Giovinco, Toronto FC in Chicagoland to Play With Fire in MLS Week 25 East Showdown

Kevin Stott

Wednesday, August 16, 2017 2:49 PM UTC

Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017 2:49 PM UTC

The 2017 MLS Regular Season churns on, with matches meaning a little bit more now with the Postseason beginning in October. This weekend, we have a plethora of great matchup.

Friday, August 18, 2017New York Red Bulls at Portland Timbers

Bradley Wright-Phillips (14 goals), Daniel Royer (10 goals) and the hot New York Red Bulls (12-2-9, 37 GF-30 GA) head 3 Time Zones and 2,904 miles west to Portland on Friday (FS1, MLS LIVE, FOX Deportes) to face the Timbers (9-7-9, 43 GF-43 GA) in a big MLS Week 25 interconference affair from Rose City for both. A look at the L5 meetings in this series (RBNY 0-0 PORT, PORT 0-2 RBNY, RBNY 1-2 PORT, PORT 3-3 RBNY, RBNY 3-3 PORT) shows the Home team with just one Win in the L5 with the Road club going 2-2-1 in two straight Unders after three straight Overs. Get it? Got it? Good. Even though Diego Valeri (13 goals), Fanendo Adi (10 goals) and the Timbers (DLWDWL) are as middle of the road as an MLS club can be at this point in the Regular Season (9 Wins, 9 Losses, 43 GF, 43 GA), and that the surging Red Bulls (11/1 to win 2017 MLS Cup, Intertops) have been in such good form (WWWWLW), this is a tough spot for visitors to play with Timber Joey and his chainsaw and the raucous crowd and all and 5th-place Portland (6-4-2, 25 GF-16 GA at Home) is just 3 points above the Playoff cutoff line. Because of this need for a Win from Portland (18/1 to win 2017 MLS Cup, Intertops), the primetime spotlight and the Red Bulls below average 4-0-7 mark on the Road (14 GF-20 GA), backing the more focused hosts is the call.

Final Score Prediction: Timbers 2 Red Bulls 1Free MLS Pick: Timbers +110 Best Line Offered: at Bovada

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Saturday, August 19, 2017Toronto FC at Chicago Fire Soccer Club

All-Star Nemanja Nikolic (16 goals), David Accam (12 goals) and the 3rd-place Fire (12-5-6, 45 GF-28 GA) play host to All-Star Sebastian Giovinco (11 goals), Jozy Altidore (11 goals) and 1st-place Toronto FC (13-8-3, 46 GF-24 GA) in a huge MLS Week 25 showdown on Saturday night (TSN1, TSN4, MLS LIVE, CSN-Chicago) from Toyota Park in southwest suburban Chicago. Looking at the L6 meetings in this series (TFC 3-1 FIRE, TFC 3-2 FIRE, FIRE 1-2 TFC, TFC 1-0 FIRE, TFC 3-2 FIRE, FIRE 3-2 TFC) shows the Over is 5-1 with the Home side 5-0-1 and Toronto FC an impressive 5-0-1. But that was before DP bastian Schweinsteiger arrived in the Windy City and before Toyota Park became a virtual fortress for the Fire (10-1-0, 31 GF-5 GA). Zero losses in 11 Home fixtures and just 5 GA (0.45 GPG) is special and shows the kind of pride for Defense and winning on the precious home soil which wise solid Soccer clubs slowly groom. And Chicago—which acquired the crafty Juninho (below) on a 1-year Loan from Liga MX side Club Tijuana—and Head Coach Veljko Paunovic really have with great help from the former Bayern Munich star Schweinsteiger (2 goals). This one should be exciting with the prolific Giovinco and the Reds (+650 to win 2017 MLS Cup, Intertops) being challenged to score against the prolific Nikolic and Fire (7/1 to win 2017 MLS Cup, Intertops) who just don’t allow goals in Bridgeview. Backing the club which is unbeaten at Home and chasing the 1st-place TFC side (7 points) and the Over (5-1 L6 in series, 3.83 gpg) seems like the most logical approaches. It’s hard to think even Patrick Doody and Chicago can stop Giovinco and/or Altidore from scoring here, meaning the hosts will probably have to score 2 or 3 of their own. This one should be fun.

Final Score Prediction: Fire 3 Toronto FC 1Free MLS Picks: Fire +138, Over 2½ -167Best Line Offered: at Bet365

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Sunday, August 20, 2017Minnesota United FC at Seattle Sounders FC

The MLS Week 25 comes to an end in the Pacific Northwest on Sunday night (FS1, TSN, MLS LIVE, FOX Deportes) from the Emerald City and that great home-pitch advantage Clint Dempsey (10 goals) and the Sounders (10-7-7, 37 GF-31 GA) hold in Seattle at CitiBank Field—home of the NFL’s Seattle Seahawks—the place where defending league champions Seattle will face expansion Minnesota United FC (6-4-13, 29 GF-49 GA), a side the Sounders defeated 4-0 back in Week 23 in Minneapolis in the first meeting ever between the two clubs. This is a very, very tough spot for Christian Ramirez (12 goals), Kevin Molino (5 goals) and MNUFC (0-2-7, 10 GF-26 on Road), being winless on the Road, facing the defending MLS champions in one of the hardest places to play in the MLS and against a hungry side which just beat them handily in Minnesota and which has W6 straight with GK Stefan Frei registering Clean Sheets in four straight matches (SEA 3-0 SJ, LA 0-0 SEA, MNUFC 0-4 SEA, SEA 1-0 SKC) outscoring opponents 16-4 in the process.

The way Frei (9 Shutouts), Will Bruin (8 goals) and the Sounders (7-3-1, 18 GF-9 GA at Home) are playing, Nicolás Lodeiro (3 goals, 8 assists) and this Sounders (9/1 to win 2017 MLS Cup, Intertops) team could definitely repeat as champions and now with 37 points after this surge, are tied with the Lone Star State twosome of Supporters’ shield holders FC Dallas (9/1 to win 2017 MLS Cup, Intertops) and the Houston Dynamo (11/1 to win 2017 MLS Cup, Intertops) with only GD separating the three Western Conference clubs heading into this weekend. Although potentially boring, this fixture may be the best MLS game on which to bet in Week 25 despite the expected chalky favorites odds. Can you hear me?

Final Score Prediction: Sounders 4 MNUFC 0Free MLS Picks: Sounders -275, Over 2½ -183Best Line Offered: at Bet365

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