Major League Soccer (MLS) is the premier professional soccer league in North America. The league makes use of a format that is slightly different than that seen in European and South American leagues. Rather it follows the format seen in most American sports, with Eastern and Western Conferences with 34 regular season games, followed by the playoffs and culminating in the MLS Cup Final.
This all makes for some very betting opportunities. In fact, MLS betting is incredibly popular at top sportsbooks online due to the favorable odds and all of the live betting options. Whether you would like to place a bet on the Supporters Shield or the MLS regular season, you can do it all at the best online gambling sites.
If you would like to find out how to bet on the MLS, you are in the right place. We have created the ultimate MLS betting guide, where we cover topics such as:
- How to read MLS soccer betting lines
- How odds work
- Betting tips
We also list online sports betting sites that allow you to place a wide range of bets on MLS matches at great odds.
Get the latest MLS betting picks here:
MLS Betting Sites Links
- Bet on the MLS Here
- MLS Picks
- How to Bet on MLS
- MLS Betting Lines Explained
- MLS Odds
- Best MLS Betting Tips and Predictions
- MLS Teams
- Live Betting
- MLS Cup Betting
- How the MLS Works
- MLS Sports Betting – FAQs
Would you like to start betting on the MLS but are unsure of how to go about it? Well, just follow the soccer betting steps outlined below and you should be good to go in no time at all.
- Select an MLS sportsbook.
- Top up your bankroll.
- Select an MLS match you would like to bet on.
- Choose the wager you would like to place. Remember there are different bets you can place on a match, such as moneylines, spreads, props and more. (We get into this more below).
- Confirm your bet.
- Watch the game to see if you win!
Most sportsbooks offer bettors a range of MLS soccer betting lines. Some of the most popular lines include the following:
While the three-way moneyline is not unique to soccer, it is the only type of moneyline you can place on a soccer match. With this bet, you attempt to predict the outcome of the match. As many sports fans know, in a soccer game, there is a big chance that no team wins it and that it all ends in a draw.
It is for this reason that a 3-way moneyline exists. Here is an example of how this line appears at sportsbooks:
San Jose Earthquakes +182
Atlanta United -166
So, in the example line shown above, you can bet on the Earthquakes to win the game, Atlanta United to win it or for it to end in a draw.
Usually, moneylines aren’t all that favorable betting options, especially if a match is a David vs Goliath type of situation. Because in soccer, Goliath usually always wins.
Spreads (also known as handicaps) are a variation of moneyline bets. They try to level the odds between two unequal teams by introducing a scoreline the favorite needs to win by or the underdog needs to lose by for bets to payout.
Spreads are usually displayed like this at sportsbooks:
New York City FC -1.5 -114
Toronto FC +1.5 -106
So, NYFC are the favorites to win this one, but for bets on them to payout, they need to win the game by at least a two-goal margin. However, bets on Toronto FC will payout if they lose the game by a single goal, or it ends in a draw.
Total bets are also known as over unders. With these bets, you try to predict how many goals will be scored in a match. So, it doesn’t matter who wins the game as long as the number of goals you predicted the match to feature is reached.
Most sportsbooks don’t expect you to predict the exact number. They set a line as follows:
Ov 2.5 -120
Un 2.5 +100
With this line, if a match features more than three goals, the over will payout. However, if it features fewer than three goals, the under will payout. Comparatively to other team sports, soccer is a low-scoring sport, so we advise you to be careful of getting carried away with ridiculous overs.
These bets involve betting on an event to take place during a game rather than the result of the game. So, for example, you could bet on Nicolás Lodeiro to score in the next Seattle Sounders game. It doesn’t matter if the Sounders lose, as long as Lodeiro scores, the bet will payout.
Props on the MLS aren’t as insane as other sporting leagues. But that said, you can still get some exotic props on some big MLS games like the Cup.
Futures are bets made on events that will only take place at a much later date. For example, you could bet on Los Angeles FC to win the MLS Cup at the beginning of the season. Or, you could place a bet on which player will be declared MVP at the end of the season.
Futures are high-risk, high-reward bets. Because they are so easy to get wrong, you are promised a big prize at the end of it all. While these are fun bets to place (we really do recommend checking out Bovada MLS futures), you should not spend too much of your bankroll on them because they aren’t easy to get right.
Check out our other MLS betting guides:
Reading MLS soccer odds is pretty easy to do even if it does look intimidating at first. The first thing you need to know is that there are three odds formats popularly used by online sportsbooks. These are decimal, fractional and American (moneyline).
As most of the sportsbooks featured on our site use American, we’ll focus on explaining this format here. However, you can read about the others in our dedicated odds guide.
So, at our above listed sportsbooks, betting lines are displayed like this:
New York Red Bulls +145
LA Galaxy -147
So, in this match-up, there are three different possible outcomes. LA Galaxy is favored to win the match while a draw seems very unlikely as does a Red Bulls victory. We are able to see this by looking at the symbol located next to the betting option.
A plus symbol suggests a result is less likely to happen whereas a minus symbol suggests something is more likely to happen. You win more money on situations that are less likely to come true, whereas you earn less on those that are likely to come true.
