Atlanta United vs. Portland Timbers odds: 2018 MLS Cup picks, predictions from soccer insider

It all comes down to this. The final match of the season kicks off as Atlanta United FC takes on the Portland Timbers in the 2018 MLS Cup. The game will be held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, where there is expected to be a new MLS Cup record crowd. Sportsbooks list Atlanta United at -225 to win (bet $225 to win $100), while Portland is an underdog at +575 (risk $100 to win $575). A draw is listed at +360 after 90 minutes of play, and the Over/Under for total goals scored is 2.5. Before you lock in your 2018 MLS Cup picks, you'll wan't to see who SportsLine's Roger Gonzalez is picking.

Gonzalez grew up playing competitive soccer before becoming one of the world's foremost soccer journalists. After covering soccer all over the globe -- a Champions League final in Italy, Copa America, professional leagues in Argentina -- Gonzalez returned to the U.S. as CBS Sports' top soccer expert. He has his finger on the pulse of MLS teams.

Now, Gonzalez has analyzed Saturday's MLS Cup 2018 from every possible angle to reveal a strong money-line pick that he's only sharing at SportsLine.

Gonzalez is well aware that Atlanta United features the most explosive attack in Major League Soccer. In fact, the Five Stripes scored 70 goals this season, the most by any club. Striker Josef Martinez won the 2018 MLS Golden Boot trophy, finishing with 31 regular-season goals, nine more than Zlatan Ibrahimovic's 22. And Atlanta gets the benefit of hosting the 2018 MLS Cup on Saturday, where the Five Stripes have lost just two games this season.

But just because the United feature an explosive offensive attack doesn't mean there's value in backing them on the money line.

Portland has flourished on the road in the 2018 MLS playoffs. The Timbers defeated FC Dallas away from home in the knockout stage and beat the arch-rival Sounders at CenturyLink Field in a dramatic penalty shootout in the Western Conference Semifinal. Portland then beat the top-seed Sporting Kansas City on the road, 3-2, to help the Timbers advance to their second MLS Cup final since 2015. 

Now, the Timbers get a chance to win their second MLS Cup championship in franchise history on Saturday. Portland had success against Atlanta earlier this season at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The Timbers led Atlanta 1-0 at halftime before eventually tying 1-1 in their only meeting this season back in June.

We can tell you Gonzalez is leaning over 2.5 goals, and he's also identified a critical x-factor that makes one side of the money line a strong value. He's only sharing what it is, and who to back, at SportsLine.

So who wins the 2018 MLS Cup? And what critical x-factor makes one side of the money line a major value? Visit SportsLine now to get Roger Gonzalez's exclusive Atlanta vs. Portland pick for the 2018 MLS Cup, all from an esteemed soccer expert who has his finger on the pulse of the MLS, and find out.

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