Soccer

2021 NWSL Challenge Cup Final odds, picks: Soccer insider reveals best bets for Portland Thorns vs. Gotham FC

The Portland Thorns and Gotham FC will showcase the results of their rebuilds Saturday when the teams square off in the 2021 NWSL Challenge Cup championship game at Portland’s Providence Park. Both teams have revamped their squads, with Gotham rebranding from Sky Blue FC and both teams making some key additions as they hope to complete renovations that have taken longer than expected. Both squads went unbeaten in group play, with Portland winning three of four and Gotham going 2-2-0. Gotham has not won in the last five matchups, going 0-2-3. 

Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. ET. Portland Thorns is a 0.5-goal and -118 money-line favorite (risk $118 to win $100) in the latest Portland Thorns vs. Gotham FC odds, and the over-under for total goals scored is 2.5. Before you lock in any Gotham FC vs Portland Thorns picks, check out the NWSL Challenge Cup predictions from women’s soccer expert Sandra Herrera.

Herrera is CBS Sports’ women’s soccer analyst and has been reporting on the game for more than five years. Providing insight both internationally and domestically, she has covered local markets, NWSL drafts and NWSL championship finals. She knows the women’s game inside and out.

Now, Herrera has broken down Portland Thorns vs. Gotham FC from every angle. You can visit SportsLine now to see the picks. Here are several odds and trends for Gotham FC vs. Portland Thorns:

  • Portland vs. Gotham spread: Portland -0.5
  • Portland vs. Gotham money line: Portland -118, Gotham +275, Draw +230
  • Portland vs. Gotham over-under: 2.5 goals
  • POR: Simone Charley leads the tournament in shots on target with eight
  • GOT: Jennifer Cudjoe leads in tackles won with 24, nine more than any other player

Why you should back the Portland Thorns 

The team scored six goals and allowed just two in the four matches of group play, its only blemish was a 1-1 draw with Houston after already sewing up a spot in the final. Portland’s midfield is a creative force, with Christine Sinclair, Lindsey Horan, Celeste Boureille and Racquel Rodriguez all adept at distributing the ball or scoring. Boreille has an assist, while the other three have scored, and Portland has the second-most shots on target (22) in the tournament. 

The team is loaded with experience, with Canadian veteran Sinclair and longtime U.S. national team defender Becky Sauerbrunn among the leaders. Sinclair had the tying goal the last time out, on an assist from Simone Charley. New addition Crystal Dunn is listed as a defender but is one of the world’s top players and will have a more offensive role with her new team. She had prime chances against Houston that were turned away and nearly set up Charley on a winner. 

Why you should back Gotham FC

The former Sky Blue FC has been a tough team to face since Freya Coombe instituted a possession-based system when she arrived in September 2019. The only three goals it allowed in this tournament were in a wide-open 4-3 win against two-time defending league champion North Carolina. Midge Purce, who was traded from Portland for Racquel Rodriguez, scored twice, while substitute Evelyne Viens netted the winner two minutes into stoppage time.

U.S. national team star Carli Lloyd also scored against the Courage, and Paige Monahan had an assist to go with the goal she scored in the 1-0 win against Orlando in the opener. Allie Long is another former Thorns player who will be motivated to play well, and she had 30 goals while winning two league titles in five seasons with the Thorns. 

How to make Portland Thorns vs. Gotham FC picks

Herrera has analyzed this matchup from all sides, and she’s leaning over the total. Her stronger play is on the money-line, and she also has a huge prop pick with a massive plus-money payoff. She is only sharing it here.

So who wins Gotham FC vs. Portland Thorns? And where does all the betting value lie? Visit SportsLine now to see the top picks for Portland Thorns vs. Gotham FC, all from women’s soccer expert who knows the game inside and out.



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