Franco Escobar - Atlanta United - Celebrating
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FiveThirtyEight: Atlanta are a sizable favorite to win their first MLS Cup

Since the start of the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs, Atlanta United have been wire-to-wire favorites to hoist the Philip F. Anschutz Trophy, and that hasn't changed now that they've reached MLS Cup.

FiveThirtyEight gives the Five Stripes a 77 percent chance of defeating the Portland Timbers at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Dec. 8 (8 pm ET | FOX, UniMás, TSN, TVAS). Atlanta began the playoffs as one of three clear favorites to win it all, pegged with a 23 percent chance of doing so, tied with the New York Red Bulls and marginally ahead of Sporting Kansas City (18 percent).

On the other side of the matchup, Timbers boss Giovanni Savarese has some serious bulletin board material. On one hand, his team is given just a 23 percent chance of winning the final. But when the playoffs began, Portland was allotted only a 7 percent chance of making it this far, and a 2 percent chance of winning it all. 

Massive results on the road have characterized Portland's run to MLS Cup, and they've won a championship away from home once before, besting Columbus Crew SC 2-1 back in 2015. Diego Valeri & co. will have to beat the odds one more time to earn their second title in four seasons.

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