MLS Cup Playoffs Round 1 Matches Expert Analysis

MLS Cup Playoffs Round 1 Matches Expert Analysis

Written by on November 23, 2020

Fresh off an absolutely thrilling weekend of playoff action, the MLS playoffs continue with a trio of highly-intriguing matchups on Tuesday. Toronto hosts red-hot Nashville in one pairing while the Supporters Shield-winning Philadelphia Union host New England in the City of Brotherly Love. Last, but not least, the defending champion Seattle Sounders host explosive Los Angeles FC in a matchup that has the look and feel of a must-see matchup of Western Conference title hopefuls! Now, let’s find out where the best soccer betting value lies on Tuesday night, along with their MLS odds.

MLS Cup 2020 Playoffs-Round 1 Odds & Predictions

Nashville SC (9-7-8) at Toronto FC (13-6-5)

  • When: November 24: 6:00 PM ET
  • Where: Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler Field

Analysis

Nashville SC has won two straight including an emphatic 3-0 smackdown of Miami in their play-in game on Friday. Nashville has suffered just one loss over their last eight games (5-2-1) and ranks a stellar second in goals allowed (0.9 gpg), but more modest 21st in scoring (1.1 gpg).

Toronto FC struggled down the stretch run of the regular season by dropping three of their final four games including a narrow 2-1 road loss against the New York Red Bulls on Nov. 8. Toronto finished the regular season ranked 13th in scoring (1.4 gpg) while ranking ninth in goals allowed (1.2 gpg).

Prediction

Toronto might be playing at home and they might be favorites in this clash, but I like the way the Nashville is playing right now. The first-year franchise has scored an identical three goals in each of their last two matches while scoring an identical three goals four times over their last eight games. Nashville looks like a value-packed underdog in this clash of Eastern Conference championship hopefuls!

Pick: Nashville 2 Toronto 1

New England Revolution (9-8-8) at Philadelphia Union (16-5-5)

  • When: November 24: 8:00 PM ET
  • Where: Subaru Park, Philadelphia
  • TV: ESPN, ESPN Deportes

Analysis

New England has split their last four dating back to the regular season and reached this match by squeaking past Montreal 2-1 in their play-in match on Friday. The Revolution rank a stellar fifth in goals allowed (1.1 gpg), but average an identical 1.1 goals per game to rank an uninspiring 22nd in scoring.

Philadelphia finished with best record in the regular season and hits the playoffs riding the wave of a 4-1 run over their final five games including a convincing 2-0 smackdown of…you guess it…New England in their finale on Nov. 8. The Union rank fifth in scoring (1.9 gpg) while owning the best defense (0.9 gpg) in the MLS.

Prediction

New England has gone a wildly inconsistent 4-2-4 over its last 10 games while Philly has gone a blistering 7-2-1 over the same span. More importantly, the Union have won three straight in this rivalry while going an unbeaten 8-2-0 over the last 10 meetings overall. Simply put, I’d bet the farm on Philadelphia to win this clash and to win it decisively. The Union has put an identical two goals on the board in each of the last three meetings and will put at least that many in the back of the net in this matchup of Eastern Conference title hopefuls on Tuesday as star forward Kacper Przybylko leads the way to victory!

Pick: Philadelphia 2 New England 0

Los Angeles FC (10-9-5) at Seattle Sounders (11-6-6)

  • When: November 24: 10:30 PM ET
  • Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle
  • TV: ESPN Deportes

Analysis

Los Angeles closed out the regular season by suffering a 3-2 loss at San Jose on Nov. 4 before finishing with a 1-1 draw against Portland on Nov. 8. LA closed out the regular season ranked a league-leading first in scoring (2.2 gpg), but just 19th in goals allowed (1.7 gpg).

The defending champion Sounders only suffered two losses over their last 10 games (5-3-2) and comes into the playoffs off a commanding 4-1 smackdown win over San Jose on Nov. 8. Seattle finished the regular season ranked third in scoring (2.0 gpg) and eighth in goals allowed (1.2 gpg).

Prediction

 Los Angeles smacked Seattle around en route to a convincing 3-1 home win the last time these two met on Oct. 11, but Seattle had won each of the previous two meetings and three of the previous four while scoring an identical three goals in each victory.

While Los Angeles has scored a league-leading 47 goals this season, they’ve also given up a whopping 39 goals defensively (+8). Seattle’s scored a stellar 44 goals, but the Sounders have limited the opposition to just 23 goals defensively (+21) and the Sounders’ superior defense will be the reason the defending champs take care of business at home to advance in a flat-out thriller!

Pick: Seattle 3 LAFC 2


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