Thu 09/12/2021 - 04:33 EST

    MLS Cup 2021 Final Picks: Can NYCFC Stun Portland In Their Own Home?

    MLS Cup 2021 Final Picks: Can NYCFC Stun Portland In Their Own Home?

    If we go by the latest MLS betting odds, we are in for a nailbiter. Portland (20-4-13) and the NYCFC (16-10-11) were both four-seeds who had to overcome adversity early in the season. Both have gone on a hot run, have benefited from a little "luck", and are now one away from capturing Major League Soccer's most prestigious trophy. The question is, which club has the edge?

    Home Team betway betway betway Away Team

     Portland

    2.75 3.10 2.60 New York City

    MLS Cup 2021 Details

    • Date/Time: Sat, Dec. 11, 3:00 PM ET
    • Location: Providence Park, Portland, OR, United States
    • Network: TSN, ABC (United States)

    Portland Timbers vs NYCFC: Path To The Final

    At some point in the season, both Portland and New York were long shots to capture the MLS Cup. Portland opened at 20-1 and the NYCFC at 10-1. In the middle of the season, New York's odds lengthened to as long as 20-1 after being on the playoff bubble, and Portland was at best, the fourth or fifth-best team up until the Conference Finals. How the soccer betting odds have changed:  

    Portland: The Timbers entered the MLS Cup Playoffs with the worst goal differential (+4) of the top-four teams in each conference. Up until the midway point of the season, Portland was 7-3-10. But it would go on a tear and win 13 of its last 17 games.

    Portland would dominate Real Salt Lake in the Conference Finals after edging the top-seeded Colorado Rapids prior to that. In its last six matches, Portland has outscored its opponents 14 to 2. Not bad for a team that had the second-worst expected goal differential in the playoffs.   

    New York: In a similar situation the NYCFC had to finish the season strong after fading somewhere around mid-August. New York had just two wins in a two-month span (2-4-6) but would come roaring back to secure a home playoff game, which it would win against Atlanta United. 

    The NYCFC would then pull off a huge upset and take out the history-making New England Revolution via penalties then get a break as it edged Philadelphia Union, which was undermanned due to a COVID outbreak. Don't call them the "team of destiny" as the NYCFC have the advanced analytics to prove they belong.

    2021 MLS Cup Final Odds & Picks: Best Bets

    In this final, we have two clubs who are peaking at the right time and have plenty of firepowers. We will also be seeing the return of several key players who were lost in the season or just prior to this match. There is plenty of ways to bet on this game as we check the best online sports betting sites in Canada like Betway.

    Will Both Teams Score?

    If we're going by advanced metrics, this one should feature plenty of scoring. The NYCFC have scored the third-most goals in the MLS and are averaging the most while the Timbers are also a top-five offence and have the third-highest expected goals against the metric. 

    SBR's Pick - Yes (1.66). The last time these teams met (August 20), there was a total of four goals scored. We don't need these many goals here though their offences are much better than their goalkeeping or defences. There will be scores on both sides of the pitch.

    How Many Goals Will Be Scored?

    While we're not expecting this one to feature as many as four goals, this is a possibility. Three of Portland's last five matches saw at least three goals while four of NYCFC's last seven have had the same outcome. 

    Portland's goalkeeper Steve Clark and the defence have been solid lately. But the NYCFC are averaging 2.4 goals in their last seven matches and has not failed to score since October 17, also the last time they lost a match. As for Portland, it is averaging 2.3 goals a match in its last six.  

    SBR's Pick - Over 2.5 (1.90). A final score of 2-1 or a 2-2 draw at the end of regulation is the likely outcome here. Despite Portland's newfound defensive success, the NYCFC are adept at generating scoring chances while Portland itself only needs a few chances to covert. 

    Who Will Win?

    This is the million-dollar question right here. Will it be Portland, who has the home turf advantage and will have playmaker Sebastian Blanco, who puts their offence to a new level? Or will it be the defiant NYCFC, who are in uncharted territory, have defied the odds, and will also have Golden Boot winner Valentin "Taty" Castellanos?

    This is a battle between two clubs on opposite ends of analytics with the Timbers regarded as a "fluky" team going by their expected goal differential while the NYCFC are arguably the best team. But it's not the best team that wins but the team that rises to the occasion.

    SBR's Pick - Portland (2.75). Portland's home advantage and in the last ten MLS Cups, the home team has won eight times. The Timbers are 11-2-4 at home this season while NYCFC is only 4-5-8 on the road. In what should be a tight match, the Timbers may get that extra push to win them their next MLS Cup. 

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      Tag : 2021 mls cup final betting picks

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