San Jose Earthquakes vs. Portland Timbers – MLS, May 15, 2021

By Ben Morris in MLS
| May 14, 2021 8:12 am PDT

With second-place San Jose sitting just behind Seattle and second-from-bottom Portland languishing at the opposite end of the standings, you could be forgiven for looking at Western Conference and thinking that they’re upside down.

The Earthquakes have won three of their opening five matches this season, scoring ten goals along the way. By contrast, the Timbers have only managed to win one of their four games, conceding eight goals in the process.

The Quakes welcome the Timbers to California on Saturday, May 15, aiming to claim another high-profile MLS scalp. Below, I discuss the odds, analyze the teams, and share my San Jose Earthquakes vs. Portland Timbers prediction and betting pick.

Earthquakes vs. Timbers Odds

San Jose Earthquakes to Win2.30
The Draw3.50
Portland Timbers to Win2.90

Yep, you read that right – San Jose (2.30) is the bookmakers’ favorite to beat Portland (2.90) on Saturday.

The Timbers crushed the Quakes 6-1 last year before claiming an easy 3-0 win in the reverse fixture. However, the betting sites have obviously taken the teams’ contrasting form into account when pricing this one.

San Jose vs. Portland Preview

It’s safe to say that San Jose bounced back from their opening weekend defeat to Houston in style.

Indeed, Matias Almeyda’s men secured three straight wins after losing to the Dynamo – beating FC Dallas, DC United, and Real Salt Lake. Better still, they averaged three goals per game during that period.

Cade Cowell contributed a goal and an assist in the 3-1 victory over Dallas before chalking up another goal and a further two assists as San Jose thrashed DC 4-1.

But Week 4 was all about Chris Wondolowski. The veteran striker came off the bench to bag a four-minute brace against RSL, meaning San Jose came from behind to win 2-1.

Although the Quakes gave an excellent account of themselves in midweek, they were unable to prevent a 1-0 loss to the Sounders. Having enjoyed 60% possession and recorded 15 shots, Almeyda’s men will probably feel like they should have come away with at least a point.

Still, San Jose will ultimately be pleased with how the season has started.

On the flip side, the Timbers are in a real mess.

Giovanni Savarese’s men have only taken three points from a possible 12 this season. If you take their CONCACAF Champions League games into account, they have managed to win just one of their previous six matches in all competitions.

After losing to Vancouver in Week 1, Portland beat Houston and looked set to kick-start their campaign. But back-to-back losses to Dallas and Seattle have left the Oregon outfit second from bottom in the West.

The MLS is Back champions only conceded four or more goals on one occasion throughout the entirety of the previous campaign, so it came as a huge surprise when Dallas crushed them 4-1 a fortnight ago.

Savarese’s men put in an improved performance against the Sounders last weekend, yet they still ended up losing 2-1.

There is still plenty of time to turn things around. But with Seattle already ten points ahead of the Timbers, it already feels as though Portland is out of Supporters’ Shield contention.

Quakes vs. Timbers Prediction and Pick

  • The Draw

The Quakes have started the season in an impressive fashion, but how long can they keep it up for? Although Almeyda’s men have won three of their last four games, I don’t expect them to find it easy to overcome Portland.

Timbers are stuck in a bit of a rut at the moment. However, I’m confident they will come good as the season unravels, so I can see them picking up an important point this weekend.