Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake – MLS, Tuesday, November 23, 2021

| November 19, 2021 4:17 am PDT

A 95th-minute goal from Damir Kreilach sent Real Salt Lake into the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs. Pablo Mastroeni’s men looked dead and buried, but they managed to book their spot in the postseason at the eleventh hour.

Meanwhile, the Sounders finished second in the Western Conference – one point behind first-place Colorado and 11 points ahead of seventh-place RSL. They didn’t finish the regular season in good form, but they univariably come alive in the playoffs.

Seattle welcomes RSL to Lumen Field on Tuesday, November 24. If you’re planning to wager on the showdown, keep reading to find my Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake prediction and betting pick.

Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake Odds

Seattle Sounders to Win1.67
The Draw3.80
Real Salt Lake to Win4.50
Seattle Sounders (-1)2.88

Unsurprisingly, all the online MLS sportsbooks view Seattle (1.67) as the favorite to win this one. As expected, Real Salt Lake (4.50) is the clear outsider.

If you fancy backing the draw (3.80), you can get a seriously tasty price. I have also included a handicap market for you to consider here, as the odds for the Seattle win are not overly impressive.

Before we get to my prediction for Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake, we need to take a closer look at both sides.

Can the Sounders Rediscover Their Best Form?

Believe it or not, Seattle heads into the playoffs on a six-game winless run. Having recorded three draws and three losses in the lead-up to the postseason, Brian Schmetzer’s side is not in good form.

However, the Sounders booked their spot in the playoffs thanks to a run of eight wins in ten games between August and October – underlining their ruthlessness.

If they can rediscover the kind of form that saw them secure a postseason berth, they will be extremely difficult to spot in the coming weeks.

Regardless of their recent run, Schmetzer’s men can take huge confidence from the outstanding record in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

SEATTLE SOUNDERS – MLS CUP PLAYOFFS (LAST 5 SEASONS)
  • 2020: Runner-Up
  • 2019: Champion
  • 2018: Conference Semifinals
  • 2017: Runner-Up
  • 2016: Champion

As you can see, the Sounders have reached four of the previous five MLS Cup Finals. They triumphed in 2016 and 2019 before surrendering the trophy to Columbus Crew last year.

Back to the present day – no team in the West won more regular-season matches than Seattle this year, while only Colorado suffered fewer defeats.

It is also worth noting that Schmetzer’s side finished the regular season with the joint-best defensive record in the entire league, despite a lengthy injury to number-one gloveman Stefan Frei.

At the opposite end of the field, Raul Ruidiaz has netted 19 goals in 29 outings across all competitions in 2021. The Peruvian striker has the ability to exploit even the best defenses in Major League Soccer.

Could Real Salt Lake Upset the MLS Odds?

Thankfully for Ruidiaz, Real Salt Lake does not have one of the best defenses in Major League Soccer. In fact, the Utah club conceded a whopping 54 goals in 34 regular-season matches.

Despite finishing seventh in the standings, Mastroeni’s men ended up with the second-worst defensive record in the West. Only two sides – FC Dallas and Austin FC – conceded more.

It wouldn’t be unfair to say that RSL has been one of the most inconsistent teams in the country this year. They registered 14 wins and 14 losses during the regular season, claiming just six draws in the process.

On their day, Mastroeni’s men are capable of beating the league’s top teams. But when things aren’t going their way, they tend to self-destruct.

If RSL wants to reach the latter stages of the playoffs, then Damir Kreilach will need to be at his very best. The Croatian has bagged 16 goals and eight assists this season, including the last-gasp winner on Decision Day.

That said, there is no hiding from the fact that RSL’s overreliance on Kreilach is a cause for concern.

Albert Rusnak (11 goals, 7 assists), Rubio Rubin (8 goals, 6 assists), and Anderson Julio (8 goals, 1 assist) have chipped in throughout the campaign, but they are not on Kreilach’s level.

Given that Mastroeni’s men recorded nine wins and ten losses in their final 19 regular-season games, it is difficult to predict exactly how they will fare on Tuesday.

Seattle Sounders vs. Real Salt Lake Prediction and Pick

Pick
  • Seattle Sounders to Win
    1.67

Don’t get me wrong, Real Salt Lake is capable of beating Seattle. In fact, the Sounders suffered a 1-0 loss to RSL back in September.

But there is absolutely no denying that Seattle should get the better of Real Salt Lake this time around.

Although Schmetzer’s side endured a difficult end to the regular season, they always seem to up their game when the playoffs get underway. After all, they have reached four of the past five MLS Cup Finals.

On the flip side, RSL has reached only two finals in the previous 16 years and last triumphed all the way back in 2009.

At the end of the day, the Sounders’ postseason know-how should see them dispatch Real Salt Lake and book their spot in the conference semifinals for a sixth consecutive year.

I have already shared betting previews for all the other playoff games taking place over the coming days. Follow the link below to find more predictions and betting picks for the 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs.

Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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