MLS is Back Tournament Semifinals Betting Preview

MLS is Back Tournament Semifinals Betting

There’s a very good chance that the MLS is Back Tournament will be won by a debutante this season. Orlando City, Minnesota United, and the Philadelphia Union all have barren trophy cases, so they would love to win this competition even if it might not be for the MLS Cup.. One of the first two teams will definitely make it as they will meet in one of the two semifinals, while the Union will take on the 2015 MLS Cup winning Portland Timbers. All four teams are evenly matched in the eyes of the oddsmakers, so we will likely see supporters of one team go wild celebrating their club’s first trophy next Tuesday night.

MLS is Back Semifinals Betting Odds at

Wednesday, August 5, 2020 at 8 p.m. ET on FS1

Philadelphia Union +175

Portland Timbers +149

Draw +264

Over/Under 2.5 and 3

Portland are the more experienced team, so they are the favorites in the eyes of the oddsmakers on Wednesday night. The Timbers are led by Sebastian Blanco, who has been exquisite in this competition with two goals and five assists. Diego Valeri is as solid as ever even if he might be coming off the bench at the age of 34, while Diego Chara is looking sharp too.

The big worry for Portland is how often this team has conceded penalties during this tournament. The Timbers have conceded a penalty in three of their last four matches, and a late penalty concession led to the club having to survive a shootout against offensively starved FC Cincinnati in the Round of 16.

A controversial penalty decision put the Timbers behind 1-0 against New York City FC on Saturday, but Portland rallied from there. Blanco, Valeri, and Andy Polo all found the back of the net, and Jeremy Ebobisse almost got in on the action too.

As for the Union, they put on a clinic in their quarterfinals victory over Sporting Kansas City. Philadelphia was a decent underdog per the MLS betting odds, yet this club blasted its way past the two-time MLS champions with three goals in the span of 15 minutes.

Jamiro Monteiro opened the scoring off some beautiful one-touch passing, while Sergio Santos notched a brace by outracing the defense on his first goal and finding his way into acres of space on the second. These are two of Phlly’s young guns that have made a big step forward in this competition, as Santos also provided the lone goal against the New England Revolution in the Round of 16.

Experience is key, and Portland won’t have the defensive collapses we saw from Sporting KC on Thursday. The only real worry is fatigue since the Timbers played on Saturday, giving the younger Union an extra two days of rest.

Thursday, August 6, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2

Orlando City SC +149

Minnesota United FC +175

Draw +253

Over/Under 2.5 and 3

The Lions pulled off the biggest upset of the MLS is Back Tournament with their shootout win over Los Angeles FC in the quarterfinals. Joao Moutinho’s header in the 90th minute off a corner gave the nominal host of this event life, and they made the most of their chance as Nani redeemed a penalty miss in regulation to send Orlando City through to the semifinals.

This represents a complete 180 in the club’s fortunes, as Orlando City were the second-worst team in the MLS last year. The Lions had missed the postseason for each of their first five seasons, and they allowed more goals than any other club during the 2019 campaign. However, Oscar Pareja has them focused on defense. Orlando City have yet to allow more than one goal in a match during this competition.

Minnesota United nearly broke through last season, making it all the way to the US Open Cup Finals against Atlanta United. The Loons have certainly found their mark this year though, as they were the most impressive team in the league through the first two weeks of the regular season and have continued their strong play in this competition.

Former Orlando City manager Adrian Heath has this club humming without Ike Opara. Jose Aja has filled in admirably for the reigning MLS Defender of the Year, while Michael Boxall has continued to look strong in the back. Their offense finally turned it on against San Jose in the quarterfinals, so they are the play at this price.

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