MLS Cup Playoffs Conference Semifinals, Leg 2 Previews

Kevin Stott

Friday, November 3, 2017 7:29 PM UTC

Friday, Nov. 3, 2017 7:29 PM UTC

After a perfect 4-0 week in this space picking Leg 1 Totals last week, it becomes a little tricker with some clubs chasing deficits in Leg 2’s and other sides looking like even scoring one Postseason goal could be a problem.

Sunday, November 5, 2017New York Red Bulls at Toronto FC 3 pm ET/12 pm PT

Sebastian Giovinco and the Reds won Leg 1 at Red Bull Arena, 2-1 and head into this Leg 2 on Sunday from Toronto in a good spot, but need to be wary of Bradley Wright-Phillips and the Red Bulls scoring first (and early), and that’s what we can expect the visitors to do, push the pace early looking for that goal meaning the Over (3 -115, Bovada) seems like a solid look again. Looking at the L6 meetings in this Eastern Conference series  we see TFC are unbeaten in their L4 meetings (2-2-0) with Daniel Royer and the Red Bulls in 3 Overs and 1 Under and matches which saw the Both Teams To Score (Yes) Prop go a profitable 4-0.

And both should score again here in this Leg 2 on Sunday afternoon which sees TFC -125 favorites, RBNY +330 Underdogs with a Draw priced at +280. Top-seed Toronto has just been too good this MLS season and are a dominating and profitable 13-3-1 at Home at BMO Field.

Final Score Prediction: Toronto FC 3 Red Bulls 2Free MLS Picks: Toronto FC -125 & Over 3  Best Lines Offered: at Bovada

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Columbus Crew SC at NYCFC 6 pm ET/3 pm PT

David Villa and NYCFC will be fighting a couple of things in this leg 2 from The Big Apple on Sunday afternoon the upstart Columbus Crew rolling to 4-1 win at Home in Columbus in front of a crowd fearful the beloved franchise might be leaving the Ohio capital, possibly for Austin, Texas. Motivated by that Fear, a fan rabid base desperately wanting the Crew to stay in Columbus and playing the best Soccer in the league for the L3 months, GK Zack Steffen and Columbus are one of those Postseason teams in sports that needs to be feared right about now and may be in the perfect spot to support in the 2017 MLS Cup Champions Futures Book market. Offshore odds currently see NYCFC as -140 Favorites for this leg, and chasing a 4-1 aggregate deficit, the hosts are in a world of hurt and drew the wrong team at the wrong time.

NYCFC  could win, but again the Totals market looks enticing with a frenetic Pace all but ensured with NYCFC chasing 3 goals and its season on the line. A quick look at the L6 games reveals 6 straight Overs with the BTTS Prop cashing at a profitable 6-0 mark over that span. With the Crew now having gone 15 straight games without a Loss heading in here, it seems there could be value on them at + if they couldn’t get away with losing and still advancing—as well as the Over in that tiny and bumpy bandbox built for Major League Baseball, Yankee Stadium, where Overs seem to come relatively easy in the MLS.

Final Score Prediction: NYCFC 2 Crew 2Free MLS Pick: Over 3 -115 Best Line Offered: at Bovada

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Houston Dynamo vs Portland Timbers8:30 pm ET/5:30 pm PT

Sunday night’s final MLS Cup Playoffs Conference Semifinal match will see the Dynamo travelling up to Portland for a huge second leg after leg 1 in Houston ended in a 0-0 Draw. Even though the much-improved and motivated Dynamo (13-11-10, 57 GF-45 GA) have had a wonderful season, Houston really put itself behind the proverbial 8-ball here by not being able to score at Home in Leg 1 and saying Timber Joey and the log-cutting Portlandia crowd is worth 1 goal in this spot may be an undersell. Situations matter, and with the Dynamo coming to town and this game being in prime time, expect the Providence Park throng to make it really hard on the visitors and getting that first goal to quiet the throng—as well as grab the Momentum early in this scoreless series—will be massive. And Logic says the Timbers (+450 to win 2017 MLS Cup, Intertops) get that goal, probably in the first 33 to 44 minutes of play with so much energy there.

Granted, DaMarcus Beasley and the Dynamo (14/1 to win 2017 MLS Cup, Intertops) will get a lift from the Houston Astros winning the city’s first World Series on Wednesday night, but this game being played in Oregon and the Soccer-loving pacific Northwest is a handicapping edge to the wise reader. Online sportsbook Bovada has Portland priced as -150 favorites here with Houston big +370 Underdogs and a Draw now at +275. Looking at the L6 meetings in this Western Conference series (HOU 0-0 POR, HOU 2-2 POR, POR 4-2 HOU, HOU 3-1 POR, POR 3-2 HOU, POR 2-2) shows 5 straight Overs interrupted by that 0-0 scoreline in Leg 1 in Texas last week. The pressure to score will be immense for both sides and Dynamo GK Tyler Deric and Erick Torres have been absolutely fabulous but sometimes Site and Situation outweigh everything when two teams are so close and it seems like that’s the case here in a match which could very well end 0-0 again after 90+ minutes.

Final Score Prediction: Timbers 1 Dynamo 0Free MLS Picks: Timbers -150 & Under 3Best Line Offered: at Bovada

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