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MLS Cup Odds: Even Money For Portland, New York City FC In Final

2021 MLS Cup odds list the Portland Timbers as favorites

Eastern Conference winners New York City FC will face Western Conference champions Portland Timbers in a tight final to decide the MLS Cup on Saturday from Providence Park. Which team has the edge to lift the trophy? Odds Shark breaks down the MLS Cup odds for one final time in the 2021 season.

According to BetOnline Sportsbook’s MLS Cup odds, Portland Timbers will go into the MLS final as a slight favorite over New York City FC (-117).

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For more information on how to wager on soccer, check out our How to Bet on Soccer page. You can also take a look at our dedicated MLS page for more updates.

MLS Cup Odds: Who Are The Favorites?

Odds to Win MLS Cup 2021
Portland Timbers-113
New York City FC-117

Odds as of December 10 at BetOnline Sportsbook

Portland’s Resurgent Run

Portland have remained one of the most consistent teams this season. In the regular season of the Western Conference, Portland finished fourth with 55 points from 34 matches. They were just a few positive outcomes away from fighting with Colorado for the top spot too.

Portland’s success has been built on an exceptional defense, which has conceded just one goal in their last four matches. The team has not conceded a goal in their last two playoffs matches: first beating Colorado 1-0 before easing past Real Salt Lake 2-0 to clinch the conference title in yet another resurgent performance.

"The preparations are, as always, trying to make sure that we put the best competitive team from the beginning, that we feel is the right team to be able to start and the guys that will be on the bench, we know that they're going to be ready to perform when they come in," Portland head coach Giovanni Savarese said. "Right now, we're still are making the final decisions, because we have one more day in order to arrive to Saturday."

Offensively, the team has still managed to stay relevant, having scored 56 goals in the regular season, second most in the conference. While their defense was problematic, they have surely shored up that part of their game. As the old adage goes, defense wins tournaments in soccer.

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From a personnel standpoint, Portland have received production from several avenues. Felipe Mora has led the scoring for the team with 11 goals while Dairon Asprilla is not far behind, with 10 goals in 34 matches. The Timbers are still sweating on the fitness of Sebastian Blanco, who has led the team this season as the playmaker with seven assists.

New York City FC: Against The Odds

New York City FC have not had an easy route to the conference title. In fact, they have beaten two of the best teams this season. In the conference semis, New York City FC upset the resurgent New England Revolution 5-3 on penalties.

Then, they came up against a quality, deep Philadelphia Union team in the conference final. A 2-1 comeback win followed, led by goals from Maximiliano Moralez and Talles Magno.

Just like Portland, New York City FC also finished the regular season fourth in the Eastern Conference standings. Just like Portland, New York City also scored the second-most goals in their conference (56) in the regular season. Still, the team will go into this game possibly a bit fatigued after their route into this final.

“I don’t think this team considers ourselves as underdogs. I don't think we ever have,” goalkeeper Sean Johnson said. “I think we've been a team that's been confident in our abilities. Obviously, this is going to be a great atmosphere on Saturday, but I think a big thing for our group is that we've embraced all these moments along the way. We don't look at it as something that's a negative, but more so that we worked hard and we deserve to be here.”

From a personnel perspective, New York City FC have been blessed by the stellar offensive production of Valentin Castellanos, who is leading the MLS in goals scored this season with 19. He has also chipped in with eight assists.

Jesus Madina has also been a reliable prospect in the final third of the soccer pitch, having scored nine goals this season in 33 appearances. Maxi Moralez has been New York City FC’s playmaker, with 11 assists in 30 games.

Betting Strategy For MLS Cup

There are plenty of options for this final. You could choose a three-way handicap, which is basically predicting the result after 90 minutes.

If you would prefer not to have that level of risk in your betting portfolio, you could always dial it back by betting on which team will lift the trophy. First decision for bettors would be to pick their preferred market.

Considering how close these two teams are together in a wide range of factors, it might be prudent to stay away from three-way betting because the draw is not unlikely. Just pick one of two teams in the ‘To Lift Trophy’ market.

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It is almost even money between these two teams. Portland may go into this final as a very slight favorite because of their route to the final, which was not as energy-sapping as New York City’s path. If Portland can keep New York City’s resurgent offense quiet, like they did to their conference opponents in the playoffs, the Timbers could be the reliable choice.

MLS Cup Goals Scored Betting

Total Goals Scored Odds
OVER 2.5 Goals-105
UNDER 2.5 Goals-115

Odds as of December 10 at BetOnline Sportsbook

Is The Goals Prop Worth A Punt?

The goals market for this final is incredibly tight. However, there are certain markers and patterns you can rely on to make an informed betting decision.

One of those markers is how these two teams performed in the regular season, and then in the playoffs. New York City FC like to transition quickly across the phases of a soccer pitch. If New York City FC do score, which is quite likely, then the OVER is a compelling option because neither of these teams are just going to park the bus in the defensive third.

New York City FC’s last two playoffs matches have included a total of seven goals while Portland’s have included three. Over a period of four matches, they have scored a combined 10 goals, which equates to an average of 2.5 a match, exactly the handicap here. Hence, this is a tight market.

Still, the OVER is not a bad option because this could be a high-intensity final, with crosses and shots coming in through the 90 minutes. This could be decided in regulation time, but my bet would be on OVER 2.5 goals to conclude the MLS season for 2021.