MLS Soccer Betting: FC Dallas vs Portland Timbers
Saturday, November 28th, 2015By Ej Garr
MLS Odds: FC Dallas hope that the home field advantage they earned in the regular season comes to their aid, as they face a two-goal deficit to the Portland Timbers in the Western Conference Finals. The Portland Timbers take a 3 - 1 aggregate lead into the second leg of their home and home series, that will eventually send one of the two teams to the MLS Cup Finals, in search of their first league title.
Portland is appearing in their second Conference finals in only their fifth year as a franchise in MLS, having advanced to this stage in the 2013 season only to lose to Real Salt Lake 2 - 1. At the time, there was no two-legged playoff system in place as we have currently, so it was a win-or-take-all game to advance the finals back then.
The beauty that is Northwestern soccer came to light in the first leg of the Conference Finals at Providence Park, as the Timbers Army and the Portland fans were in full throat for 90+ minutes of a huge 3 - 1 win. Portland knows that there is no chance of hosting the finals no matter the results of the entire final four, so it was the last time that the loyal fans could share their overwhelming support for their team.
The crowd's first big opportunity to roar came in the 23rd minute, as Liam Ridgewell took advantage of a ball placed right at his feet in front of an unguarded net. A corner kick was perfectly directed to the head of Dairon Asprilla at the top of the six-yard box, and it fell right at Ridgewell's feet who just needed to direct the ball in the net to give the Timbers the 1 - 0 early lead.
Just after another corner kick almost created a second goal for the Timbers to start the second half, another opportunity came as the clock hit the 53rd minute.
Diego Chara sent a feed to a breaking Fanendo Adi, but the pass was broken up by a Dallas defender, who immediately created a costly turnover to Asprilla just outside the 18-yard box. With a mighty strike that made it 2 - 0, Aspirlla's goal might go down as the 'Goal of the Playoffs', as he put a right boot on a shot that left Dallas keeper Jesse Gonzalez helpless.
David Texeira pulled Dallas to within one goal after just after the hour mark, finishing off a nicely put together approach by the Texas-based outfit that led to a streaking Je-Vaughn Watson finding Texeira unmarked in the six-yard box.
At the time, the road goal seemed like a huge accomplishment for Dallas, which in all actuality it still is of course, but Portland added another goal in extra-time that has the Timbers 90 minutes away from their first shot at the MLS Cup.
Dallas missed out on their last and only opportunity to win their first MLS Cup in 2010, falling short in extra time to the Colorado Rapids who earned their only league title that year.
The advantage of the road goal, comes in the form of a 2 - 0 win for Dallas will be enough to push them through to the Cup Finals, as a 3 - 3 aggregate would give them the only away goal scored in the two-legged affair.
Should the Timbers find an away goal, it would mean that Dallas would have to repeat the 3 - 1 result that we saw in the first leg in Portland's favor, giving us a 4 - 4 aggregate and a road goal for each club that would force extra time as well.
Nat Borchers goal to make it 3 - 1 in the 91st minute of the first game was only his second all-time goal in the MLS post-season. He last scored nine seasons ago dating back to his first season in the league in 2003 with the Colorado Rapids.
Last 14 MLS Meetings:
In 14 all-time MLS meetings, Portland leads the series with 6 Wins, 4 Losses and 4 Draws.
1x2 3-Way Lines:
Dallas -0.5 -115
Portland +0.5 -105
Total O/U 2.5:
Quick Analysis & Prediction
We have one number for you to remember.
That is the number 3.
We have offered all three totals to go Over the number in their three meetings this year between the regular season and last weekend's playoff game, which means we are a perfect 3 - 0 in said plays.
That will be all the extra analysis we provide, other than saying that despite Portland likely to try to keep Dallas back pedaling as long as possible, it is not going to work for 90 minutes in Dallas.
Dallas has scored in 15 of their last 16 home games, including the one outing in the U.S Open Cup against Oklahoma City, which in all dates back to April 10.
Good luck stopping Dallas at home, no matter what defensive approach Portland may want to take with a 3 - 1 lead entering the reverse leg.
The Over comes in once again to finish the series, although there is no reason to shy away from the Over 3 at a much better price than the -130 on the 2.5.
We are no fan of juice around here, and -130 just doesn't really provide that feeling you get when your play hits, like having a straight 3 on the board at +125, depending on the time you see it or get it in.
Move it to the 3, grab the Over, and expect at worst the 2 - 1 meaningless result The only fear we can have is if Portland gets that first goal to make it 4 - 1 on aggregate with their own road goal in tow. That could obviously have Caleb Porter pinching all 10 players behind the ball for as long as he can.
Let's avoid that, and hope this is a wide-open affair that provides plenty of fireworks in our favor.