The Portland Timbers go for their second Major League Soccer title on Saturday when they host New York City FC in the 2021 MLS Cup at Providence Park in Portland, Ore. The Timbers won the title in 2015 and were the runner-up in 2018, while NYC FC had never advanced past the quarterfinals in its previous six seasons. Portland beat Real Salt Lake 2-0 in the Western Conference final last Saturday, while New York City FC got past the Philadelphia Union 2-1 on Sunday. Both teams finished fourth in their respective conferences, and both beat the top seeds in the semifinals. NYC advanced to the conference final by beating the New England Revolution on penalties after a 2-2 draw, while Portland beat the Colorado Rapids 1-0 in the semifinals.
Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. ET. Caesars Sportsbook lists NYC as the +165 favorite (risk 100 to win $165) on the 90-minute money line in its latest Portland Timbers vs. New York City FC odds, with Portland going off as the +180 underdog. A draw is priced at +215 and the over-under for total goals scored is set at 2.5. Before making any New York City FC vs. Portland Timbers picks or MLS Cup predictions, you have to see what soccer insider Jon Eimer has to say.
Eimer is a high-volume bettor who has vast knowledge about leagues and players most people don’t know exist, including most oddsmakers. He understands that oddsmakers don’t focus on more obscure competitions, so Eimer has become obsessed with learning everything possible about the smaller leagues. The Indiana-based handicapper compiled a winning record of 260-133-1 with over 90 units of profit for his community on various platforms over a recent two-month stretch.
Now, Eimer has broken down the New York City FC vs. Portland Timbers matchup from every angle and just locked in his coveted MLS Cup 2021 predictions. You can head to SportsLine now to see his picks. Here are the betting odds and lines for Portland Timbers vs. New York City FC:
- NYC vs. Portland: New York City -0.5 (-180)
- NYC vs. Portland over-under: 2.5 goals
- NYC vs. Portland money line: New York City +165, Portland +180, Draw +215
- NYCFC: Valentin Castellanos has 37 goals and 16 assists in 92 MLS matches
- PORT: Sebastian Blanco has 33 goals and 32 assists in five MLS seasons
Featured Game | Portland vs. New York City FC
Why you should back NYC FC
NYC has the league’s Golden Boot winner in Valentin Castellanos, who had 19 goals and eight assists in 32 matches. But the squad managed to win without him in the conference final as he sat out on a red-card suspension after being booked deep into extra time against New England. He will be the focal point in the attack, which struggled against a depleted Philadelphia attack last weekend. He can take over a game, and he led the league in shots (129) and shots on target (53). The team was second in MLS in shots (512), with a league-leading 181 on net.
NYC has scored in eight straight games, keeping three clean sheets in that span. The Timbers allowed 52 goals in the regular season, while New York City yielded just 36. Defender Alexander Callens is tough on attacking players, and goalkeeper Sean Johnson posted nine clean sheets. NYC was fifth in possession at 53.5 percent while Portland was last in MLS (44.9). Maximiliano Moralez scored one of the two goals against Philadelphia but is typically the facilitator. He had 11 assists, tied for third-most in MLS. Jesus Medina scored nine goals in the regular season.
Why you should back the Portland Timbers
Portland has what most consider to be the best home advantage in MLS and it has playoff experience. The Timbers Army is the most vocal and loyal of followings, and the cutting of a massive log to celebrate a Portland goal is one of the sport’s unique traditions. The Timbers scored 56 goals in the regular season, tied for third-most in MLS. Sebastian Blanco and Larrys Mabiala each scored twice in the first two rounds. Blanco was third on the team with seven goals and set up six, but Mabiala is a center back who didn’t score a goal in the regular season.
Felipe Mora was the leading scorer for a team that had 11 players with at least two goals. He got on the board in the conference final after scoring 11 goals and adding four assists in the regular season. Diego Chara is one of the league’s best defensive midfielders, and the 35 year-old was in the top 10 in the league in fouls (68) and tackles won (59). Defender Claudio Bravo led MLS in total tackles (105), and they could get under the skin of Castellanos. The striker led MLS with 88 fouls and received nine yellow cards in the regular season, and he was sent off in the semifinal.
How to make MLS Cup and NYC vs. Portland picks
Eimer has analyzed the Portland vs. New York City match from all sides, and he is leaning over on the goal total. He also provides two confident best bets, including a strong play on the money line, and has a full breakdown of the match. He’s only sharing his expert MLS Cup picks at SportsLine.
So who wins Portland Timbers vs. New York City FC in Saturday’s MLS Cup matchup? And where does all the betting value lie? Visit SportsLine now to see the best bets for the NYC FC vs. Portland Timbers match, all from the soccer expert who is highly tuned in to the smaller leagues, and find out.