.m. ET
How To WatchESPN+
Odds updated Friday night via DraftKings.

The Vancouver Whitecaps bid adieu to their temporary Utah home on Saturday night when they host Minnesota United.

Vancouver were permitted to return to British Columbia for training this week, while also receiving the news that all three Canadian MLS teams would be able to host games in their normal venues beginning in August.

Meanwhile, Minnesota is coming off a 2-2 draw at LAFC in the only midweek MLS match this week, thanks to Hassani Dotson's dramatic late equalizer.

Both teams are unbeaten in their last three matches, though only Minnesota enters the weekend above the Western Conference playoff line.

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Vancouver Whitecaps

The Whitecaps have improved substantially during a six-game stretch that began with a surprising 2-2 draw at the West-leading Seattle Sounders.

But Vancouver has settled for a point instead of three too often to truly re-enter the playoff conversation, including three times after holding second-half leads on the road.. They begin the weekend six points adrift of the playoff line.

Last weekend was the latest example, when Cristian Dajome and Deiber Caicedo put the 'Caps up 2-0 at LAFC early. The hosts cut the deficit in half before halftime and then salvaged a 2-2 draw.

In "home" matches in Utah, the Whitecaps have maintained a respectable 3-3-1 record (W-L-D) at Rio Tinto Stadium, including a loss to full-time tenants Real Salt Lake.

Goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau could return after Canada was eliminated from the CONCACAF Gold Cup with a 2-1 semifinal defeat to Mexico.

But Canadian striker Lucas Cavallini won't be permitted to join Crepeau. He's due to serve a one-game league suspension following international duty.

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Minnesota United

The Loons are arguably Major League Soccer's hottest side at after digging themselves out of the hole of four straight losses to begin the season.

Minnesota has now lost only once in their last 11 games and now sit in sixth in the West.

Wednesday's 2-2 draw against LAFC wasn't the most impressive of those 11 performances, with the hosts holding a heavy lead in possession, shots and expected goals.

But Dotson's sensational leveler in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time rescued a third away draw in that stretch.

Now Minnesota has to rebound from that emotional night — and one in which they exerted a lot of effort defending — to focus on another match against a much less glamorous opponent in front of a mostly empty stadium.

Striker Franco Fragapane remains out with a thigh injury. Chase Gasper is officially listed as questionable after he exited Wednesday's match after 18 minutes with a hip injury, but seems unlikely to play.

Despite the Loons' resurgence, their road record is still a relatively modest 1-3-3 (W-L-D).

Betting Analysis & Pick

Oddsmakers have not thought much of Vancouver all year. Some of that's understandable. But some is exaggeration.

That's especially true at home, where the line appears to be overcompensating for the lack of a true home-field advantage.

Couple that with the Whitecaps receiving the morale boost of training in Vancouver and Minnesota managing a busy schedules and it all shapes up well for the Canadian underdogs. faces a second match out West in a short span, and this has all the elements of a surprising result.

I'm not even sure Cavallini's absence matters a ton, since it sure appears Caicedo and Djome are the engines that make this attack go. If there's reason for caution, it's that Vancouver doesn't have the kind of explosive offense that they're likely to turn a dominant performance into a large lead.

Considering all that taking Vancouver +0.5 goals at -118 odds and a 54.1% implied probability on an Asian Handicap wager.

If you're having trouble buying in, think of it this way: It's hard to believe Minnesota pulls off this road win on short rest 46% of the time after earning three points once in seven previous trips.

Pick: Vancouver Whitecaps +0.5 (-118)

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