MLS Conference Finals Odds, Predictions and Live Score
The 20th anniversary of Major League Soccer has witnessed the successful growth of pro footie in North America. Three of the four teams in the conference finals didn’t exist in 1996, when the MLS launched its inaugural season. For the first time in league history, Canadian teams made it through the conference semis, powering past east coast favorites with shocking ease. Of the four finalists, the Rapids are the only squad with a previous MLS Cup win.
MLS Conference Finals 2016 Picks
|Nov.22||Montreal Impact vs Toronto FC||8:00PM ET||FS1, TSN1, TSN3, MLS LIVE||Pick|
|Nov.22||Seattle Sounders vs Colorado Rapids||10:00PM ET||FS1, TSN1, TSN3, MLS LIVE||Pick|
|Nov.27||Colorado Rapids vs Seattle Sounders||4:00PM ET||ESPN, TSN2, MLS LIVE, RDS2||TBD|
|Nov.30||Toronto FC vs Montreal Impact||7:00PM ET||FS1, TSN1, TSN3, TSN4, TSN5, MLS LIVE||TBD|
After a long regular season that featured plenty of movement in the standings, Montreal, Colorado, Seattle and Toronto peaked at the right time, playing their finest soccer of the season during the playoffs. After nearly stealing the Supporters’ Shield from Dallas FC in the finals weeks of the regular season, the Rapids should be considered slight favourites to earn their third MLS Cup finals appearance. Nonetheless, bettors should understand that the Seattle Sounders represent an intriguing underdog after beating Dallas FC on aggregate.
Toronto FC looks like they’re ready to go all the way, despite a few weeks of uninspiring play to end the regular season. However, counting the Impact out would be foolish. Montreal traditionally performs well against Toronto pro sports teams, and the mixture of timely scoring and a strong back line might be enough to send the Reds back to the Big Smoke emptyhanded.
Montreal Impact vs Toronto FC Prediction – Conference Finals, Game 1
Bet Toronto FC @ +210 at Bet365 Sportsbook
The trio of Sebastian Giovinco, Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley are as good as any other in the MLS, representing the main challenge faced by Ignacio Piatti and crew. If Toronto FC’s big three perform well, Montreal will have a tough time executing the same counter attack strategy which decimated the New York Red Bulls. Making matters worse for Montreal is the fact that Toronto FC also has one of the most disciplined defenses in the MLS eastern conference. The absence of Andres Romero will loom large, forcing Drogba, Mancosu and Piatti to bear increased responsibility for creating on the attack.
Odds offered by the bookies for the first leg of the eastern conference finals appear to be unnecessarily skewed towards Montreal. Wagering on Toronto FC provides a superb risk/reward scenario, especially considering the Reds’ complete domination of New York City FC. In fact, expect the odds to shift more towards Toronto as kickoff approaches. Locking in your odds before the shift will help to maximize this opportunity.
Seattle Sounders vs Colorado Rapids Prediction – Conference Finals, Game 1
Bet Seattle Sounders @ -120 at William Hill Sportsbook
Tim Howard answered the call to duty by joining the USMNT against Mexico’s national squad. Unfortunately, this world class goaltender ended up breaking his right adductor longus, which means that the Rapids must do without their star goalie. Colorado’s been one of the most defensively astute teams in the playoffs, strangling the L.A. Galaxy attack on the way to a penalty kick win. However, without their anchor, the Rapids will be hard pressed to stop the Seattle Sounders attack, which has flourished under the playmaking genius of Nicolas Lodeiro.
To make it this far, Seattle had to beat the best regular season team in the MLS, and there’s no reason to believe that they’ll slow down. The Sounders have had the Rapids’ number during regular season and playoff play, earning a 14-3 record since 2009. Odds given by the bookies don’t promise a lot of profit for the first game of the conference finals, but Seattle’s the overwhelming favourite, so there’s no reason to risk your roll on a depleted Rapids squad.
Montreal Impact vs Toronto FC Prediction – Conference Finals, Game 2
Bet Toronto FC @ -175 at William Hill Sportsbook
In a hilarious start to the eastern conference finals, the field at the Montreal Olympics Stadium needed a touch of spraypaint to fix the measurements of the box. One the forty minute delay was complete, the Impact walloped Toronto FC with a trio of precision strikes. For all intensive purposes, it appeared that Montreal earned a trip to the MLS Cup in 53 minutes. But something strange happened – a Toronto sports team fought back.
Awoken by the reality of losing by three in the most important match of Toronto FC history, the Reds swarmed the Impact, popping a pair past Golden Glove award-winner Evan Bush. These vital away goals may seal Montreal’s fate, forcing the Impact to score at least twice at BMO Field in the event of a one goal loss. Toronto only needs a 1-0 or 2-1 result to earn their first trip to the finals.
The amount of momentum that Toronto earned in the last half hour of the first leg should follow through to the second game, and Montreal won’t be able to catch Toronto sleeping again. Toss in home field advantage and Toronto FC should be considered the favourites to win.
Seattle Sounders vs Colorado Rapids – Conference Finals, Game 2
Bet Seattle Sounders @ +275 at Bet365 Sportsbook
The Seattle Sounders managed to carve a small lead in the western conference finals with a tense, 2-1 victory over the Rapids. Colorado stuck first, securing an all-important away goal after 13 minutes. Seattle evened it up six minutes later and Nicolas Lodeiro finished a clinical penalty kick to establish the lead. Zac McMath filled in for Howard admirably – without his efforts, the Rapids could’ve easily lost by a 3-1 or 4-1 margin.
A 2-1 result isn’t the end of the world for Colorado. What was worrisome was their lack of focus on defense, which is a trademark of their success. Up front, Jones, Gashi and attackers played fairly well, creating chances as expected. The disarray on the backend, symbolized by the nonsensical challenge that lead to Lodeiro’s penalty kick, looks to be the undoing of the Rapids.
Seattle looked sound on both ends of the field, as Colorado’s only goal involved a spot of good fortune, deflecting off a Sounders defender before looping over keeper Stefan Frei. At the moment, bookmakers list Seattle as an underdog despite solid play in the first leg. The Sounders will have a more difficult time playing in Colorado, but the Rapids’ relatively weak showing in the first leg suggests that Seattle represents a solid payout for relatively little risk.
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