MLS Soccer Picks: Portland vs. San Jose Betting Preview

Steven Suarez

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 5:48 PM GMT

The Timbers will again be on the road as they try to top the Earthquakes in San Jose this weekend. Check out our preview for the game.

At this moment, Bet365 is the only sportsbook to have MLS odds out for this weekend's action. There will be eight games on Saturday, including an early encounter between Columbus and Toronto, and then we'll have Chivas USA meeting up with Seattle on Sunday.

The Earthquakes will come in as favorites in the soccer betting lines, but not by much. They're currently at +140 to get all three points, while the Timbers are given a good shot at +210. A draw is also at +210.

Portland Timbers

Last in action this past Saturday, the Timbers are positioned in second place in the Western Conference, with only Real Salt Lake ahead of them in the standings.

Over the weekend Portland held the Union to a 0-0 draw in Philadelphia, and we were able to correctly predict a draw there. Could we see more of the same here in California? Potentially.

The Timbers have more draws (10) than any other team in Major League Soccer, a major reason why they find themselves among the playoff spots at the moment. They're getting at least one point in tough away games and that's serving them well.

The key for Portland away from home has been their stellar defensive play. They've allowed just 12 goals in 11 road matches this season, the lowest number of any team in the league.

That put them in a good position against a San Jose team that's had its fair share of troubles getting the ball in the back of the net.

San Jose Earthquakes

It's been quite a long time since we last saw the Earthquakes in action. They will have been off for two weeks when Saturday comes, as they look to build on a 1-0 win over Seattle back on the 13th of this month.

Without leading scorer Chris Wondolowski out there, the Earthquakes have been starting with the duo of Alan Gordon and Steven Lenhart up front, and the results haven't been too good.

Those two had 24 goals between them in last year's highly successful campaign for San Jose, but this season they've only combined to score four league goals. That's just not going to cut it with the league getting more and more talented with each passing year.

A poor scoring record overall (21 goals in 21 matches) is a pivotal reason why we find the Earthquakes near the bottom of the Western Conference.

However, one saving grace for San Jose has been the team's solid home form. They've racked up five wins, four draws, and only one loss in 10 matches at Buck Shaw Stadium.

[gameodds]4/241328/?r-1=43-349-192-999997/us[/gameodds]

MLS Pick

As we mentioned, this is a good matchup on paper for the Timbers. They have one of the best defenses around and will be thankful they don't have to deal with Wondolowski, who's likely to still be away on Gold Cup duty.

So while the Earthquakes have had ample time to prepare for this one, we just can't find it in ourselves to add one of the most under-performing teams in the MLS to our soccer picks. Portland has been far and away the better team so far and has also battled through tough tests away from home countless times.

Let's add the Timbers to our sports picks for the weekend, as we look for a narrow win from the visitors.

MLS Prediction: San Jose Earthquakes 0 - Portland Timbers 1

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