Ray McLachlan | Sat 09/12/2017 - 07:27 EST

2017 MLS Cup: Toronto FC vs Seattle Odds, Picks & Live Score

2017 MLS Cup: Toronto FC vs Seattle Odds, Picks & Live Score

MLS Cup Final - Can Toronto FC Win It?

Toronto come into this year's MLS Cup final with nothing except revenge on their mind. After an incredible run in the 2016 postseason, the Reds entered last year's final match as favourites in front of their home fans, yet despite Seattle not recording a single shot on goal in both regulation and extra time they came up empty handed - the Sounders held their nerve in the penalty shootout after the match finished scoreless.

While the 2016 season was a breakthrough one for Toronto, 2017 has been nothing but pure dominance. The Reds of course broke the MLS record for most points collected in a regular season, tied the record for most wins in a campaign and finished in the top-three teams of all time in terms of goals scored and goal differential.

My Team's Next MatchToronto

If successful on Saturday evening, they will become the first Canadian team to win the MLS Cup, and will also hold a unique record that will be tough to match. No team has ever completed a domestic treble before, that is, winning the Supporter's Shield, MLS Cup and the US Open Cup/Canadian Championship. As you can see, there's plenty on the line.

Seattle have been strong again in 2017 and their playoff form has been perhaps the best in the league. One could argue that the Western Conference was far weaker this season, however the Sounders can only play what is put in front of them, and they need to be respected, especially as they have already done the job at BMO Field.

It is definitely going to be an intriguing fixture, and Sports Interaction have a number of markets available. Below we discuss the form of each team, followed by our pick of the lines, including the head-to-head, over/under and correct score markets.

Head To Head Pick Toronto (-165)

There is plenty to consider when looking into the potential outcome of this match, and we'll start by pointing out that this game will go to extra time and potentially penalties if the score is level at the end of 90 minutes. The head to head market shows odds for the result at the end of regulation time (90 mins), so if you think the game has a big chance of going the distance, the draw is the pick. For this match +301 is the price for the draw.

Toronto FC enter the match as resounding favourites, which is odd considering both the form of both sides. Seattle have scored seven goals and conceded zero in the postseason, compared with the Reds who have hit the back of the net just three times and conceded twice. Last year's match between the sides, while perhaps serving as motivation, could also be a mental hindrance for FC.

With two solid defensive units and attacking talent to burn, this is a match we feel could go either way. At +402, you will earn a significant return if you pick Seattle, while Toronto FC don't offer nearly as much at -165. 

We're not going to sit on the fence though. We are going to buy into the fact that the Western Conference has presented much less of a challenge than Toronto FC have faced this season, and the final will accurately reflect this.

Over/under 2.5 goals Pick Under (-164)

Sports Interaction offers a over/under market that relates to the total goals scored in the match, and always sets the line at 2.5. In this match, the favourite is the under, priced at -164, which is possibly the lowest we've seen the unders. Based on the most recent matches at BMO, you'd have to think that this is a winning bet here.

We have also looked into the weather, and it is set to be one of the coldest MLS Cup finals on record, with sub-zero temperatures and potentially snow expected at kickoff. Research conducted by a writer for website Soccermetrics.net concludes that goals are less likely in freezing conditions, so we're definitely looking at a low scoring match despite the sides lining up with some of the best attacking players in the MLS.

Correct Score Pick Toronto 1-0 (+486)

All the money is with Toronto in this market, and our pick would be the Toronto FC 1-0 @ +486. This is the second-favourite after the 1-1 draw (+541), while victory to the Reds by a margin of 2-0 is also a big chance according to Sports Interaction (+642). If you think the Sounders are going to park the bus and play for the 0-0 draw, the +741 on offer is also a reasonable pick.

Both Teams To Score Pick No (-143)

While the +486 on offer for the correct score is tempting, it's extremely difficult to pick a scoreline in any fixture, let alone a MLS Cup Final. There is plenty of reason to believe that Toronto FC will keep a clean sheet in this match, so why not place a bet on the 'No' for the 'Both Teams To Score' line? You will get odds of -143 for this one.

The Form Guide

Seattle finished the regular season in second place and therefore skipped straight to the semi-final matchup against Vancouver, who they overtook on the final day of the season. A typically stubborn away performance by the Sounders earned a 0-0 draw at BC Place, before a 2-0 victory thanks to a brace by Clint Dempsey ensured that the blue and greens would progress to the Conference Final against Houston.

A 2-0 win at BBVA Compass Stadium ensured the tie was always in their favour, and this time it was former Dynamo player Will Bruin who stole the headlines with his twelfth goal of the campaign. He made it thirteen in the return fixture as the Sounders cruised to a 3-0 win. Dempsey and Victor Rodriguez were the other scorers in the 5-0 aggregate thrashing, and their attacking form will surely please fans looking for at least a shot on target in this year's final.

Toronto finished as Supporter's Shield champions, however their playoff form has been less than impressive. Their opening away win to the New York Red Bulls was a good result on the road, although they failed to score in a nervy performance in the return leg, and poor discipline meant that the Reds lost both Jozy Altidore (red card) and Sebastian Giovinco (yellow card accumulation) for their Conference final first leg against Columbus.

Defensive resolve was enough to earn them a 0-0 draw at the MAPFRE stadium, and while history will show that the Reds made it through, the 1-0 win at home was indicative of a forward line that has not played too many games together in the last six weeks. Will this lack of cohesion be a factor on Saturday night?

Injuries and Likely Lineups

Toronto FC's only injury concern is Jozy Altidore's ankle complaint, although the forward is expected to play through the pain. Seattle certainly have more issues with injuries - Ozzie Alonso and Brad Evans may miss the final due to their ailments, while Jordan Morris returned after a hamstring injury in the second leg of the conference final and is likely to be used as a substitute.

Seattle will bring a much better side than they did in 2016; several new acquisitions have added to their overall quality and depth, most notably Bruin, Rodriguez and Gustav Svensson. The biggest inclusion though is Dempsey, who has scored three goals in three playoff matches (he missed the first match due to suspension). The veteran US striker missed last year's postseason due to an irregular heartbeat.

Toronto will enter the match with few changes, and this continuity and familiarity for the players can only have a positive impact. Victor Vazquez's addition to the squad means that they too will field a stronger team on Saturday, and any side with the likes of Michael Bradley, Altidore and Sebastian Giovinco is always going to be a chance.

Do you agree with our picks? Will Seattle go all the way again this year or will the Reds join the list of MLS Cup Champions? To join in on the conversation, be sure to connect with us on Facebook and discuss your thoughts.

Category : Soccer

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