MLS Soccer Picks: Timbers vs. Union

Steven Suarez

Saturday, July 20, 2013 2:59 PM GMT

Saturday, Jul. 20, 2013 2:59 PM GMT

We should be in for a highly competitive match between two contenders in the City of Brotherly Love this evening.
Odds Overview

It's an extremely close call when it comes to the soccer betting odds for this clash between the Timbers and the Union.

Philadelphia is acting as the favorite at about +140, with Portland at +190 and a draw at +240. You may also want to consider some action on the total number of goals, which is available at each and every sportsbook.

Philadelphia Union

It's been a great six weeks or so for the Union. They've recorded three wins, two draws, and only one loss in their past six matches, while scoring an impressive 13 total goals during that span.

Off since Friday's 3-1 win over Chivas USA, Philadelphia has had ample time to run over a game-plan for this encounter with a well-coached Portland outfit.

In that victory, the Union rebounded fantastically well after going down 1-0 early, scoring three second-half goals. Bryan Carroll, Michael Farfan, and Conor Casey were the three to get on the score-sheet. 

A run of good form has Philadelphia in fourth place in the Eastern Conference. They're three points behind first-place Sporting Kansas City and one point behind New York and Montreal. 

However, if you're a Union supporter, you may be a little worried about the team's defensive frailty this season. They've been scoring at a good clip, but they've also allowed 30 goals in 20 matches, the most of any team in the conference. 

Portland Timbers 

The Timbers are in a great position at the minute, especially after holding off the Los Angeles Galaxy to win 2-1 last weekend.

Portland now sits in second place in the Western Conference and the side is just four points behind Real Salt Lake with a match-in hand. The standings are super tight though, as there are five different teams within three points of one another, starting with Portland and ending with Colorado in sixth place.

Three points over a team like the Galaxy was exactly what was needed for this Timbers squad. It definitely didn't come easy.

It was a rough start for Portland. They were down after 17 minutes, but were able to even up the honors ten minutes later. Then, in thrilling fashion, Andrew Jean Baptiste scored four minutes into extra-time to give the Timbers a hugely important victory.

Will Johnson, the only member of Portland's team to make the MLS All-Star team, will try to have a big influence on proceedings tonight. Will the Union be able to cope with him? 

[gameodds]4/240744/?r-1=43-349-192/dec[/gameodds]

MLS Pick 

Though the Union are coming off a comfortable win over Chivas at home, the road is going to be much tougher to three points against a team of Portland's caliber.

The Timbers have quickly emerged as a serious challenger in the Western Conference, and their road performances haven't been too shabby either. 

In ten matches outside of Portland, Caleb Porter's team has only lost one time, while posting a staggering seven draws and two wins. Their overall goal differential on the road is plus-two, with 14 goals scored and 12 goals allowed. 

Given Portland's knack for making life difficult for their opponents, we are going to predict a stalemate at PPL Park in Chester, Pennsylvania.

Pick: Philadelphia Union 1 Portland Timbers 1 at Bet 365

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