An important game in the Western Conference kicks off on Friday with both teams looking towards the playoffs and post season. LA Galaxy have made the more positive start and will go into this match in third place with 25 points from 15 games.
Portland Timbers are playing catch up but they have been solid if not spectacular. Giovanni Savarese’s men have 19 points from their 14 games and just need to find some consistency in order to climb the table.
The sportsbooks may have identified a clear favorite for this Friday clash (10pm ET) but let’s see if we can find some value wagers with our predictions for this preview.
Greg Vanney’s Galaxy side lead the way in the moneyline outright winner betting but there are prices above evens for all three possible outcomes. The home win is on offer at industry best odds of +114 while victory for Portland Timbers is next at a general +210. Completing the moneyline market is the draw which can currently be found at an average of around +275.
Six points separate these teams but Portland have a game in hand over Friday’s opponents so this clash could well be closer than the standings suggest. The Timbers also edge the form guide although both franchises need to improve on a poor set of recent results.
Across their last five matches, Portland have won two and lost three. LA Galaxy have also lost three matches in that five-game period but they have won just once while drawing at Real Salt Lake two weeks ago. The concern for Galaxy backers would be last week’s heavy 4-0 defeat at the hands of FC Dallas. There isn’t too much momentum on either side going into Friday but the form book is marginally in favor of Portland Timbers.
Galaxy have been without key striker Javier Hernandez and reports claim that the Mexican international is unlikely to return for this MLS game. Hernandez has been struggling with a calf strain and Vanney’s men have struggled in his absence.
With the MLS’ leading scorer set to remain on the sidelines, Augustine Williams is LA’s favorite to open the scoring at +600. The forward from Sierra Leone has yet to find the net in four games this season but he has a good record in the club’s second team.
The man with the shortest odds in the first goalscorer market is Portland’s Felipe Mora who is available at a general +575. The Chilean international has a reasonable return of four goals in ten games so far in this campaign.
Elsewhere, neither team has been especially prolific in front of goal but the Both Teams to Score market is disappointingly short. BTTS is available for Saturday at a best of just -210 while a bet on No for Both Teams to Score comes in at a general +175.
Across their last ten combined matches, BTTS would have converted a profit on six out of ten occasions. A 60% return means that we would have hoped for better odds so we’ll look at Total Goals betting instead.
Staking Above the 2.5 line is also short at odds of -200 in places. If we lift that to Over 3.5, that jumps to a top price of +138. However, given the nature of recent results, it could be a time to consider going Under the 2.5 line for odds of around +135.
That leaves us with our Correct Score suggestions and this preview is not expecting too many goals. A 1-1 draw would be our preference and that currently comes in at a general +600. Alternatively, if you are going with the favorites, a 2-1 win for LA Galaxy is listed at a best of +800 while the same scoreline in favor of the Timbers can be found at +1000.
Our Preview’s LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers Predictions & Betting Picks Conclusion
It is a case of ‘all or nothing’ with Portland Timbers right now: In 14 games so far this season they have won six and lost seven with only one match resulting in a share of the points. That doesn’t suggest that we should be looking at the draw but there are reasons to believe that Galaxy and the Timbers will cancel each other out.
The form guide is almost identical in each camp and results have been similar since LA dipped following a fast start to the campaign. The absence of Javier Hernandez is another issue with the back-up strikers failing to step up.
Taking all of that into account, we’re staying with the draw. That form guide also suggests that we may not see too much attacking flair so we’ll add Under 2.5 goals to the betting predictions as our first prop bet. Finally, it’s tough to find a likely goal scorer but Galaxy’s Sacha Kljestan has found the net twice from midfield this season and can be a threat.
We’ll therefore finish with Kljestan for an anytime goal and look forward to a dour but potentially profitable 90 minutes. So these are our picks for this MLS game preview:
- The draw @ +290 with BetOnline. It is +285 with Bovada.
- Under 2.5 goals at +145 with Bovada. It is +135 with Intertops.
- Sacha Kljestan to score at any time in 90 minutes at +310 with Intertops. It is +275 with Bovada.
Matt Harris is a golf and soccer expert for USA Betting. His other area of specialist knowledge is cricket. He is well known in sports journalism and contributes articles to a plethora of big-name websites and media outlets. Titles that he writes or has written for include: Betfair, BetVictor, Unibet & Just Bookies.