MLS is Back Tournament Final Betting Preview

MLS is Back Tournament Final Betting

Perhaps it’s fitting that Orlando City SC will get the chance to claim their first silverware in the MLS is Back Tournament Final. The Lions have been the unofficial hosts of the tournament, and they have thrived in the humidity of a Florida summer while other teams have wilted. It’s been a summer of firsts for Orlando City, so why not make it one more this Tuesday, August 11, when they take on the Portland Timbers. The match is scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m. ET, and it will be broadcast on ESPN.

MLS is Back Final Betting Odds at

Portland Timbers +174

Orlando City SC +149

Draw +254

How They Got Here

Portland has been solid throughout the MLS is Back Tournament. The Timbers knocked off both the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo in the Group Stage, and they drew with tournament favorites Los Angeles FC. They survived a scare from a game FC Cincinnati in the Round of 16, advancing on penalties, but they left no doubt who was the better side in a 3-1 victory over New York City FC in the quarterfinals. They locked up their place in the MLS is Cup Final with a 2-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union on Wednesday night, although they were given a scare by a late Kacper Przybylko goal that was narrowly ruled offside.

The Lions have undoubtedly been the biggest surprise of the tournament. They had the worst defense in the MLS last year, and they had failed to win a game before the MLS is Back Tournament got underway. Orlando City needed a goal from Nani in the seventh minute of stoppage time to defeat expansion Inter Miami in their first match, but they followed that up with a 3-1 win over NYCFC and a 1-1 draw with the Union. The Lions topped Montreal 1-0 in the Round of 16 before slaying the giant that was LAFC on penalties. They survived a late push from Minnesota United FC in the semifinals to advance to the finals thanks to a Nani first half brace.

Portland Timbers Player to Watch

Diego Chara has been the best defensive midfielder in the MLS for nearly a decade. He isn’t afraid to get aggressive when it comes to taking the ball away from opponents with hard challenges, and he is superb at marking the other team’s best playmaker in open space. Chara is the key to what the Timbers want to do on Tuesday, as they love to play behind the ball and counter in transition. Portland enjoyed possession just 38 percent of the time in its last two matches, so they will lean on Chara and the back line once more.

Orlando City SC Player to Watch

Nani is Orlando City’s captain and main playmaker. He was exquisite in the Lions’ win over Minnesota United on Thursday night, and his second goal might have been the best goal of the tournament. This club doesn’t have much firepower up top, but he is excellent when he is on the ball and can make exquisite crosses. The Portuguese national des seem to have a weakness though, as he has not been a great penalty taker during his time in the league.


The Timbers will likely be short favorites per the MLS betting odds. They are the more talented team and have a ton of postseason experience between Chara and Diego Valeri. Portland has the advantage when they press forward given what we have seen from both Sebastian Blanco and Jeremy Ebobisse, so they are the play on Tuesday night. It won’t be a high-scoring game, but the Timbers will pick up the win and the trophy.

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