A compelling Friday night in MLS comes to a conclusion when the LA Galaxy host the Portland Timbers. At home, the Galaxy is favored with a -101 moneyline, while Portland’s moneyline is set at +235. There is also a +275 moneyline for a draw and an over/under of 3.5 goals in the match.
The Galaxy is very much in the race to be the best team in the Western Conference. Greg Vanney’s team currently has 25 points, which is good for third in the conference, albeit seven games behind Seattle. The Galaxy is also on a three-match winless streak, including an embarrassing 4-0 loss to Dallas in its last match.
Of course, Portland is very much in the middle of the pack in the Western Conference, winning six of 14 matches but losing seven while settling for a draw just once. Giovanni Savarese has struggled to create much consistency in his squad this season, although they are just one point out of a playoff spot heading into Friday’s match. The Timbers are also trying to bounce back from a 2-1 loss to Minnesota last weekend, conceding an 85th-minute goal in a 2-1 loss.
All Fall Down
Despite losing to Minnesota last weekend, the Timbers can take some solace in Felipe Mora scoring a goal for the second straight game. The diminutive striker is arguably Portland’s most important attacking player and the club’s leading scorer, so if he can get going, it’s great news for the Timbers. At the same time, Diego Valeri has not finished enough of his chances, which is why the Timbers have scored just 18 goals in 14 matches.
Defensively, Portland has one of the worst records in the league, giving up 22 goals in 14 matches. They were victimized by four goals against Austin earlier this month despite Austin being tied for the fewest goals in MLS. The two late goals conceded against Minnesota are also an indictment of Portland’s ability to manage games and hold onto leads.
Goals for Everyone
Speaking of defensive issues, the Galaxy has had plenty of those this year, especially lately. LA ranks 24th out of 27 MLS teams in goals conceded, which is why they have a negative goal differential despite being third in the Western Conference. The problem is serious, with the Galaxy conceding multiple goals in four of its last five games, totaling 11 goals conceded during that span.
On the flip side, LA’s attack has also been one of the best in MLS this year. The problem is that aging Mexican star Chicharito Hernandez remains sidelined with an injury after scoring 10 goals in 10 matches. It doesn’t help that Jonathan dos Santos and Sebastian Lietget are both away on international duty, which explains why the Galaxy was held scoreless during last week’s 4-0 loss to Dallas.
With so many key players missing for the Galaxy, it’s hard to see them snapping their three-match winless streak. At the same time, Portland doesn’t appear trustworthy either, especially on the road.
Bet on the Timbers to record just their second draw of the season because that result offers the most value in this matchup.