This weekend, all four MLS is Back Tournament quarter-finals are being played at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida. This year’s competition has been a wild ride, but there are some intriguing matchups for us to enjoy – and bet on – as we approach the last eight.
I have chosen to feature what I believe is the best value bet for each quarter-final.
Philadelphia Union vs. Sporting Kansas City – 07/30/20
Philadelphia finished second in Group A after beating New York City and Inter Miami and drawing with Orlando City. However, the Union were unconvincing in the Round of 16 and only managed to scrape past New England Revolution by a single goal. On the other hand, Sporting KC come into the quarter-finals on the back of three straight victories and have only lost one of their previous six outings. There is no denying that Sporting are the stronger team in this matchup, so odds of 1.91 for the SKC win seem too good to miss.
Pick: Sporting Kansas City to Win – 1.91
Orlando City vs. LAFC – 07/31/20
Understandably, Orlando (3.60) are the rank outsiders to win this game, while tournament-frontrunners LAFC (1.80) are favorites. However, both teams have been pretty unpredictable so far this year. Orlando cruised through the group stage unbeaten but scraped past Montreal in the previous round. Meanwhile, LAFC drew two of their three group games before hammering Seattle 4-1 in the Round of 16. I’m confident that LAFC will win this game. But each of their last five games have produced at least four goals, so the over 3.5 goals market offers better value than the LAFC win here.
Pick: Over 3.5 Total Goals – 2.00
San Jose Earthquakes vs. Minnesota United – 08/01/20
San Jose (2.20) finished top of their group and are yet to taste defeat in the tournament. The Quakes recorded victories over Vancouver and Chicago before thrashing Real Salt Lake 5-2 last time out. On the other hand, Minnesota (3.00) only won one of their three group game and needed a penalty shootout to edge past Columbus Crew in the previous round. In their last five games, San Jose have scored ten and conceded ten. Furthermore, both teams have scored in eight of their previous nine outings in all competitions. Both teams to score makes sense for this matchup.
Pick: Both Teams to Score – 1.70
New York City vs. Portland Timbers – 08/01/20
New York City (2.20) are the bookies favorites heading into the clash, but I really like the look of this Portland (2.88) team. NYC scraped through the group stage as one of the best third-placed teams, while the Timbers finished above LAFC to top Group F following two wins and a draw. Sure, Portland needed penalties to get past a spirited FC Cincinnati outfit in the Round of 16. But having won the MLS Cup in 2015 and reached the final in 2018, I’m confident that the Timbers will rise to the occasion once again.
Pick: Portland Timbers to Win – 2.88