Chicago Fire vs. San Jose Earthquakes Betting Preview

The Chicago Fire started the MLS is Back Tournament in Group A against fellow Eastern Conference teams, but after Nashville SC and FC Dallas were removed from the tourney, Chicago moved to Group B with Western Division teams. Thanks to an upset of the defending MLS Cup champions, Chicago head into Sunday’s game against the San Jose Earthquakes with a chance to take control of the group and advance to the knockout round.

Meanwhile, San Jose rallied for a 4-3 win over Vancouver and will also clinch a knockout round spot with a win in this contest.

San Jose and Chicago face each other once a year in cross-conference games. Last year San Jose won at home 4-1 in May while the Fire won at home 2-1 in 2018. Chicago won three straight in the series from 2016-18, but the teams are pretty even at 4-3-1 Fire since 2012.

Chicago Fire Outlook: Play Loose

Chicago had very low outside expectations heading into the tournament as they opened at +3300 to win the tournament and only +750 to advance from their original Group A. But on Tuesday, they got goals from Robert Beric and Mauricio Pineda to beat the heavily favored Seattle Sounders 2-1.

That upset has Chicago favored against San Jose, and they will likely be favored in the group finale against Vancouver as well.

Chicago started the season with a 2-1 loss at Seattle, which they avenged this week in the tournament opener. They drew 1-1 at New England March 7 with a goal from Jonathan Bornstein.

Beric, a newcomer to the Fire in 2020, leads the way with two goals on the season while Djordje Mihailovic has two assists.

San Jose Earthquakes Outlook: Ride the Momentum

San Jose opened the tournament at +500 to win Group B, and they can reward their loyal fans by doing just that with a win over Chicago in this game. After a 0-0 draw against Seattle in the opener, San Jose rallied for a 4-3 win over Vancouver in a Wednesday night thriller.

Down 3-1 in the 70th minute, San Jose got goals from Chris Wondolowski, Oswaldo Alanis and Shea Salinas to win 4-3 with the final goal coming eight minutes into added time.

A draw against Chicago also gets San Jose into the knockout round ahead of Seattle as long as Vancouver doesn’t upset the Sounders. Before the COVID break, San Jose drew 2-2 against Toronto FC and lost at home 5-2 to Minnesota United.

Alanis and Andres Rios lead the Earthquakes with two goals each while Cristian Espinoza has two assists.

Chicago Fire/San Jose Earthquakes Betting Lines

  • Chicago Fire +112 to win
  • San Jose Earthquakes +272 to win
  • Draw +195
  • Over/Under 3 goals (O -123, U -106)

A rebuilding Chicago team suddenly has confidence after knocking off Seattle, and they have nothing to lose against San Jose and Vancouver to make it out of the group stage. San Jose cannot wait until the end and depend on another miracle, and they have allowed 10 goals in three games this season, which makes it tough to count on the Earthquakes.

FREE PICK: Chicago Fire to win (+112)

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