Portland Timbers v Vancouver Whitecaps
It really is winner takes it all at Providence Park on Sunday. The situation is simple for either team. As far as Vancouver is concerned they just need a solitary point to confirm top spot in the Western Conference. Portland needs to win the match in order to claim this position. Just to add to the pressure, the team that fails here will almost certainly slide down to the number three seeding spot because Seattle has an easy fixture at home to Colorado and look set to claim the second place in the conference. So absolutely everything is at stake here and the result of this match could greatly affect the postseason playoffs.
Of course, this match would’ve meant nothing to Vancouver if they had won last week against San Jose. But they only managed to draw that fixture so have given themselves this tough assignment in Portland to negotiate. As far as the Timbers are concerned this is a fantastic opportunity to give themselves a first-round bye and secure top seed in this conference. They are usually very strong friend here at Providence Park and have been ending the season especially well at the stadium. It’s no surprise to see them as a -0.5 Asian handicap favorite around the 1.73 mark. I would agree with this assessment from the bookmakers, Portland is definitely the better team when push comes to shove.
Truth be told I’m not exactly sure how Vancouver managed to do so well this year. If you look at the squad on paper then it’s certainly not the most talented of units. Manager Carl Robinson deserves plenty of praise but I do have to question the squad rotation sometimes. Maybe it’s worked to keep players fit and fresh I just think it becomes too complicated when a number of different lineups happen each week. Does Robinson even know what is best team is? Going forward into the postseason I think this could possibly cost them in addition to the sheer fact they aren’t quite as good as some other teams. This fixture is a playoff game in all but name so I’m quite happy to side with the timbers in this instance.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Portland Timbers -0.5 at 1.653
Atlanta United v Toronto FC
This match could easily end up the final of the Eastern conference playoff near the end of the postseason. In my personal opinion, these two teams are the best in the east by a fair distance really. Whether or not we will see such a great juggernaut clash here remains to be seen but there is certainly the potential for it. Toronto FC is guaranteed the top spot in this conference and they also already bagged the Supporters Shield. TFC is going to have a full week off whereas Atlanta still might have to be in action this midweek. All will depend on the result of this match and others.
I really hope that both teams field strong lineups for this contest. There is a risk that both coaches will rest the likes of Martinez, Almiron, Giovinco, and Altidore. However, all of those players could do with a run out before the playoffs and especially in the case of a couple of those guys their fitness levels maybe aren’t at the level required at the moment, so some game time would be useful. If both teams are at full strength here I have to fancy goals. each of these outfits is absolutely tremendous going forward and play the game in the right way. Helped by a likely capacity crowd here in Atlanta which will push the players to entertain, any sort of scoreline could happen if both sides are in the mood.
I am going to be aggressive here and take over 3.5 goals. There is a risk that neither team wants to waste energy and has an eye on the postseason playoffs, but my personal instinct is that this will be a cracking match full of entertainment. I also think there is a factor both sides will want to ‘get one over the other’ as a potential mental boost ahead of what could be a meeting as early as next week in the playoffs. Even if both sides rest some players I still think the match will be played at a high tempo and in an attacking fashion. So I think in this instance it’s best to be aggressive and go for a decent price on this over 3.5 goals line. Atlanta is -0.25 Asian Handicap favorites which are quite a generous line too, but TFC is a strong side and deserves some respect.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Over 3.5 goals at 2.210