After a slow start to the season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MLS is well underway with a tournament to crown a league champion. The aptly named MLS is Back Tournament is set for an exciting weekend full of quarterfinal matches as the tournament nears its conclusion for the year. We’ll be covering the MLS quarterfinal betting action down below.
MLS is Back Tournament Quarterfinals Set
The New York City FC will face the Portland Timbers on Saturday, August 1st. Both clubs have had ups and downs leading into Saturday’s game and it will be interesting to see the outcome of the match.
Our sportsbook has the MLS soccer lines set for this game, so get a wager in today. Below, we will be looking at what each of these two teams will be bringing to the table on Saturday. After that, we take a detailed look at the odds and discuss possible outcomes to help you place smart bets.
Team Analysis New York City FC
The New York City FC is a relatively new team in MLS. They played their first game in the league in 2015, and are the first franchise from New York City. Currently led by head coach Ronny Deila, the New York City FC has already created a reputation for themselves as one of the most consistent and competitive teams.
In 2019, they ended up 1st overall in the Eastern Conference and 2nd overall in the league. They were defeated in the semifinals, but it was a strong finish to an exciting season.
Considering this team’s great run last year, there is no doubt that they are looking for a championship in 2020. They came incredibly close in 2019, especially considering it was only their 5th season in the league.
Unfortunately, they did not have a stellar start to this season during regular league play. Before the postponement, they were sitting 1-4. Not exactly a riveting start. Fortunately, they have been able to turn things around during the MLS is Back Tournament and seem to be hitting their stride.
They were able to defeat Inter Miami in the knockout stage in an extremely close match that ended up 1-0. In the round of 16, they had a decisive victory against the Toronto FC, beating them 3-1. They will be looking to carry this momentum into their game against the Timbers on Saturday.
Team Analysis Portland Timbers
The Portland Timbers were formed in March of 2009, and they have had an interesting trajectory since they joined the MLS. They had a couple of relatively difficult seasons early on, although those weren’t without highlights.
What’s most noteworthy regarding their history is their 2015 run, when they ended up winning the MLS Cup. This is no small feat in this league, especially for a relatively new club. They continued to make it to the playoffs the next two years and returned to the final until 2018. They ended up losing 2-0 to Atlanta United, but it was still a fantastic year for them.
Although they have not been able to repeat their impressive 2015 championship, they have made it to the playoffs nearly every single season since their inception.
2019 was a strange season for the Timbers as their stadium went under major renovations and they were forced to play extensively on the road. They ended up 6th in the Western Conference and 11th overall in the league. Portland ended up losing in the first round of the playoffs; not exactly the finish they were hoping for considering the epic seasons they had been having.
This year, the Timbers look to turn their fortunes around and get that winning feeling back. They have been on a tear throughout the tournament and are currently undefeated in this unique setting. They must be feeling confident with 4 wins, 1 draw, and 0 losses.
Despite their superior record in this tournament, their opponents in this game definitely have the firepower to upset them.
Below we will offer some analysis of the betting lines for this game and see what’s happening.
MLS Betting Lines Analysis
BetUS has the Portland Timbers set as the favorites to win Saturday’s game. No surprise there considering their current record. Their handicap is set at +1/2 (-160) and is set at +190 for the Moneyline.
As for the NYC FC, their handicap is set at -1/2 (+125) and are their odds to win are set at +125 on the Moneyline. The totals are set at 3 (+115o and -145u).
Considering the fact that Portland has not lost a single game this tournament, it’s hard to see them suffering their first one here. If they can stick to their plan and continue to play good soccer—and not commit any major errors on defense—it will be very difficult for the New York to beat them on Saturday.
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