Portland Timbers vs. Houston Dynamo – MLS, April 24, 2021

By Ben Morris in MLS
| April 22, 2021 8:52 am PDT

Portland hosts Houston at Providence Park on Saturday, April 24, following unexpected results for both sides on the opening weekend of the 2021 MLS season.

The Timbers suffered a shock 1-0 loss to Vancouver last time out, while the Dynamo claimed a surprise 2-1 victory over San Jose.

Can the Texans maintain their winning start? Or will the Oregon outfit come out on top? Keep reading to discover my Portland Timbers vs. Houston Dynamo prediction and pick.

Odds for Portland Timbers vs. Houston Dynamo

Portland Timbers to Win2.05
The Draw3.40
Houston Dynamo to Win3.50

Portland’s rare defeat to the Whitecaps probably made the bookmakers’ think twice before pricing up this matchup. Of course, the Timbers are favored here. But the price for the home win is notably high.

Following the Dynamo’s win against the Quakes, bettors will undoubtedly be searching for value in the draw and away win odds.

However, it is important to remember that last-place Houston (0.91 PPG) finished miles behind third-place Portland (1.70 PPG) in the Western Conference last year.

Can the Timbers Bounce Back?

Having enjoyed a series of promising pre-season results, many people – including myself – believed that Portland would ease past Vancouver without any issues last weekend.

But a lackluster display saw Giovanni Savarese’s men lose 1-0 to their Cascadia Cup rivals.

The Timbers sealed two friendly draws against Sporting KC and Seattle before claiming a mammoth 7-2 aggregate victory over CD Marathon in the CONCACAF Champions League. Yet, they struggled to compete with the Caps.

Yimmi Chara netted a hat-trick in the second leg against Marathon, but he failed to impact last weekend. Key performers like Diego Valeri and Felipe Mora were also kept quiet.

After a disappointing performance – and result – against Vancouver, Savarese will be looking for a big response from his players this weekend.

The Timbers have more than enough quality to hurt Houston, so the Texans have every reason to be worried.

Assessing Houston’s Chances

The Dynamo finished rock bottom of the Western Conference last season, winning just four of their 23 matches. Nine draws softened the blow a little, although ten defeats prevented the club from getting anywhere.

When Houston suffered a 3-0 “friendly” loss to FC Dallas a week before the new campaign, Tab Ramos’ men looked set for another tough year. But they ended up kicking off the 2021 season with a win.

Despite seeing just 39% possession, the Dynamo beat San Jose 2-1. Strikes either side of half-time from Memo Rodriguez and Maximiliano Urruti sealed the deal before Paul Marie scored a consolation goal late on.

Having registered 17 shots (six on target), there is no denying that Houston deserved to claim all three points against the Quakes.

If Ramos’ men continue to play a free-flowing brand of attacking soccer, they will cause their opponents problems this year. But the team’s approach invariably leaves the backline exposed – and Portland will almost certainly take advantage of that.

Timbers vs. Dynamo Prediction and Pick

Pick
  • Portland Timbers to Win
    2.05

Given that you can more than double your money by backing the Timbers to win on Saturday, siding with Portland feels like a no-brainer here. After all, Savarese’s men have been on a different level to Houston in recent years.

The Dynamo showed great character to overcome San Jose last weekend, but I expect their leaky defense to get punished by Portland’s array of attacking stars.

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