Pick LA Galaxy to Remain Undefeated at Home vs. Portland Timbers

Kevin Stott

Tuesday, June 23, 2015 1:13 PM GMT

Sometimes soccer series betting trends seem to be the most overpowering facet in a handicap of a specific game. That seems to be the case here with the Galaxy and the Timbers.

The LA Galaxy and the Portland Timbers last five meetings have seen Both Teams (To) Score. Toss in the fact that these two teams are coming off high-scoring affairs on Saturday night, and this Western Conference affair has the makings of a game in which some goals should be scored. So are there any other picks to be found looking at this Week 18 fixture? Let’s dive in and see.

 

Odds Overview
Portland Timbers at LA Galaxy [Thursday 04:00] (ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, MLS Live, TSN2 (USA): 11 p.m. ET/8 p.m. PT): The LA Galaxy (6-7-5, 21 GF-20 GA) host the upstart Portland Timbers (7-4-5, 17 GF-14 GA) on Wednesday night in this MLS Week 18 Western Conference from the StubHub Center in Carson, California which will have significant meaning in the conference’s playoff positioning. Soccer odds makers have made the host LA Galaxy -120 favorites here over the visiting Timbers (+320) with the Draw priced at +250 (bet365). The Total Goals here has been set at 2½, with the Over and Under both priced at -110 (bet365). Some Props wagers for this mid-week game from Hooray for Hollywood: Both Teams To Score: ‘Yes’ -129, ‘No’ +110 (BetVictor); Draw No Bet: LA Galaxy -225 (BetVictor, best odds), Portland +200 (Sky Bet, best odds); and, To Win To Nil: LA Galaxy +240, Portland +650 (BetVictor).

 

Portland Timbers
The Portland Timbers (3-1-4 Away, 7 GF-9 GA) are coming off a nice 2-0 win over the Houston Dynamo at Home in Portland on Saturday night courtesy of a First Half Maximiliano Urruti goal and a Second Half Gastón Fernández Penalty Kick, keeping them in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race. Besides these two dynamic Argentinian Forwards Urruti (2 goals) and Fernández  (1 goal), the Timbers (25/1 to win MLS Cup, BetVictor) are led on Offense by Fanendo Adi (4 goals), Nat Borchers (2 goals), Diego Chará (1 goal), Diego Valeri (1 goal), Jack Jewsbury (1 goal) and Dairon Asprilla (1 goal), while the Defense, behind GK Adam Kwarasey (38 Saves, 14 Goals Conceded), has been equally impressive. But here in Los Angeles where Portland (25/1 to win MLS Cup, bet365) has yet to defeat the Galaxy, this game should prove to be quite the challenge.

 

LA Galaxy
In Week 17 MLS play on Saturday night at the StubHub Center in Carson, the LA Galaxy (6-2-1 at Home, 14 GF-5 GA) rolled over the visiting Philadelphia Union, 5-1 as Baggio Husidic (2 goal), Juninho (2 goals), Gyasi Zardes (4 goals), Swedish Midfielder Stefan Ishizaki  (1 goal) and Sebastian Lletget all scored as the hosts broke out of their recent scoring funk. Few teams in the MLS have created less Shots and less Shots on Goal than the LA Galaxy (5/1 to win MLS Cup, BetVictor) have. Luckily for long-time Head Coach Bruce Arena and the team, GK Jaime Penedo and the defense have been solid enough to keep them in the Western Conference race and when former Liverpool star Steven Lampard rolls into Lalaland next month (July), expect a big boost in morale for both the team and the Galaxy fans. With Gerrard, Irish striker Robbie Keane, Juninho, Alan Gordon (4 goals), the up-and-coming Husidic, Zardes, Lletget, Ishizaki, Jose Villarreal (1 goal) and Omar Gonzalez (1 goal), this team might just be able to make a run another championship on Steven Gerrard Fumes and an explosive Offense like the one on display in Saturday night’s 5-goal outburst against the Union.

 

Current Form, Series Trends, Conclusions
Lifetime in this series, the LA Galaxy are 5-4-3 (21 GF-16 GA), but here at Home at the StubHub Center, the Galaxy are an unbeaten 4-2-0 (12 GF-4 GA) against Portland, although it needs to be noted this is the best this franchise (Timbers) has been. But winning on the Road in Soccer is really hard, seemingly harder than in most other professional sports and a look at the MLS table will always remind one of that seemingly omnipresent reality. The LA Galaxy (LWWDLDW) and Portland Timbers (WLLWWWL) have played 4 straight games with Both Teams (To) Scoring (POR 2-2 LA, LA 3-1 PORT, LA 2-2 POR, POR 1-1 LA) and 3 of those 4 matches ending in a Draw (as well as going Over), although these two teams have combined for just 2 Draws—both the Galaxy—in their L12 games. Here, with the Galaxy coming off a 5-goal outburst, the game at Home and having some meaning, the team confident again and the Timbers having never won here, logic says take the hosts as well as the Over and the Both Teams To Score in what looks to be an entertaining mid-week game on the night of the Big Brother 17 premiere (CBS, 8 ET/8 PT) in the fresh Summer heat of Southern California. There, you are supposed to expect the unexpected, but here we can expect goals, goals, goals.

 

Predicted Final Score: LA Galaxy 3 Portland Timbers 2

MLS Soccer Pick: Over 2½ -110, LA Galaxy -120 at Bet365, Both Teams To Score (‘Yes’) -129 (BetVictor)

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