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Atlanta vs Toronto MLS Cup Playoffs Eastern Conference Final Odds & Pick

Gary Gowers

by Gary Gowers in Soccer News

Oct 28, 2019 · 10:13 AM PDT

Josef Martinez for Atlanta vs Philadelphia Union
Josef Martinez crashes in goal number two for Atlanta United in their 2-0 MLS Cup Playoffs win over the Philadelphia Union. He'll be hoping to repeat the feat this week against Toronto FC the Eastern Conference Final. Photo By @ATLUTD (Twitter)
  • It’s conference final time in the MLS with Atlanta United hosting Toronto in the East
  • Atlanta looking to use home advantage as they defend their MLS crown
  • Toronto the in-form team in the last four

The two most recent MLS Cup winners go head-to-head in the Eastern Conference Final on Wednesday, October 30 at 8:00 pm EST at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium for a place in this season’s MLS Cup Final.

Atlanta United vs Toronto FC Odds

Team Spread Moneyline Total Odds to Win MLS Cup
Atlanta -0.75 (+101) -125 O 3.25 (+102) +350
Toronto FC +0.75 (-121) +310 U 3.25 (+102) +600
Draw N/A +255 N/A N/A

*All odds taken on October 28, 2019

De Boer Wins Over Doubters

As reigning MLS Cup holders and the team that finished highest (second) in the East, Atlanta are unsurprisingly big favorites here. As well as also having home advantage, they have already recorded two clean sheets in the opening two rounds of the playoffs. They look in awesome shape.

They also have the experience that comes with winning the most recent title and in his first year, despite some tricky moments and some disquiet among the fans, manager Frank de Boer has grown into the job and has molded a team that is solid, efficient and looks capable of going for back-to-back titles.

In his first year in charge, the Dutchman has managed to maintain the momentum of last season’s win while putting his own stamp on the team, and everything here logically points to a home win.

Pozeuelo the Two-Goal Hero

Toronto meanwhile – finalists in two of the last three seasons and winners in 2017 – have done extremely well to get this far in the competition, with some predicting they wouldn’t make it out of the conference. They, in fact, finished fourth, just five points behind Atlanta.

While this team has undergone many personnel changes from the one that lifted the cup two seasons ago, they have proved themselves to be formidable fighters and scrappers and will make sure this is no easy ride for Atlanta. Any team that can go to New York City FC and win needs to be respected.

In the first of their two postseason games, they survived a real scare against DC United – who took them to extra time – but they exploded into life in the extra 30 minutes, scoring four times in a 5-1 win. They went one better in the conference semifinal when a last-minute penalty kick from Alejandro Pozuelo – his second goal of the game – gave the Reds that dramatic 2-1 win over NYCFC.

Head-to-Head Stats

Atlanta United
Toronto FC
20 / 36 Number of wins / Games played 15 / 36
12 Number of losses 10
4 Number of draws 11
61 Goals scored 64
43 Goals conceded 54
429 / 189 Total shots / Shots on target 380 / 189
370 Fouls committed 355
433 Fouls suffered 390
5-0 vs Houston Biggest win 5-1 vs DC United
5 -1 vs Chicago Heaviest loss 3-0  vs
Real Salt Lake & Dallas

In almost all of the head-to-head match-ups, Atlanta has come out on top, most significantly in most wins with 20 compared to Toronto’s 15, although the Reds have interestingly lost fewer games – 10 compared to Atlanta’s 12.

In terms of goals scored, they are in a similar ballpark but over the course of the season, it’s Atlanta who have conceded fewest goals. In terms of knockout soccer, this may be of little value but is borne out in the playoffs so far where Atlanta have yet to concede but Toronto have conceded a goal in each of their two games.

Shot conversion is an interesting one though, with both teams having had the same number of shots on target, but with Toronto having taken 49 fewer shots over the course of the season. This may end up being key, as clearly the Reds have the greater ruthlessness in front of goal – something that is key in knockout soccer, especially when playing away from home.

Toronto Lead in Head-to-Head Contests

In terms of direct head-to-head matches, Toronto has played in Atlanta on three occasions, drawing the first two games in 2017 and 2018 by a scoreline of 2-2, but on their last trip, back in May, they lost 2-0 with Tito Villalba and Julian Gressel the scorers for Atlanta.

That defeat was the only time Toronto have lost to Atlanta in their six meetings, having won two and drawn three. In the reverse fixture this season, the Reds won a dramatic game 3-2 with again Pozuelo sealing the points with a stoppage-time penalty kick.

So, while the logical take on this is a home win, I had a sneaky feeling that this Toronto side could surprise a few people, not least because they haven’t lost a game since August 3, when they went down 2-0 in Harrison against the New York Red Bulls. Since then they have gone 12 unbeaten, with six wins and six draws in that time.

They have developed a real resilience and a winning mentality and have given themselves a great platform for the tie in Atlanta. I’m sticking with my belief they can do this, although it may need extra-time.

My pick: Draw after 90 minutes (+255) but Toronto to advance (+175)

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