The MLS Is Back Tournament will end for either the Houston Dynamo or LA Galaxy on Thursday night in their Group F finale. There are still two ways for Houston to qualify for the knockout round of 16, while the Galaxy must win by multiple goals and also get help to be one of the top four third-place teams.
A draw will see both teams eliminated as Portland leads the group with six points, LAFC has four, Houston has one, and the Galaxy have zero.
The Galaxy and Dynamo played to a 1-1 draw in Texas on Feb. 29, as Cristian Pavon scored for the visitors in the 13th minute, and Mauro Manotas tied the game in the 54th minute. Last season, the Galaxy won at home 2-1 in April, while Houston won at home 4-2 in the regular-season finale.
Houston Betting Outlook: Qualify By Any Means
After drawing with LAFC 3-3 in the opening group game, Houston fell 2-1 to Portland Timbers on Saturday night. The Orange Crush got an 86th-minute penalty kick from Alberth Ellis to get on the board, but he was sent off two minutes later and will be suspended for the Galaxy game.
In the group opener, Memo Rodriguez scored in the ninth and 30th minutes, and Ellis gave Houston a 3-1 lead before halftime. But the defense collapsed late, and powerful LAFC grabbed two goals to earn a 3-3 draw. Houston was outscored 5-1 in two games before the COVID break, including a 4-0 loss at Sporting KC.
Houston entered the tournament with the third-best odds in Group F at +100 to advance and +600 to win the group. While they can’t win the group, they can finish second with a win and an LAFC loss if they turn around a five-goal differential.
Four points are guaranteed to rank the Dynamo among the top four third-place teams, so a win gets them in no matter what.
LA Galaxy Betting Outlook: Find the Defense
The Galaxy had leads of 1-0 and 2-1 against their LAFC rivals but allowed five straight goals and lost 6-2 to fall for the second time in the tournament. Playing without star signee Chicharito, who will miss this game as well, the Galaxy scored on an own goal and a Cristian Pavon 31st minute penalty kick.
But the last 60 minutes belonged to LAFC, as they moved into second place in the group with a dominating performance.
Chicharito scored from the spot late in the 2-1 loss to open the group against Portland Timbers. Earlier this season, the Galaxy drew with Houston 1-1 and lost to Vancouver 1-0. The defense in Orlando has allowed eight goals in two games with one goal coming from the penalty spot.
The Galaxy entered the tournament with the second-best odds in Group F. They were -400 to qualify for the knockout round and +200 to win the group. But now they not only need to win, but they likely need to win by at least three to finish as a top-four third-place team.
Houston Dynamo/LA Galaxy Betting Lines
- Houston Dynamo +120 to win
- LA Galaxy +159 to win
- Draw +301
- Over/Under 3.5 goals (O -123, U -106)
Houston has looked a lot better in the first two games and can make sure it advances with a win over the Galaxy. LA has looked rather lost on defense in the first two group games and needs to play its best game of 2020 to snag a win and hope it gets enough help to advance.
FREE PICK: Houston to win (+129)