Major League Soccer Trio of Week 20 Picks

whitecaps timbers

Kevin Stott

Friday, July 21, 2017 1:51 PM GMT

Friday, Jul. 21, 2017 1:51 PM GMT

GK David Ousted and the current Cascadia Cup-holder Vancouver will look to create some distance between itself and Portland in a MLS Week 20 Pacific Northwest rivalry match from BC Place on Sunday. Let’s look at that fixture as well as two others this weekend. 

SaturdayChicago Fire at NYCFC

Nemanja Nikolic (16 goals), the red-hot David Accam (10 goals) and the 2nd-place (Eastern Conference) Chicago Fire (11-5-3, 37 GF-19 GA) head to The Big Apple and historic Yankee Stadium on Saturday to face David Villa (13 goals) and NYCFC (10-4-6, 38 GF-26 GA) in an MLS Week 20 battle battle between the 2nd- and 3rd-place clubs in the Eastern Conference (MLS LIVE, CSN-Plus, YES). Looking at the L5 lifetime meetings in this series (NYCFC 4-1 FIRE, NYCFC 0-0 FIRE, FIRE 3-4 NYCFC, NYCFC 2-2 FIRE, FIRE 1-0 NYCFC), we can see that there has been just 1 Fire win (1-2-2) and 0 in The House That Ruth Built (0-2-1, 6 GFR-3 GA) with 2 of the 3 meetings in The Bronx going Over. DP Bastian Schweinsteiger and the Fire (2-4-3, 10 GF-15 GA on Road) are unbeaten in their L11 now, and this is one of those matchups that fits the Draw mold and which looks like it should be a fixture with many goals. Jack Harrison (8 goals) and NYCFC played to a 2-2 Draw with Toronto FC at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday.

Final Score Prediction: NYCFC 2, Fire 2Free MLS Picks: 'Over' 3 (-125), Draw +245Best Lines Offered: Bovada

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New York Red Bulls at Minnesota United FC

Bradley-Wright Phillips (9 goals) and the 5th-place New York Red Bulls (9-2-8, 25 GF-24 GA) head east to the Land of 10,000 Lakes on Saturday (ESPN, TSN2, MLS LIVE, ESPN Deportes) to face Christian Ramirez (10 goals) and expansion side Minnesota United FC (5-6-5, 26 GF-26 GA) in this first meeting ever between these two MLS sides. In their L2 Home dates, GK Bobby Shuttleworth (4 Clean Sheets), Kevin Molino (5 goals) and MNUFC (5-2-4, 15 GF-16 GA at Home) have held their opponents to just one goal (MNUFC 0-1 CLB, MNUFC 0-0 HOU), but haven’t been able to muster a goal themselves while earning just 1 point in a Loss and a scoreless Draw in Minneapolis Wednesday versus Houston. Here, Daniel Royer (7 goals) and RBNY (3-0-6, 9 GF-17 GA) may also have trouble finding a goal on the Road, especially averaging just 1.00 gpg away from Red Bull Arena so far this Regular Season and with 11th-place MNUFC (25 GF-42 GA, -17 GD, 19 points) having to now try to rely on its Defense to keep them in matches, backing the Under (and looking for a 3) seems to be the best approach.

Final Score Prediction: United 1, Red Bulls 1Free MLS Pick: 'Under' 2.5 (+115)Best Line Offered: Bookmaker

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SundayPortland Timbers at Vancouver Whitecaps

MLS All-Star Diego Valeri (10 goals), Fanendo Adi (10 goals) and the 5th-place Timbers (7-6-8, 35 GF-35 GA) head north across the border to Vancouver on Sunday afternoon (FS1, TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5, MLS LIVE, FOX Deportes) to face Fredy Montero (6 goals) and the 4th-place Whitecaps (8-3-7, 25 GF-27 GA) in a big MLS Week 20 affair from the beautiful Canadian province of British Columbia. The Whitecaps (5-2-2, 15 GF-10 GA at Home) blanked the Home-challenged LA Galaxy (1-3-6, 10 GF-19 GA at Home) in La La Land, 1-0, on a Tony Tchani goal in the 64th minute, while Darlington Nagbe (2 goals) and the Timbers were embarrassed in Portland, 4-1 by last-place Real Salt Lake. A look at the L5 meetings in this series (POR 2-1 VAN, VAN 4-1 POR, POR 4-3 VAN, VAN 2-1 POR, VAN 0-2 POR) shows the Home side has W4 in a row as has the Both Teams To Score Prop (“Yes”) with the Over also W4 straight, averaging a robust 4.50 gpg in this Pacific Coast Cascadia Cup series. The strong lean here is to GK David Ousted (4 Clean Sheets) and the in-form hosts, Vancouver, which is the current Cascadia Cup holder, and in fairly good Form (LWDDDLW) and wanting to try to put some distance betweenitself (27 points) and Portland (27 points, 2-2-6, 13 GF-20 GA on Road) before the MLS All-Star Game is played at Soldier Field in Chicago (Aug. 2; FS1, 9 pm ET). The Whitecaps will likely be without 16-year-old sensation Alphonso Davies, who is currently playing for his native Canada in the 2017 Gold Cup.

Final Score Prediction: Whitecaps 2, Timbers 0Free MLS Picks: Whitecaps -110, 'Under' 3 -115Best Lines Offered: Intertops

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