Earthquakes Clash with Whitecaps With Both Sides Chasing Playoff Spot
Both teams are looking to get three steps closer to a spot in the Major League Soccer Playoffs on Saturday when the Vancouver Whitecaps host the San Jose Earthquakes.
The two teams played to a scoreless draw in August and are meeting again on Saturday night with both teams in desperate need of three points. Both teams are currently on the outside of the playoff picture, so both could use a win with time running out.
According to BetUS, the Whitecaps are home favorites with a Moneyline of +120. Meanwhile, the Earthquakes have a Moneyline of +230 while there is a Moneyline of +265 for a draw. Oddsmakers also have an over/under of 2.5 total goals in the game.
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The Chase is On
San Jose heads into the weekend a little further out of a playoff spot than Vancouver. The Earthquakes are sitting on 33 points, putting them four points behind seventh-place Minnesota United for the final playoff position. With just seven games left and a negative goal differential, San Jose has a lot of work left to do.
As for the Whitecaps, they are currently eighth in the Western Conference but three points behind Minnesota. The good news for Vancouver is the caps have eight games left on their schedule. The Whitecaps are also just five points behind fifth-place Real Salt Lake, so if they can achieve some wins together late in the season, they have a chance to comfortably reach a playoff position.
Somewhat ironic based on their nickname, the Whitecaps have been a little cold offensively lately. Vancouver has managed just two goals from its last four matches following a scoreless draw with Houston midweek.
That’s a far cry from where the Whitecaps were in late August and early September when they appeared to have found a formula that works in the attacking third of the field.
Alas, Cristian Dajome, the team’s leading scorer, has been held without a goal or assist in four straight matches. Brian White has helped to pick up the slack, scoring twice in his last three appearances. But the Whitecaps lack in proven commodities on the attack, so it’s hard to know where Vancouver can find goals if they don’t come from Dajome and White.
Wide Open Nets
The Earthquakes are having the opposite problem to Vancouver lately, as the Earthquakes can’t seem to prevent opposing teams from scoring. Despite keeping a clean sheet against LAFC last weekend, the Quakes have still conceded 10 goals over their last four matches.
They’ve taken just four points from those four matches and five points from their last six matches, which isn’t good enough for a team chasing a playoff spot.
In fairness, San Jose has also scored 10 goals over the team’s last four matches, giving them an even goal differential during that stretch. Javier Lopez has caught fire, going scoreless midweek against Seattle but scoring six goals in his previous three matches.
Lopez has combined with Cade Cowell and Cristian Espinoza all season to give the Earthquakes a potent attack when those three are clicking.
Take Your Pick
Neither of these teams has shown much consistency lately, so this match might be more of a toss-up than the betting odds suggest.
That gives the Earthquakes more value as the underdog, especially since they’re the team that’s more likely to find the back of the net. Bet on San Jose to earn all three points on Saturday night.
At the same time, San Jose’s attack behind Lopez and the team’s inability to prevent goals indicates that both teams should score a goal or two in this match.
While the Vancouver attack hasn’t been at its best lately, the Caps should find some holes in the San Jose defense. Bet on more than 2.5 goals to be scored in this match.