- Portland v Seattle
- Saturday, April 15, 22:30 EST
- Providence Stadium
Seattle has made an excellent start to the MLS season and is the best pick to pick up a win when it takes on a familiar rival in Portland this weekend.
Who do Bettors Favor?
The odds at the best-rated online sportsbooks show that bettors favor Seattle here and have very little faith in the home team. Seattle is the +138 favorite to win this Pacific coast battle, with the home team rated as high as +192 and the draw priced at between +245 and +275.
|Portland v Seattle|
Portland Standards Slipping
Portland’s 2022 season was below the standards that we’ve come to expect from the Timbers and its performances in 2023 continue to cause concern for fans.
Portland’s regular season began well, as it managed to score six minutes into the first game, going on to beat Sporting Kansas City 1-0, thereafter, their performances have declined significantly.
April dawned with a positive result for Giovanni Savarese’s team as it battled to a draw against Texas, thanks to an injury time equaliser. Unfortunately, much of that good work was undone last weekend in a 1-0 loss against Vancouver.
The Timbers now have the second worst goals conceded record in the Western Conference, at 12, and ten of those have come in road games. That might suggest we can expect a better performance this weekend, but this is not a team to rely on. Since reaching the 2021 MLS Cup final Portland has lacked its familiar consistency, and the impression is of a team that has grown a little stale.
Seattle Back to Its Best
Seven games into the 2023 season and it is looking like Seattle is back to its best. The Sounders have accumulated 16 points out of a possible 21, and April has produced two more impressive performances in MLS. First Brian Schmetzer’s team earned a 2-1 win on the road against LA Galaxy and then it thrashed St Louis City 3-0 at home, handing the visiting team its second loss of the year.
In the process, Schmetzer has set his own record, overtaking Bob Bradley and Bruce Arena as the quickest MLS manager ever to reach 100 wins in regulation time. If Portland can be accused of going stale, that is not the case with Seattle, which has been re-energized by the presence of Joao Paulo, missing for much of 2023 with an ACL injury.
Its increased attacking potency has not come at the expense of defensive solidity, either. Only Nashville has conceded fewer goals in MLS so far this year, and much of that good defensive work is done in the first half of games, as the Rave Green has only conceded one first-half goal so far.
MTS MLS Betting Head-to-Head
Fittingly for a soccer rivalry that has been one of the most significant in MLS, Seattle and Portland are almost impossible to split on the head-to-head record.
In 46 matches, Seattle has won 18, Portland has won 19 and there have been nine draws. The two teams did not meet in competitive action, however, until 2011, when Portland joined MLS as an expansion team, three years after Seattle had signed up with the league. The rivalry, however, dates all the way back to the North American Soccer League in the 1970s.
Neither team has been able to exert any prolonged dominance over the other, however, Portland does have the better record in playoff games. The two rivals met in the 2013 and the 2018 playoffs and the Timbers emerged victorious on each occasion.
MLS Betting Team News
Portland has been struggling with injuries in the first few weeks of the season and the team news remains bleak for Giovanni Savarese ahead of this game.
David Bingham, Marvin Loria, Cristhian Paredes and Yimmi Chara are still unavailable for selection as they try to recover from hamstring problems, while Felipe Mora and Sebastian Blanco are missing through knee injuries. There are a couple of more encouraging developments for the Timbers, however. David Ayala may be available again after recovering from a knee problem and Evander could also feature here against Seattle after his absence with a hip injury.
Seattle will be without Kelyn Rowe and Dylan Teves here, as both are suffering with hamstring problems, but Joao Paulo has also come down with hamstring tightness and his absence would be felt, though head coach Schmetzer is unlikely to take any chances with his star forward.
MTS MLS Betting Picks
Portland’s home form has been better than its road form, although not by much, and it is still missing some key players. In particular, the Timbers’ defense is fragile at best, so it is hard to see anything other than a Sounders win being the outcome here. Pick Seattle in the match betting market and Over 2.5 goals in the Total Goals betting.
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