Columbus Crew vs Toronto FC: Canadian Side To Edge Cagey First Leg?

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The Conference finals are finally here. After a hectic start to the postseason, Toronto FC will face Columbus Crew in a difficult double header for the chance to compete for the ultimate prize in soccer on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, the MLS Cup. Greg Vanney’s men will be quietly confident ahead of this clash and rightly so; the Canadian outfit have won three of their last four Major League Soccer encounters against Columbus Crew.

It hasn’t been a cakewalk for Gregg Berhalter’s side in recent weeks but reaching the latter stages of the playoffs was the ultimate target. Columbus Crew needed a penalty shootout to get past Atlanta United before a sensational 4-1 first leg victory over New York City all but cemented their spot in the 2017/18 Conference finals. But now, their toughest test awaits – will the underdogs prevail against record-breaking Toronto? Only time will tell.

Gaining some form of advantage going into the second leg is crucial for both teams but the onus will be on Columbus Crew to develop a lead here. At BMO Field, Toronto are almost unbeatable and it would take a brave man to back against the Canadian side in their pursuit of glory if they are able to avoid defeat here.

Match Odds

Greg Vanney

With the added incentive of developing a lead in front of their home supporters, Columbus Crew may go all out for the win here. Priced at an industry best 11/10 with 888sport, plenty of bettors will fancy the hosts to edge this one but it truly is a difficult contest to call. This one could go either way depending on Toronto’s approach. If they go all out, it should be an open and expansive contest but most believe that Vanney will shut up shop.

Should he go defensive, the draw becomes a viable betting option at 13/5 with Bet365. For some reason, punters tend to shy away from backing a share of the spoils but it may prove prudent to seriously consider that market on Wednesday night. With so much at stake, it could be a cagey affair. Expecting an exciting fixture might be foolish, there will be a few nervy players on the soccer field…

Or perhaps you fancy Toronto to put Columbus Crew to the sword? Vanney will know that victory here would all but secure a spot in the MLS Cup finals and the visitors could spring a major shock and adopt an aggressive, attacking system. Betway’s price of 5/2 is tempting when you consider Toronto’s offensive prowess and punters should at least take a look at their recent record in this fixture; another win could be on the cards.

Goal Scorer Tips And Other Bets

Sebastian Giovinco will attract plenty of betting attention and rightly so but he is NOT the most prolific striker in this match. Columbus Crew star Kei Kamara, currently a 10/11 shot to bag anytime with 10Bet, has scored 24 goals so far during the 2017/18 campaign and he will carry the weight of expectation here. Should Kamara perform well, Columbus Crew might just have enough to take a positive result into the return leg in Canada.

Under 3.5 goals is almost printing money at 4/9 with Winner Sports. Yes, it is below EVENS but it looks an absolute certainty. An early goal could change the mindset for both clubs but a low-scoring affair is expected. The under 2.5 line, currently priced at 21/20 with the same firm, also represents excellent value given what is at stake.

Last but not least, we have the double chance market. Toronto are very difficult to beat and Columbus Crew may find the Canadian outfit difficult to break down. With that in mind, the 5/6 available with Bet365 for a Toronto win OR draw must be respected. Vanney will have a plan and this could be Toronto’s night if all is well.

BEST BETS

  • Toronto to win OR draw @ 5/6 with Bet365
  • Kei Kamara to score @ 10/11 with 10Bet
  • Under 3.5 goals @ 4/9 with Winner Sports