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SB Nation Editors Would Bet Big On Real Salt Lake

Just about everyone agrees, if you have to put real, live money on it, the Lakers are the safest bet to win the playoffs, but that doesn't mean everyone agrees

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Gotta love RSL

If I had to bet my life-savings on one team, I'd pick: Real Salt Lake - they get the pressure of the playoffs and have shown that with their never say die, never stop fighting mentality that they can win every match they play. One loss since the end of April.

If you're trying to look clever, pick these guys: Seattle - The stylish pick, the popular team and one of the league favorites, but they are in my opinion the second best team in the league right now, despite their record this is the team I would pick if I wanted to pretend to know something I shouldn't know.

If you don't want to be taken seriously, pick this team: Columbus Crew - They have injury issues, they have some mental block that really has turned a solid team into a team that you look back at a lot of their matches and you wonder how did they get lucky enough to win that one? Well I have a feeling that Colorado will be the second Western Conference team in a row to knock them out of the playoffs.

- denzel, RSL Soapbox

Watch out for Rapids

If I had to bet my life-savings on one team, I'd pick: Real Salt Lake. Deepest and most consistent team.

If you're trying to look clever, pick these guys: Colorado Rapids. Easy road to the final and two fantastic strikers with different skill sets.

If you don't want to be taken seriously, pick this team: Columbus Crew. They would have been my answer before the William Hesmer injury.

- Kevin McCauley, Cartilage Free Captain/SB Nation

Sounders are the trendy pick

If I had to bet my life-savings on one team, I'd pick: Real Salt Lake. They've got top players (Saborio, Morales, Borchers), they've got fantastic depth (won their CCL group without losing momentum in MLS), they've cultivated a never-say-die mentality (see: their games against the Rapids), and they have a tremendous home-field advantage. This is one of the most complete teams in MLS history.

If you're trying to look clever, pick these guys: Seattle Sounders. They've been in great form since the World Cup break, they have a game-changing player in Fredy Montero, and they've already won this year's US Open Cup.

If you don't want to be taken seriously, pick this team: Columbus Crew. Robert Warzycha's club has lost any semblance of momentum, and goalkeeper Will Hesmer will miss the playoffs after being injured late in the Crew's final game of the season. The first leg of their "Eastern" semifinal in Colorado will probably be the most lopsided game of the playoffs.

- Chest Rockwell, Black And Red United

Rave Green til he dies

If I had to bet my life-savings on one team, I'd pick: Seattle Sounders. I am not a supporter. I am not a fan. I am a Sounder. Oh, and they have the deepest offense in the league right now.

If you're trying to look clever, pick these guys: Red Bull New York. While they probably aren't as good as the 4 in the West, they have the "easier" path.

If you don't want to be taken seriously, pick this team: The Los Angeles Galaxy if you start talking about David Beckham.

- Dave Clark, Sounder at Heart

Dark horse wearing Burgundy

If I had to bet my life-savings on one team, I'd pick: Real Salt Lake. In MLS I would never be foolish enough to bet my life savings as this league's playoffs have as much of an "anything can happen" vibe as any other sports league in the country. Regardless, RSL refuses to lose games at home, which should paint them an easy road to Toronto if they can be at least decent in their road game on the home/away first round. They still have the talent, luck and depth on thier side that they've been carrying since last season's finale so there's no reason that predicting an upset against them is justified. In the playoffs, having the best defense in the history of the league cannot be understated.

If you're trying to look clever, pick these guys: Colorado Rapids. Three weeks ago I would never have put the Rapids in this category but their dominant play in the past three weeks to get 5 points away - and arguably could or should have been all 9 points - from the LA Galaxy, FC Dallas and RSL have shown that the Rapids truly have become a new team since the trades they committed at the deadline. Casey and Cummings are both searing hot right now with 25 goals between them, the midfield is still one of the most solid defensively in the league with Mastroeni and Larentowicz and Matt Pickens is a highly underrated goalkeeper. They might not have the straight talent all over the pitch of LA or RSL but they are good all over and, probably most importantly, are getting hot at the right time of the season.

