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San Jose Earthquakes vs. Colorado Rapids Preview | MLS Free Playoff Pick

MLS 2010 Playoff Gambling Series Predictions – San Jose vs Colorado

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MLS 2010 Playoff Gambling Predictions

Eastern Conference Final
Matchup: San Jose Earthquakes (13-10-7) v Colorado Rapids (12-8-10)
Date and Time: Saturday, Nov 13, 9:30pm ET
Venue: Dicks Sporting Goods Park in Denver, CO.
TV: FSC/FSE
MLS Fixture Betting Lines and Odds from Bodog
Money Line: San Jose (+350) Colorado (-130) Draw (+230)
Spread: Colorado – ½
Over/Under: 2 ½

You might be wondering why the Eastern Conference Finals is between two Western Conference teams.  Without a lengthy explanation of how Major League Soccer playoff berths work, let’s just say that the there were only two teams in the entire Eastern Conference that made the postseason, and both of them are out.

In their place, the last two seeds in the whole field, the Colorado Rapids and the San Jose Earthquakes. Both are one victory away from heading to Toronto and BMO Field to compete for the 2010 MLS Cup.

For the Quakes, it’s been a year of ups and downs and an upset over the MLS East regular season champions New York Red Bulls that has landed them in this year’s conference finals.

Led by Golden Boot winner Chris Wondolowski, San Jose overcame a 1-0 deficit to crush New York 3-1 in the second leg to win 3-2 on aggregate.

Bobby Convey leads San Jose with 10 assists in the regular season, while Wondolowski has 19 goals this year, including the postseason.

Other key players are Ryan Johnson, who had eight assists in the regular season, Brazilian import Geovanni, as well as defender Brandon McDonald. McDonald leads a fearsome defensive unit for the Quakes, which includes Jason Hernandez, Eduardo, and Tim Ward.

Behind them and solid between the sticks is goalkeeper Jon Busch who has proven that he can be a clutch net minder. Busch had a 7-6-5 record to go with 81 saves, 1.06 goals against average and a 77.9 percent save percentage in the regular season.

Meanwhile, the Rapids stunned the heavily favored Columbus Crew, winning the first leg 1-0 and losing the second leg 2-1, but prevailed 5-4 on penalty kicks to move into the conference finals.

Omar Cummings (14 goals) and Conor Casey (13 goals) are two of leagues most productive scorers this season and will continue to be a factor both on and off the ball in the upcoming bout with San Jose.

Casey along with Jamie Smith finished the 2010 regular season with eight assists. Look for the dynamic play of both talismen to incorporate solid midfield ball distribution to every available foot, including four-goal scorer Jeff Larentowicz, the wily team captain Pablo Mastroeni.

The backline is solid and should be capable of stripping the ball away from Wondolowski and Convey, forcing the duo to dish the ball more than they would like to.

If the defense should suffer a monetary lapse, keeper Matt Pickens is good enough to pick up the slack. Pickens finished 2010 with an 11-8-10 record, 1.10 goals against average, 88 saves, and a 73.3 percent save percentage.

Home field advantage has been especially important throughout this year’s postseason, and I expect that trend to continue through to the conference finals. Both the Quakes and the Rapids claimed 1-0 victories at home against each other this season, so this has all the makings of a close match.

This will be a defensive battle with Colorado coming out on top, as the Rapids become the first team in Major League Soccer to claim both an East and a West championship in its storied history.

Prediction: Colorado Rapids 2, San Jose Earthquakes 1

We will continue to provide free weekly MLS gambling predictions due to the responses we’ve gotten on ourSoccer handicapping forums, and survey responses we’ve conducted on our soccer betting blog.

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Matt Martz is a sports writer for the Bakersfield Californian located in Central California. Blessed is the gambler who expects nothing, for ye shall not be disappointed.

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