Every major sports league in the world was impacted in some way or another when COVID-19 hit hard at the beginning of March. The MLS was just 2 weeks into their new season, and as things progressed, it looked as though a total cancellation might be on the cards. The MLS adjusted nicely, though, and came up with the idea of the MLS is Back Tournament, which would be played in the bubble at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando. It was not the ideal start, though, as both Dallas and Nashville were forced to withdraw from the tournament before a ball was played. That has been forgotten now, though, as the level of play through the first couple of weeks has been fantastic. We are now closing in on the end of the group stage, with the final games in Group A taking place on Monday. As has been the norm in Orlando, NYCFC and Inter Miami faced off in a 9 AM game, with New York keeping their slim hopes of advancing alive with a 1-0 win. Philadelphia and Orlando will be moving on and will meet in the final Group A game on Monday night. This one is in as a PK play, with the goal total set at 2 ½.
When: Monday, July 20 at 8 PM EST
Where: Wide World of Sports, Orlando
MLS Odds: Get the Latest Odds at YouWager.lv
Why bet on the Philadelphia Union
Group A looks a little different than it did when the initial draw was made after Nashville were forced to withdraw after several players tested positive for coronavirus. Philadelphia were able to keep their head in the game and began the tournament with a 1-0 win over NYCFC in a scrappy game that perhaps showed that the players were still a little rusty. Getting the win in Round 1 is always huge, as it tends to be a confidence builder, and while having to grind things out a little in their Round 2 game versus Inter Miami, the Union punched their ticket into the Round of 16 with a 2-1 win. Winning the group means a more manageable Round of 16 game, so don’t expect Philly to ease up in this one.
Why bet on Orlando City
While this tournament is being played in Orlando, you cannot really say that Orlando City really has any sort of home edge here. There are no fans in attendance, and they are playing on fields that are new to them. Still, they will be used to the weather we experience at this time of year and have the benefit of not having had to travel any great distance to be here. They certainly look like a relaxed team and became even more so after scoring late to down Inter Miami 2-1 in their Round 1 game. We though they might have a tougher time against NYCFC in Round 2, but Orlando looked even better, strolling to a 3-1 win to book their ticket to the Round of 16.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
There is no real pressure on either team to win here, but both will want to top the group and get a favorable Round of 16 draw. Orlando are ahead in goal difference, so a tie here would do them. This is a matchup that always delivers goals, so let’s play the draw and the OVER.
Philadelphia Union 2 Orlando City 2