Major League Soccer returned last week, but reigning champion Los Angeles FC couldn’t play due to safety considerations resulting from inclement weather and forecasted thunderstorms in LA. Now, the team will debut against one of the Western Conference dark horses. You can expect the Portland Timbers to be highly motivated after winning their first match, but the MLS lines and soccer betting are on LAFC’s side.
Los Angeles FC: Overall Favorites
Last season, Los Angeles FC finished atop the standings in the Western Conference thanks to a 21-4-9 record. One of those victories was in its opening match. In fact, the team has won all five of its season-opening matches in MLS history. Defeating the Portland Timbers would allow the club to match FC Dallas as the only team that has won its first match of the season in six straight years.
The talent is there, no doubt about it. Kellyn Acosta, Jose Cifuentes, Carlos Vela, Maxime Crepeau and Kwadwo Opoku Will return to pursue the team’s second MLS Cup. LAFC also signed Aaron Long, one of the league’s best defenders over the last five years and one of the top signings for the 2023 season.
That’s the main reason for the Boys from Hollywood to come in as the betting online favorites to win the title. They’re offering a +500 price. Regarding Saturday’s match, they also come in as the favorites at -205.
History is also on LAFC’s side since the Colorado Rapids defeated the Portland Timbers 3-1 in the 2011 season opener. That was the only time a reigning champion opened the new campaign against the Timbers.
Portland Timbers: On the Right Foot
The Portland Timbers opened the 2023 season with a victory. They defeated Sporting Kansas City 1-0 thanks to Juan Mosquera, who scored only six minutes into the game. Curiously enough, Portland’s last seven goals have been scored by Colombians.
That was the fourth time the Timbers opened their season with a win, but they have only started a season with two straight victories only once, in 2017, with the second win coming in California, 1-0 at Los Angeles Galaxy.
In 2022, the Timbers failed to qualify for the playoffs, meaning they’ll seek redemption all season long. This club also has the talent to spare, especially on offense, with Yimmi Chara, Evander and Jaroslaw Niezgoda. Like Long, Evander is one of the top signings for the 2023 campaign after playing in Europe for the last five seasons.
Regarding the MLS odds, Portland is offering a +500 price to win straight up.
Los Angeles vs Portland Head-to-Head
- Previous Matches: 16
- Los Angeles FC Victories: 6 (27 goals)
- Portland Timbers Victories: 5 (22 goals)
- Draws: 5
These two met three times last season, twice in the MLS and once in the U.S. Open Cup. The first match finished 1-1, while Los Angeles FC won the other two, 2-1 and 2-0. That’s another reason LAFC comes in as MLS betting favorite for Saturday’s contest. However, before that, Portland was unbeaten in six straight matches dating back to October 2020.
Both teams scored in 13 of their 16 previous meetings and have drawn 0-0 once. The total in the sportsbook is set at three goals, with the over offering a -115 price.
Los Angeles vs Portland Match Information
- Match: Los Angeles vs Portland
- Date: Saturday, March 4th
- Time: 4:30 p.m. ET
- Location: BMO Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
- Los Angeles FC vs Portland Timbers Live Stream: fubo.tv
Los Angeles vs Portland Betting Lines
Los Angeles vs Portland Picks and Prediction
The first game of the season is always tricky. Plus, Los Angeles FC will play in Costa Rica on Thursday for the CONCACAF Champions League, meaning it needs to avoid major injuries. On the other hand, the Portland Timbers will play with less pressure after winning their debut. I think Portland will be able to get a draw, which is offering a very good price on Las Vegas soccer odds.
The Los Angeles FC is listed at -205 in our Vegas MLS lines. This means that if you wager $100 on Los Angeles FC , you have a chance to win $49. The Portland Timbers are +500, offering a chance to win $500 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives Los Angeles FC a 67.21% chance to win, with Portland Timbers at 16.67%.