Soccer Picks: Toronto FC vs. Vancouver Whitecaps MLS

Steven Suarez

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 6:24 AM GMT

There's certainly no love lost between Vancouver and Toronto and tensions will remain high with both teams right in the mix when it comes to playoff berths in their respective conferences. Let's examine the soccer betting odds for this battle for Canadian bragging rights.

Odds Overview
Playing in front of their rowdy fans at BMO Field, the Reds are the clear-cut favorites in the soccer betting odds. They're trading at a price of +105 at practically every sportsbook we've looked over, which leaves Vancouver as a sizable +250 to +275 underdog.

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Toronto FC
We've seen a little of everything out of Toronto over last thee couple of weeks. They earned a 1-1 draw on the road against Chicago, a few days before getting beaten 2-1 at home by DC United.

This past weekend though, the Reds got back on track with a much-needed 4-2 victory over Houston.

It was the manner of the victory that was most impressive. Toronto went down 2-0 after two first-half goals from the Dynamo's Brad Davis, but rallied to even up the score at 2-2 before halftime. Jonathan Osorio and Dominic Oduro scored the goals. In the second half, Jermain Defoe made his impact felt with two goals, including a late finish in the 89th minute to seal the deal for the Reds.

With the win, Toronto moved to 24 points, good for third place in the highly competitive Eastern Conference. They've only played 15 matches though, so the Reds have a golden opportunity to make up ground on league-leading DC United.

Defoe has been exactly as advertised for the Reds, scoring 10 league goals in his debut season in America. The former Tottenham striker could use some help though, considering no other player on the club has scored more than three goals in 2014.

 

Vancouver Whitecaps
So far in the month of July, the Whitecaps have picked up a fantastic home win (1-0) over Seattle and a bad home loss to Chivas USA.

Against Chivas, currently in seventh place in the Western Conference, Vancouver actually went ahead through a Carlyle Mitchell goal, only to see their advantage dissipate completely in the second half. The Whitecaps looked on helplessly as Agustin Pelletieri, Erick Torres and Leandro Barrera scored for the visitors, resulting in a 3-1 defeat in front of close to 20,000 fans at BC Place.

Vancouver needs to bounce back with a much better effort and you have to figure the motivation will be even great against a huge rival in Toronto.

The Whitecaps have recorded two wins, four draws and two losses in eight matches away from home this season, which isn't the worst record in the world. They've scored 11 goals and allowed in 12 heading into Wednesday evening.

Personnel wise, Jordan Harvey will miss out after getting a straight red in last weekend's loss, but Pedro Morales and Erik Hurtado will try to cause problems going forward. The pair has scored a combined 10 goals thus far in league play.

 

MLS Pick
The Reds have to be buoyed from their come-from-behind victory over Houston and we expect them to keep it up with a second straight win at home.

Toronto has five wins and three losses through eight matches on their own pitch, with the defeats coming to Colorado, New England and DC United, some of the top-performing clubs in the MLS this season.

On Wednesday Jermain Defoe and the Reds come up against a Vancouver side that could be feeling down on its luck after a bad loss to Chivas USA at home. We like the value on Toronto here and believe they'll squeak out the hard-fought victory.

MLS Pick: Toronto FC 2 Vancouver Whitecaps 1