2021 MLS Cup Betting Preview
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2021 MLS Cup Betting Preview

The best of the MLS – New York City FC and the Portland Timbers – meet this weekend for the 2021 MLS Cup Final.

The MLS Cup Final is set for Saturday, December 11 at 3:00 PM EST. The Portland Timbers (fourth seed in the Western Conference) host the New York City FC (fourth seed in the Eastern Conference), in what should be an exciting (potentially high-scoring) MLS Cup Final. Get ready for the action with our 2021 MLS Cup betting preview.

New York City FC and Portland Timbers meet in Even MLS Cup Final

The best MLS betting lines on the 2021 MLS Cup Final are about even on both teams – suggesting a close game that could go either way.

To Win the GameSports InteractionSports InteractionSports InteractionTo Win the Gam
Portland2.61Draw (3.21)2.49New York City FC

Portland Timbers Stats

  • 2021 Record: 17-4-13
  • Goals For: 56
  • Goals Against: 52
  • Top Goal Scorer: Felipe Mora 11 goals
  • Top Goaltender: Steve Clark 1.29 GAA and seven clean sheets
  • Third appearance in MLS Cup Final (won in 2015)

New York City FC Stats

  • 2021 Record: 14-9-11
  • Goals For: 56
  • Goals Against: 36
  • Top Goal Scorer: Valentin Castellanos 19 goals (tied for most in MLS)
  • Top Goaltender: Sean Johnson 1.07 GAA and nine clean sheets
  • First appearance in MLS Cup Final

Best Bet to Win the 2021 MLS Cup: New York City FC Peaking at the Right Time

After five seasons of disappointing results in the MLS Playoffs – New York City FC is finally peaking at the right time. New York knocked off Atlanta in the First Round of the Playoffs – before going on the road and picking up wins against New England and Philadelphia. The win against New England was particularly impressive – as the Revolution won the 2021 Supporters Shield with 73 points.

While Portland picked up four more points than New York City FC this season – statistically NYCFC was the better team. NYCFC has a significantly better goal differential (+20 vs. +4), two more clean sheets (11 vs. 9), and had a better accurate shooting percentage (36.4% vs. 32.8%).

If not for an eight-game unbeaten streak in the middle of the season, Portland would have finished with a worse record than New York City FC.

Portland has Success Against NYCFC – but is that Enough?

Portland has two advantages heading into this game - which is why the best 2021 MLS Cup Finals betting lines are close on this game. First, the game is taking place at Providence Park in Portland. Since 2012 – the first year the team with the better record hosted the MLS Cup Final – the home team is 7-2.

best picks win mls cup

The other edge for Portland is their history against NYCFC. Portland is 5-0-1 all-time against New York City FC. The only win by NYCFC was a 2-1 away victory in 2016. These teams did not play during the 2021 MLS Regular Season.

Even with home-field and previous success against NYCFC, we still like New York to win the MLS Cup. They have played better throughout the season. NYCFC had the best expected goal difference in the MLS this season (+22.7), ranked second in non-penalty expect goals (54.7), and ranked fourth in shots on target against. Take New York City FC to win the 2021 MLS Cup

New York City FC To Win the 2021 MLS Cup
Sports Interaction

Game Total Predictions: Take the Over in 2021 MLS Cup Finals

Game TotalSports Interaction
Over 2.51.89
Under 2.51.82

For the 2021 MLS Cup Final, we are betting over 2.5 goals for a multitude of reasons. First, Portland had one of the highest rates of over 2.5 goals hitting in the MLS this season at 62%. New York City FC was a bit below league average at 49%, However, that number climbs to 53% when only accounting for road games.

MLS Cup finals 2021 picks

The MLS Cup Finals also goes over 2.5 goals more often than finishing under. Since 2012, five of the nine MLS Cup Finals have gone over 2.5 goals. That includes the last two MLS Cup Finals and 2015 – when Portland won its first (and currently only) MLS Cup.

These clubs are also two of the highest-scoring in the league this season. Portland and NYCFC tied for third with 56 goals. Both sides have also scored consistently in the 2021 MLS Playoffs – with each team scoring six goals in their three postseason games.

If you are feeling apprehensive about 2.5, you could buy the half goal and bet over 2.0. However, everything we have seen from these teams this season is pointing towards a 2-1 final (with NYCFC our pick to net the two goals).

Game Total Over 2.5 Goals
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Best Online Sportsbooks to Bet on the 2021 MLS Cup Final

Find our reviews of the best Canadian online sportsbooks to bet on the 2021 MLS Cup Final. New users who sign-up through the links below can receive an exclusive welcome bonus – which you can use to bet on the 2021 MLS Cup Final!