2021 Major League Soccer odds, May 22 picks: Proven expert reveals best bets for Galaxy vs. Timbers

It should be a high-scoring affair on Saturday when the Portland Timbers and the L.A. Galaxy square off in a Major League Soccer match at Providence Park in Portland, Ore. The Galaxy have won four of their first five games and are led by Mexican superstar Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez. They come in off a 2-0 victory Saturday against Austin FC, while Portland got a 2-0 win against the San Jose Earthquakes, to snap a four-game slide. Both teams are known for their attacking brand of soccer and have had their struggles on the back end.  

Kickoff is set for 3:30 p.m. ET. The latest Galaxy vs. Timbers odds from William Hill Sportsbook list Portland as the 0.5-goal and -115 money-line favorite (risk $115 to win $100), while the over-under for total goals scored is 3.5. Before locking in your Timbers vs. Galaxy picks, check out the MLS predictions from soccer stats analyst Michael Goodman.

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A soccer editor for CBS Sports, Goodman is at the forefront of the advanced statistics and analytics movement in soccer, with eight years of experience working with cutting-edge predictive statistical analysis. Among his credits are work for FiveThirtyEight and StatsBomb, and he has immense experience diving deep into the analytics involved in dissecting the sport.

Now, Goodman has set his sights on Galaxy vs. Timbers. You can visit SportsLine now to see his picks. Here are several odds and trends for Timbers vs. Galaxy:

  • Galaxy vs. Timbers spread: Portland -0.5
  • Galaxy vs. Timbers over-under: 3.5 goals
  • Galaxy vs. Timbers money line: Galaxy +310, Timbers -115, Draw +265 
  • LA: L.A. leads the league in goals per shot (0.20) and per shot on target (0.56) in 2021
  • POR: Portland led the MLS in goals per shot (0.17) and per shot on target (0.42) in 2020

Featured Game | Portland vs. Los Angeles

Why you should back the Timbers

The Timbers (2-0-3, 6 points) are off to a slow start but are a deep, talented squad that won the MLS is Back tournament last August and finished third in the Western Conference in the 2020 season. Portland has won four of the last five against the Galaxy, outscoring L.A. 19-8 in that span. Though the Timbers Army will be limited in the early part of the season, Portland performs well on its home turf. The Timbers are 6-5-2 at Providence Park since the start of the abbreviated 2020 season and are 3-2-1 in their past six home games against the Galaxy.  

Portland has been hit hard by injuries, and the loss of Diego Chara to a hamstring injury is a huge blow. But fellow midfielder Diego Valeri is a top-flight playmaker and had eight goals and five assists in 2020. The Timbers have six goals this season, scored by six different players, while allowing eight. The Galaxy have won just five of the last 17 matches between the teams, and the Timbers are accustomed to top competition. They just reached the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League before being ousted by Mexico’s Club America. 

Why you should back the Galaxy 

The Galaxy (4-0-1, 12 points) have been riding the blazing feet of Chicharito, who leads the MLS with seven goals. He had a rocky first year in Major League Soccer but has scored in all four of L.A.’s wins this season. He had a hat trick against the New York Red Bulls, and the 32-year-old also is one of seven Galaxy players with an assist in the first five games. Sebastian Lletget got the winner against Austin for his first of the year after scoring six goals last season. He also tied for the team lead with three assists in 2020.  

Portland has struggled defensively and has conceded nine goals in its last four matches across all competitions. Portland’s goalkeepers are second-to-last in the MLS in save percentage at 56.3, and starter Jeff Attinella was just lost for the season to injury. That could be a major issue against the Galaxy, who put more than 35 percent of their shots on net and score a league-high .56 goals on shots on target. 

How to make MLS picks for Timbers vs. Galaxy

Goodman has analyzed this matchup from every angle and he’s leaning over on the goal total (3.5). He also has revealed his best bets and analysis, including a prop play with a massive plus-money payout. He’s only sharing his top picks here.

So who wins Galaxy vs. Timbers? And where does all the betting value lie? Visit SportsLine now to see the top picks for Timbers vs. Galaxy, all from the stats expert who is at the forefront of statistical analysis of the game.

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