The Earthquakes are starting to pull away in the Western
Conference. Will they win once more this week against Portland?
Even with San Jose rocking out, the odds are tight for
Tuesday's game, suggesting that the Timbers are in for a good showing at home.
The Earthquakes are slight favorites, priced at +169 at
5Dimes, with Portland at +182 and a draw at +235.
No team's playing as well as San Jose right now though.
They've won three straight, topped off by an entertaining 4-3 victory over the
L.A. Galaxy this past weekend. The other two wins came over Real Salt Lake and
San Jose flying high
Goals, goals, goals. The Earthquakes survived through an own
goal and goals from David Beckham and Landon Donovan to win at Buck Shaw
Steven Lenhart opened the scoring for San Jose, while Victor
Bernardez, Sam Cronin and Chris Wondolowski got on the scoresheet as well. The
winner, once more, came from Wondo and it was his fourteenth goal of the season.
What about the Timbers? They're 20 points back of San Jose
and are second-from-bottom in the West. In short, they're not doing too hot.
Over the weekend they lost to the Rapids 3-0. Portland was
completely outplayed, only mustering seven total shots as opposed to Colorado's
14. The Timbers had only 40 percent of the possession and just could not get
anything going against a solid Rapids defense.
So we're sure you're wondering why Portland's right there in
the soccer booksmakers' eyes for Tuesday.
It's quite simple: the Timbers are a completely different
animal in their own building. While they haven't won any of their seven matches
away from Portland, they're a terrific 4-2-2 at home (minus-9 differential)
with a goal differential of plus-3.
Kris Boyd is the one to watch for the Timbers, having scored
a team-leading five goals. In the midfield, look for Darlinton Nagbe and Jack
Jewsbury to be trying to orchestrate things.
Home-field advantage or better form?
Portland may be strong at home, but let's be real: the
Earthquakes are at a different level at the moment.
San Jose's now four points ahead of the pack in the Western
Conference, with a game in hand on RSL too. They're 10 points clear of both
Seattle and Vancouver.
As a team the Earthquakes have scored 35 goals this season,
the most of any in Major League Soccer. Basically, it doesn't even matter that
they're letting in goals at a semi-alarming rate (22 total this season, nine in
last five). This team just does not let up going forward.
We've said it countless times before, but it all starts with
Wondolowski. He's scoring practically a goal a game this season and is getting
help from Lenhart and the rest of the gang too.
In addition, the Earthquakes have been excellent in away
matches this season. They've won six of nine on the road, losing just twice and
drawing once. Their goal differential away from San Jose is essentially the
same as it is at home to boot.
So, if any team can handle a tough environment in Portland,
it's the Earthquakes.
It's icing on the cake that we're receiving very attractive
odds here. Backing San Jose, a team that's won three straight, at such a great
line? Yes please.
FREE Soccer Pick: San Jose Earthquakes +169