MLS Western Conference Playoff Guide: Tips, Predictions & Offers

Colorado Rapids

Sealing top spot with an impressive 5-2 victory over 2019 Western Conference champions Los Angeles FC, Colorado booked their place in the semi-finals of the Western bracket of the play-offs.

As the top seeded team, Colorado will enter the bracket as a favourite picking up 10 points from their last five fixtures and having won the Fans and Players' Player of the Year awards recently, winger Michael Barrios will be looking to add to the 13 goal contributions already and propel the Rapids to a first MLS Cup victory since for over 10 years.

After edging Seattle Sounders by one point in the table, the Rapids move into the semi-finals and now play one less game in the playoffs. They also conceded the second-least goals, scored the fourth-most and lost the least games. They are now 5/1 to win the playoffs.

MLS Cup Odds

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COLORADO RAPIDS @ 5/1

Seattle Sounders

After being winless in the past six games, the Seattle Sounders enter the playoffs in the worst form of all seven teams and saw their lead at the top of the table crumble at the hands of the Rapids. Despite this, the 2019 champions did manage to retain second place, awarding them with what on paper should be an easier tie against bottom seed Red Salt Lake.

Across all 34 matchdays, Brian Schmetzer’s side have the best goal difference of any team in the Western Conference (+20) largely helped by 17 goals from Peruvian forward Raul Ruidiaz. Having earned a playoff spot in each of the last five seasons and being the last side from the Western Conference to lift the cup, the Sounders will always fancy themselves with a shot at glory and should not be discounted by anyone.

History is on their side, but form isn't. The Seattle Sounders MLS Cuo odds are now at 11/2 to win the competition.

MLS Cup Odds

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SEATTLE SOUNDERS TO WIN THE MLS CUP @ 11/2

Sporting Kansas City

After three consecutive losses ahead of the playoffs, Sporting Kansas City may consider themselves fortunate to have finished in third. Forward duo, Daniel Salloi and Johnny Russel, scored 16 and 15 goals respectively, and they have helped fire Sporting into the playoffs for the second consecutive season, albeit two places down from top spot last season.

From matchday 24 against Chicago Fire until the penultimate game - a 2-0 win against LA Galaxy - Russel found the net 10 times scoring in all eight fixtures becoming the highest-scoring Scotsman in the MLS with 39 career goals.

Long-term manager Peter Vermes has been building something for a while in Kansas, and he will be hopeful the Scot continues this fine form ahead of a tough quarter-finals match against the Vancouver Whitecaps. They are 9/1 to win the MLS Cup.

MLS Cup Odds

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SPORTING KANSAS CITY @ 9/1

Portland Timbers

A mainstay in the playoffs, Portland Timbers have featured in MLS knockout football for the past five seasons. The 2015 MLS Cup champions will fancy themselves against Minnesota United having finished six points clear of the aforementioned side after 34 game weeks.

The Timbers come into this fixture in fine form having won their last three games ending the campaign with a league-high 56 goals. Finishing fourth, Giovanni Savarese’s side have home advantage in the quarter-final and will be gunning to win the Western Conference playoffs for the third time in seven years.

They are now 11/1 to win the MLS cup.

Minnesota United

After a 3-3 draw against LA Galaxy secured Minnesota a playoff spot for the third consecutive season, Adrian Heath’s side travel to Portland vying for a spot in the semi-finals.

Having never won the Western Conference bracket, history doesn’t favour the Loons, and in all truth, despite a fifth-place finish, this season doesn’t appear to be any different. Heath's side scored the fewest goals of any top seven team netting only 42 times, an average of just 1.24 per game, and ended the campaign with a negative goal difference, the only side in either playoff bracket to do so.

Nevertheless, in a one-off semi-final, anything can happen and with playoff experience in each of the last three years, the Loons should not be overlooked at 12/1 to win the MLS Cup.

Vancouver Whitecaps

Unbeaten in their past six outings, Vancouver Whitecaps enter the playoffs optimistic of continuing the stellar form that sealed a sixth-place finish. On the way to playoff qualification, Vancouver drew the most games of anyone in the league (13) also winning the fewest games of any team to secure a top-seven finish, with only 12 victories in 34.

The Whitecaps are also the only side in both the Eastern and Western Conferences to end the campaign on a zero goals difference, both scoring and conceding 45 goals. Facing up against an out-of-form Sporting KC side in the quarter-finals, Marc Dos Santos’ side may back themselves to continue the excellent late form striving to be the newest name on the MLS Cup.


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