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Philadelphia Union’s MLS Cup Odds Shorten to 5-1 After Taking Supporters’ Shield Lead

Daniel Coyle

by Daniel Coyle in Soccer

Oct 26, 2020 · 1:30 PM PDT

Talen Engery Stadium
Philadelphia Union's spectacular Talen Energy Stadium plays host to the Round 1 playoff tie against New York Red Bulls. Photo By Jamie Sned (Wiki Commons)]
  • Philadelphia Union join the MLS Cup betting favorites in the wake of last weekend’s 5-0 rout of Toronto FC
  • Union now sit deadlocked with Toronto atop the MLS Eastern Conference table and trail only the Seattle Sounders in the odds to win this season’s MLS Cup
  • We’ve got you covered with all the MLS Cup odds and trends as the MLS regular season enters the home stretch

The Philadelphia Union extended their current unbeaten streak in impressive fashion on Saturday, recording the most decisive victory in franchise history with a 5-0 rout of Toronto FC. Now deadlocked in points with TFC atop the MLS standings, and holding the edge in tiebreakers, the Union have made substantial gains in the MLS Cup odds, trailing only the Seattle Sounders as a +500 bet.

Odds to Win MLS Cup

Team Odds
Seattle Sounders +450
Philadelphia Union +500
Toronto FC +500
Los Angeles FC +600
Orlando City SC +800
Columbus Crew +1000
New York City FC +1100
Portland Timbers +1400
Sporting KC +1800
New England Revolution +3300
Colorado Rapids +5000
Minnesota United +5000
FC Dallas +6600
New York Red Bulls +6600
Inter Miami CF +7500

Odds taken October 26 at DraftKings

Union Enjoying Breakthrough Campaign

After enjoying a breakthrough at this summer’s MLS is Back tournament, where they enjoyed a surprising march to the semifinals, the Union have continued to produce steady results in regular season action, racking up an impressive 10-2-3 win-loss-draw record over their past 15 contests.

Pegged as a +1400 wager in the MLS Cup odds when the regular season resumed back in August, Philadelphia has gotten the job done on both sides of the ball. In addition to leading the Eastern Conference with 39 goals scored through 20 matches, the Union have played stingy defense, allowing just 10 total goals during their current torrid 15-match run, keeping clean sheets in six of those outings.

Schedule Favoring Philly

The Union have benefited from what has been a favorable schedule at times, with just six of their past 15 outings coming against clubs currently positioned among the top six on the Eastern Conference table. Indeed, the club’s two losses since returning to regular season action have come against Toronto and third-place Columbus, while each of their first five victories by multi-goal margins have come against teams on the fringes of postseason contention including DC United, Cincinnati, Montreal, and Inter Miami.

While the Union have no doubt shown dramatic improvement, the question remains just how much of a turning point does this past weekend’s crushing victory over Toronto represent. Winners in just one of their previous 14 league matchups with Toronto, Saturday’s victory should serve as a huge confidence builder for the Union as they enter the final two weeks of their schedule.

Contributions Coming from Across the Lineup

And with good reason. With contributions coming from many places, the Union have averaged 2.8 goals per game during their current five-match unbeaten streak. Striker Sergio Santos captured the spotlight with his hat trick against TFC, giving him a club-high 10 markers on the season. However, the club has also received offensive contributions from Kacper Przybylko and Anthony Fontana, who have each scored six times since the end of MLS is Back.

In addition, the Union now enjoy the best chance of raising the Supporters Shield as they now lead the race, owning the goal-differential tiebreaker over TFC, according to projections from FiveThirtyEight.com. More importantly, the club will need a strong finish to silence any remaining naysayers about their MLS Cup hopes. But while the Union are well-positioned to continue their winning ways in Wednesday’s home date with the Chicago Fire, wins in their schedule-closing matchups against Columbus and New England will likely be necessary to hold off Toronto in the race for first place.

Even with a strong finish to their schedule, the Union face the challenge of rewriting what has become a losing playoff narrative over their first decade in the MLS, during which they have reached the quarterfinals on just two occasions.

Sounders, TFC Teams to Beat, But Timbers Offer Value

Those are challenges that neither Toronto nor the defending champion Sounders have to face. The two clubs have combined to win three of the past four MLS Cup Finals, and sport a wealth of experience, both in the postseason and against adversity. Not to mention unheralded contenders like the Portland Timbers and Orlando City. Both Portland and Orlando currently find themselves mired in winless slumps, and remain off the pace in the MLS Cup odds at +1400 and +800, respectively. Though Orlando just suffered their first loss after 12 matches and Portland have just a single defeat in nine matches.

But as they proved during their respective drives to the MLS is Back Final, both the Timbers and Lions are capable of rising to the occasion in big games. MLS Cup Finalists in two of the past five years, the Timbers face no growing pains entering the postseason, and if they can overcome some of their recent injury woes, Portland is tremendously positioned as a solid +1400 bet to raise the trophy for the second time in franchise history.

Best Bet: Portland Timbers to win MLS Cup (+1400)

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