Heading into the MLS is Back Tournament, there were some legitimate concerns about the need to play in the current pandemic. Seeing Dallas and Nashville forced to withdraw because of payers and personnel testing positive did little to ease the concerns. Combine that with playing a tournament in Orlando in the middle of summer and we had what looked to be a recipe for disaster. The end result, though, has been the complete opposite, as the level of play at this tournament is sure to have won the MLS a few new followers. The setup of the tournament, which was like a World Cup type of deal, was fantastic, but it certainly helped that the players have risen to the occasion and delivered a ton of memorable game. We are now into the final day of the Round of 1, with 2 more teams set to punch their ticket to the quarterfinal. For this piece, we are going to focus on the late game, which will see the Portland Timbers and FC Cincinnati go head to head. It is the Timbers who come into this one as a slight favorite, with the goal total set at 2 ½.
When: Tuesday, July 28 at 10:30 PM EST
Where: Wide World of Sports, Orlando
MLS Odds: Get the Latest Odds at YouWager.lv
Why bet on the Portland Timbers
When the draw was made for this tournament, everyone saw Group F as the group of death, with the two LA teams, Houston, and Portland all drawn together. LAFC were the prohibitive favorites going in, and while they have since moved on and into the quarterfinal, they had to do so as the second seed out of Group f. It was the Timbers who took the top spot in the group, which gave them a much more favorable draw in the Round of 16. The Timbers recorded 2-1 wins over the Galaxy and Houston before getting a 2-2 tie with LAFC, playing much of that game with their bench players. The Timbers will be looking for revenge for the 3-0 loss that they took in the one and only game that they have played against Cincinnati to this point.
Why bet on FC Cincinnati
There has been a certain level of unpredictability to this tournament, which has helped to make it so much fun to watch. Everyone outside of Cincinnati picked this team to finish last in Group E, where they were up against Columbus, Atlanta, and the New York Red Bulls. They were hammered 4-0 in their opener against Columbus, but they followed that up with a 1-0 upset of Atlanta United, who were admittedly very poor in this tournament. A 2-0 win in their final group stage game with the Red Bulls was enough to get them the automatic Round of 16 spot for finishing second. Cincinnati has managed just 3 goals in their 3 games, but they have failed to surrender a goal in their last 2.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
While Cincinnati has looked defensively sound over their last 2 games, they are going against a Portland team that is blessed with a ton of attacking options. If the Timbers get one early tonight, the rout could be on.
Portland Timbers 3 FC Cincinnati 1