As much as well all missed sports in the months that is was gone due to the coronavirus, most of us also questioned whether the time was right for a return. There have been successes and potential disaster, with the sports that decided to go the bubble route having the best success of all. You need only look at the current state of the MLB to see that traveling might not be the best idea. That is going to be what the MLS will return to when the MLS is Back Tournament comes to a close on Tuesday night. They have announced the first batch of regular season games, set to begin later this month, although they look to be keeping the matches as close to being regional as possible. Before we get to all of that, though, there is the final of this tournament, which has been nothing short of brilliant, to take care of. The Portland Timber and Orlando City will go head to head for the MLS is Back trophy, as well as $1.1 million and a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League next season. The bookies have this one in as a PK play, with the goal total set at 2 ½.
When: Wednesday, August 5 at 8:30 PM EST
Where: Wide World of Sports, Orlando
MLS Odds: Get the Latest Odds at YouWager.lv
Why bet on Portland Timbers
This game will not only decide the champion of this tournament, it may also decide who gets named the MVP. For the Portland Timbers, it is hard to argue against Sebastian Blanco, who has been equal parts scorer and provider throughout this tournament. The Timbers have been playing some fantastic football from the start, but they have almost shot themselves in the foot a couple of times on the way to the final. They dominated Cincinnati in the Round of 16, but they needed to go to penalties after giving up a nightmare goal late on. They also looked to be cruising in the semi-final, going 2-0 up against Philly, only to end up hanging on at the end with a 2-1 win.
Why bet on Orlando City
No-one outside of Orlando had this team going to the final in this tournament, yet here we are. Make no mistake about it, Orlando City are here on merit, with Nani turning back the clock to deliver some stunning performances. Orlando cruised through the group stage, picking up 7 points out of a possible 9 through those 3 games. They then ground out a 1-0 win over Montreal in the Round of 16 before stunning LAFC in the quarterfinal, scoring late to force penalties before moving on. That win seemed to give them a real boost of confidence, as they hammered Minnesota 3-1 in the semi-final, with Nani scoring twice in that game.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
These two teams are very much deserving of a spot in the final and both have very good attacking options at their disposal. I think it is the Timbers who are just that bit better, though. I am taking Portland and the OVER.
Portland Timbers 3 Orlando City 1