Orlando City SC have enjoyed a long awaited breakthrough under recently hired head coach Oscar Parejo, and now look to their semi-final matchup with Minnesota United perched as favorites to win the MLS is Back Tournament.
Photo by @guslopezinfo (Twitter)
- Orlando City SC have silenced naysayers during an epic MLS is Back run, and now lead the way as +210 favorites to win the tournament
- The host team at the tourney, Orlando City edge out the Portland Timbers, Philadelphia Union, and Minnesota United, who all closely trail in the MLS is Back championship odds
- We’ve got you covered with all the MLS is Back futures and trends heading into this week’s semi-final matchups
Unbeaten through their first five matches of the tournament, Orlando City SC now look to their semi-final clash with Minnesota United perched as +210 favorites to claim the MLS is Back title in the MLS futures odds.
Odds to Win MLS is Back Tournament
|Team||Odds at DraftKings|
|Orlando City SC||+210|
Odds taken August 4
Orlando City Enjoying Breakthrough
The Lions struggled to achieve respectability over their first five seasons in the MLS, finishing 22nd in the league standings in each of the past two years. The club looked to be destined for more of the same after entering this tournament riding a 10-match winless streak in league play that started in August of last year.
However, spurred by a stingy defense and timely scoring, Orlando City have taken the MLS is Back Tournament by storm. Pegged as a lengthy +5000 bet in the early MLS is Back futures despite being the host team at the tournament, the Lions finished atop Group A with a 2-1-0 win-draw-loss record, and followed up with knockout stage victories over the Montreal Impact and tournament favorites Los Angeles FC, setting the stage for Thursday night’s semi-final showdown with Minnesota United at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex.
Orlando City coach Oscar Pareja in February:
“Right now, the people who are supporting Orlando City will choose. Do you hope for the good or do you hope for the bad? … I choose already and every morning just to think that everything comes right.” https://t.co/X3NXkLJYfz
— Julia Poe (@jpoe24601) August 1, 2020
Intent on instilling a winning culture in Orlando, new head coach Oscar Pareja has implemented a much more disciplined approach to the Lions attack and produced immediate results. The tournament has been a coming-out party for young American Chris Mueller, who leads the club with four goals this season, highlighted by a two-goal performance in a 3-1 group stage win over New York City FC that clinched a spot in the knockout stage. However, Orlando City have never beaten the Loons in MLS play, earning just a single point in three all-time meetings, including a 2-1 defeat on home turf in 2018.
2020 UEFA Champions League Odds Tracker
Loons Overcome Rash of Injuries
Like the Lions, Minnesota United have defied expectations so far at the MLS is Back Tournament. The club avoided defeat in the group stage and recorded stunning knockout stage wins over Columbus and San Jose as betting underdogs, and now look to the semi-finals as very competitive +270 longshots to win the tourney.
Meant to tweet this earlier: Romain Metanire & Kevin Molino both trained today in Orlando & Adrian Heath said Molino “probably” is closer to playing tomorrow night than Metanire. He still called both game-day decisions.
— Jerry Zgoda (@JerryZgoda) August 1, 2020
The Loons have succeeded despite missing Kevin Molino, Ike Opara and Romain Metanire to injury, getting offensive contributions from across the lineup, with four different players finding the back of the net in last weekend’s 4-1 quarter-final rout of the Earthquakes.
Timbers Look to Build on Recent League Success
The Portland Timbers sit second on the MLS is Back championship odds as a +240 bet ahead of their semi-final matchup with the Philadelphia Union. In contrast with Orlando City and Minnesota, the Timbers enjoy a much more successful track record in the nine seasons since they joined the MLS.
In addition to their MLS Cup victory in 2015, the Timbers reached the final two years ago, but took somewhat of a step back last season, racking up a middling 14-7-13 record before bowing out in the first round of playoff action. However, Portland has managed to turn things around at the tournament. After posting wins in just two of their previous nine league contests, the Timbers have regained their old form in MLS is Back action, going undefeated in five tournament outings, capped by last weekend’s 3-1 victory over NYCFC.
Union Yet to Trail in Tournament Contests
Further buoying Portland’s odds is their recent dominance in dates with Philadelphia, posting wins in each of their past four meetings. But sports bettors looking past the Union, do so at their own peril. An early +2500 bet to win this tournament, Philadelphia joins Minnesota and Orlando City in the search for their first trophy in league play.
Well, that went the other way quickly. Sergio Santos shows off the speed for a Philadelphia Union goal. pic.twitter.com/uQVbZbYmGf
— The Comeback (@thecomeback) July 31, 2020
Fresh off their best season since joining the MLS in 2010, the Union have gotten a lift from the play of Sergio Santos, who has scored three of the club’s four goals in the knockout stage. The club has yet to trail so far in their five tournament outings, thanks to a tight defense that has allowed just three total goals, including just one marker after half-time.
And while the Union have a mountain to climb to end their four-match slide vs the TImbers, they have held a clear upper hand over Orlando City and Minnesota, going undefeated in each of their past five league dates with the Lions, and in three all-time meetings with the loons.
Pick: Philadelphia Union (+250)
Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.