Plenty at Stake on Penultimate Sunday of MLS Regular Season

Thursday, October 18, 2018 8:46 PM UTC

Thursday, Oct. 18, 2018 8:46 PM UTC

Let’s look to continue our nice October roll with three more sugary MLS picks for Sunday and Matchweek 35, when all clubs will be playing their second-to-last fixtures of the regular season.

<p dir="ltr" style="text-align:right"><em><strong>MLS Capper Record Last Week: 2-0-0</strong></em><br /><em><strong>MLS Capper Record L3 Weeks: 9-0-0</strong></em></p><h2 dir="ltr" style="text-align:center"><a href="" rel="nofollow">Columbus Crew (13-9-10) at Orlando City SC (7-4-21)</a></h2><h2 dir="ltr" style="text-align:center">Sunday, 3 p.m. ET</h2><h2 dir="ltr" style="text-align:center">Free MLS Pick: Crew ML</h2><p dir="ltr" style="text-align:center">[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3411426, "sportsbooksIds":[93,19,1275,238,169], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p dir="ltr">After going 5 straight matches without a goal, Dominic Dwyer (13 goals) and host Orlando City SC finally put one in the back of the net in Wednesday's 2-1 loss to the Sounders — who scored twice in the first 13 minutes and qualified for the MLS Cup Playoffs with the victory— but this club is now winless in its L12 games with just 1 goal since September 1, and <a href="" title="Live MLS Odds">oddsmakers offshore have recognized this</a>, making the Columbus Crew SC solid -105 favorites for their weekend match at OCSC, the Lions' second game in 5 days.</p><p dir="ltr">Gyasi Zardes (16 goals), Federico Higuaín (5 goals) and Columbus (WDLWDL) sit in 5th place in the Eastern Conference and are just 3-5-8 on the road, but Sacha Klještan (5 goals) and OCSC (DLLDLLL) have been just too weak on offense and have been on a fade-worthy late-summer/early-autumn losing spell.</p><p dir="ltr">Looking at the L5 meetings in this series (CLB 3-2 ORL, ORL 0-1 CLB, ORL 1-1 CLB, CLB 2-0 ORL, ORL 1-4 CLB) we see that the Lions are winless (0-1-4) and have been outscored 11-4 in the process with three of those meetings in the Sunshine State, two Clean Sheets and three "unders" in the L4 meetings.</p><p dir="ltr">Remember the Crew (47 points) have still yet to officially clinch a MLS Cup playoff spot, so motivation is a factor as well as the Lions' sleepy September-October performance. But with the now 8th-place Impact (44 points) behind 6th-place DC United (45 points) in the East, Wil Trapp and the Crew at least have a buffer-zone and a 5-point distance with two fixtures to go.</p><p dir="ltr">[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Three more points and a postseason berth ✊&lt;br /&gt;&lt;br /&gt;The &lt;a href=\";amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#ORLvSEA&lt;/a&gt; Rave TV Recap ⬇️ &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;October 18, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><h2 dir="ltr" style="text-align:center"><a href="" rel="nofollow">Seattle Sounders (16-5-11) at Houston Dynamo (9-8-15)</a></h2><h2 dir="ltr" style="text-align:center">Sunday, 5 p.m. ET</h2><h2 dir="ltr" style="text-align:center">Free MLS Picks: Sounders ML &amp; Under</h2><p dir="ltr" style="text-align:center">[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3411423, "sportsbooksIds":[93,19,1275,238,169], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p dir="ltr"><a href="" title="Free Sports Picks">Probably best to back the Sounders</a> (8/1 to win MLS Cup, Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook) on the PK line (as opposed to the 3-way market where a draw might lose with a tie) in this one, although the visitors may be in a perceived letdown spot after clinching a playoff berth with their win at OCSC on Wednesday night in which RW Víctor Rodríguez had a great game, scoring a goal and nabbing Man of the Match honors.</p><p dir="ltr">The Sounders (WWLLWWW) will enter this Matchweek 35 fixture in 4th-place (53 points) with host Houston (LWDWLL) in 10th and out of the picture with 35 points, 11 points back of 6th-place RSL in the rugged Western Conference.</p><p dir="ltr">A handicapping look at the L5 matches between these two (SEA 4-1 HOU, SEA 3-0 HOU, HOU 0-2 SEA, SEA 1-0 HOU, HOU 2-1 SEA) shows the home club to be 4-0-1 with the sounders W4 straight in the series by a combined 10-1 margin with the Dynamo being shut out 3 times by stellar GK Stefan Frei and scoring only in the last meeting earlier this month (Oct. 8) at CenturyLink Field.</p><p dir="ltr">The word on the Web is that Will Bruin (7 goals), Raúl Ruidíaz (7 goals) and the red-hot Sounders will be getting Nicolás Lodeiro (8 goals) and Gustav Svensson both back after serving international duty for their native Uruguay and Sweden respectively, so, everything (momentum, series trends, roster, playoff positioning) points to backing Seattle in H-town, who is priced at +144 on the 3-way line (<a href=";book=JustBet" rel="nofollow" title="Top Rated Sportsbook">JustBet</a>).</p><p dir="ltr">[/]{"component": "embedHTML", "code": "&lt;blockquote class=\"twitter-tweet\" data-lang=\"en\"&gt;&lt;p lang=\"en\" dir=\"ltr\"&gt;Happy 92nd birthday, Providence Park.&lt;br /&gt; &lt;br /&gt;Let’s take a stroll down memory lane to celebrate. &lt;a href=\";amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw\"&gt;#RCTID&lt;/a&gt; &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;;/a&gt;&lt;/p&gt;— Portland Timbers (@TimbersFC) &lt;a href=\"\"&gt;October 9, 2018&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/blockquote&gt;\n&lt;script async src=\"\" charset=\"utf-8\"&gt;&lt;/script&gt;\n"}[/]</p><h2 dir="ltr" style="text-align:center"><a href="" rel="nofollow">Real Salt Lake (13-7-12) at Portland Timbers (14-9-9)</a></h2><h2 dir="ltr" style="text-align:center">Sunday, 5 p.m. ET</h2><h2 dir="ltr" style="text-align:center">Free MLS Pick: Timbers ML</h2><p dir="ltr" style="text-align:center">[/]{"component":"oddswidget", "eventId":3411424, "sportsbooksIds":[93,19,1275,238,169], "LineTypeId":2, "PeriodTypeId":1}[/]</p><p dir="ltr">With the Sounders clinching that aforementioned berth in the West on Wednesday, Diego Valeri (10 goals), Sebastián Blanco (9 goals) and Portland (WLWLDW) and Damir Kreilach (11 goals), Albert Rusnák (10 goals), Joao Plata (9 goals), Samuel Armenteros (8 goals) and RSL (WWDLDL) are both battling for 5th- and 6th-place and sit 6 points and 1 point respectively above the LA Galaxy (45 points) heading into Sunday.</p><p dir="ltr">A look at the L5 meetings (RSL 1-4 PORT, RSL 2-1 PORT, PORT 1-4 RSL, PORT 1-0 RSL, RSL 2-2 PORT) shows the two sides deadlocked at 2-2-1 with each winning a match at the other’s home pitch.</p><p dir="ltr">So this one matters to both with the site and Timber Joey being the biggest edge for Portland. With so much at stake, it’s hard to see a 4-goal affair in Rose City although the pace should be nervy with RSL fearing the LA Galaxy catching them in the West. The first goal will be huge here, especially if it takes more than 45 minutes to happen, but conventional wisdom says the homepitch and the fans support in this big spot could be the difference in a close one in PDX.</p>
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