If you don't want to be taken seriously, pick this team: FC Dallas. If there's a team that the phrase "smoke and mirrors" could describe well, it's this FC Dallas side. In the playoffs, there are no draws allowed which will be the kiss of death for FC Dallas, a side who got to their high seed in the playoffs on the back of having the most draws in the history of the league, an astounding 14 over the course of the season. They're slumping at the wrong time; of the four losses they've suffered, two of them have been in their most recent two games. In fact, the last time they got a win against a playoff team was way back in July when they beat Real Salt Lake 2-0 at home. They are a talented team but have been pulling draws out of thin air all season long and that won't fly come playoff time.

- Chris "UZ" White, Burgundy Wave

Some Love for the Quakes

If I had to bet my life-savings on one team, I'd pick: Real Salt Lake. They are the best team in MLS, they've been consistent all season and this is a better team than the one that won MLS Cup last season. More importantly, RSL don't get rattled and they don't get fazed, they play their game no matter what and expect to find a way to come out on top in the end. It doesn't even worry me that they would potentially have to play the Western Conference Final in LA, Kreis will have his team ready for anything and they will rise to the occasion...unless Bruce Arena starts playing with the Home Depot Center light switches again.

If you're trying to look clever, pick these guys: San Jose. No doubt I'll be openly mocked by Kevin McCauley again but there is just something about this team that makes you have to pay attention. They can score goals, they can defend and despite losing Joe Cannon, backup Jon Busch has proved more than capable of handling the goalkeeping job. Don't write them off because they have to face New York, the Red Bulls are vulnerable and San Jose is good enough to trip them up. A game against Colorado or Columbus would be a winnable one for the Earthquakes as well.

If you don't want to be taken seriously, pick this team: Columbus Crew. The Crew were already an inconsistent and shaky team before last weekend and losing Will Hesmer for the season won't help things. Sure they are experienced,sure they have some good players, but I just don't have faith in this team to get it done. Too many teams have shown how to break down and defeat the Crew this season and Colorado has a good coach and enough talent to get the job done. I doubt many people will take me seriously after this but when the Rapids defeat them I'll be the one laughing.

- Zach Woosley, Dynamo Theory

You Just Can't Take the Hoops Seriously

If I had to bet my life-savings on one team, I'd pick: Real Salt Lake. The Western Conference either goes through Rio Tinto - where Real Salt Lake are apparently incapable of losing - or it goes through LA (OK, Hoops fans. It could technically go through Dallas, too. But it won't.) The Galaxy have staggered into the playoffs and their age is starting to show. I'd take RSL in that matchup and then a stroll over the Eastern Conference Champion San Jose Earthquakes (or whoever).

If you're trying to look clever, pick these guys: NYRB. The superiority of the Western Conference over those pushovers in the East is taken for granted, but the other side of that coin is that New York only has to face other Eastern teams and the lesser Western clubs until the final on neutral ground. Henry will no doubt raise his game for an MLS Cup final, Joel Lindpere and Dane Richards are lethal on the wings, and they've got a puncher's chance of winning one game in Toronto to lift the Cup.

If you don't want to be taken seriously, pick this team: FC Dallas. FOURTEEN DRAWS. Guess what? You can't draw your way through the playoffs. They're coming into the postseason on two straight losses, Kevin Hartman's only just returning from his injury, and the Brek has disappeared. Also: third lowest attendance in the league. Would the soccer gods reward that with a championship? Not even they would be so cruel.

- Sidereal, Sounder at Heart

Don't Count Out the Crew Just Yet

If I had to bet my life-savings on one team, I'd pick: It's a tough one but Real Salt Lake would be my pick. They won this year, they've won last year and they've been strong at home. I'll take the safe bet here and choose them. Plus Denz would hunt me down if I said any other team.

If you're trying to look clever, pick these guys: Columbus Crew - Prior to their season finale against the Philadelphia Union the Columbus Crew would have been one of the favorites in the MLS Playoffs. Finishing second in the East, fourth overall in the MLS, with 50 points, the Crew were set for the playoffs up 3-0 on the Union. Then Crew goalkeeper William Hesmer suffered a fracture to his right shoulder late in the game and everything changed. Still, the Crew are a strong team and picking them would make someone clever if the team can make life easy for backup goalkeper Andy Gruenebaum.

If you don't want to be taken seriously, pick this team: San Jose Earthquakes - They're that drunken uncle that no one wants to be around at parties because he's noisy, sloppy and isn't fun to be around no matter what. His soccer playing style is boring, as well.

- Scott Kessler, The Brotherly Game