You are able to calculate how much you could win on a wager by using the appropriate formula listed below:
- Plus – Odds x (Stake/100)
- Minus – (100/Odds) x Stake
Most sportsbooks will already do this calculation for you when you input the wager on your betting slip. Before playing your bet, we suggest that you shop for the best soccer odds so that you can make the most money possible.
MLS betting advice is easy to come by online, but that doesn’t mean that it is good advice. Our team of experts have been wagering on soccer for a long time and have come up with their own list of MLS soccer betting tips.
We won’t say that these tips will win you every wager but at the very least, you will start thinking more strategically about bets:
Follow Tipsters & Join an MLS Betting Forum
We know we just implied that you shouldn’t listen to everything you read on the internet but there are some good tipsters for MLS betting predictions. Good tipsters usually post their records and tell you their reasoning behind their prediction.
We also suggest that you join a betting forum so that you can discuss your bets with other people. Again, you don’t need to follow their bet slips but they may make you aware of something you have never thought of before.
Pay Attention to Weather & Climate
Have a look at the weather forecast ahead of an upcoming game. Some teams tend to perform better in certain weather condition. It really depends on where they are situated around the country.
For example, Seattle has a reputation for being a city where it rains a lot so, it is possible that the Seattle Sounders may perform better in wet conditions than most other teams. However, don’t always focus on the geographical location of the team when trying to determine this.
Home Team Advantage
While this may not be the case for every team or even in every sport, but a general rule of thumb is that most teams tend to play better when they are at home. They have the support of the crowd and want to make the game worth watching or attending.
People underestimate just how intimidating fan support can be. However, any sportsmen will tell you that it is harder playing in some cities due to the fans making them feel uneasy.
Standings & Statistics
Make sure to analyze standings and statistics before making any bet. Remember if you don’t keep up with the league, you are more likely to make bets based on general truths that may not be true anymore. For example, DC United were the team to beat in the 1990s when the league started. But they haven’t done much since they last won the Supporter’s Shield in 2007.
Instead, the real teams you would need to be looking at in way of general truths at the moment would be the Seattle Sounders, Toronto FC, Portland Timers and Atlanta United. And, this will change again as sports go through cycles with different teams being on top at different times.
Looking to bet on a particular MLS team? Well, we have dedicated guides for each team in the league, making it easier to make more informed decisions on the team, especially in the way of futures. Two new teams are set to join the league this year: Inter Miami and Nashville SC.
So, soccer is probably one of the sports most famous for live wagers. Due to its low scoring nature and David and Goliath nature, there are opportunities to make a good amount of cash on a bet that actually isn’t all that unlikely to happen.
In live bets, odds are adjusted as the match progresses, which means you could get better odds on a moneyline, spread or total in real-time. Depending on the performances of the two teams, of course. Live betting just gives you another way to make money.
As far as American sports go, the MLS Cup is nowhere the most popular but it has seen significant growth since the league was first introduced. More than a million people tuned in to watch the 2019 Final and this number is expected to grow in the coming seasons.
As with all sports that draw big viewership numbers, there is an increased number of betting options available on the MLS Cup final. Many of these lines provide bettors with great opportunities to win big when they bet online. Although the number of props doesn’t quite match those available on the Super Bowl, there are still many lines that may take your fancy. So, be sure to check out the lines on the MLS Cup final when the time comes around.
A total of 24 teams compete for the MLS Cup. However, MLS guidelines are being changed and three new teams will be added to the league between 2020 and 2021. Teams are divided equally into the league’s Eastern Conference and Western Conference, with every team playing against each other twice, both home and away.
The team that collects the most points during the regular season gets the Supporters’ Shield trophy. The top 12 teams at the end of the regular season move on to the MLS Cup playoffs. The MLS’s playoff format lets six teams from each conference enter the post period after the regular season has ended. The playoffs culminate in the MLS Cup final, which is a highly-anticipated match that always draws attention and offers good value odds.
It is unclear which team is favored to win the MLS Cup. The COVID19 crisis has led to the league organizing a six-week tournament for the year, which is due to begin in July. If past seasons are anything to go by, we think that the Seattle Sounders and Toronto FC may be good picks for a future.
Atlanta United, LA Galaxy, Los Angeles FC, Seattle Sounders, Portland Timbers, and New York City FC are all good picks to make it the playoffs.
DC United is the best MLS team statistically. They have won the most trophies although LA Galaxy has won more MLS Cup titles.
In terms of recent performance, the best team may either be Atlanta United, Seattle Sounders or Toronto FC. These teams have all performed very well in the last couple of years.
No, they do not have two legs. Since 2019, MLS Cup playoffs have made use of a single-elimination format. This is in contrast to European and South American leagues, where the two-game format is used until the final is reached.
No, the MLS is not as good as EPL. While “good” is a subjective construct, we take this to mean skillful. Soccer is much bigger in Europe than it is in the United States.
Top players in European teams earn what top players in the MLS in one game. With such being the case, it is very hard for the MLS to attract talent from Europe and South America.
In addition, the MLS Cup and other North American tournaments don’t quite have the same prestige as European tournaments.
It is suggested that the average yearly salary of an MLS player is $179 000, which is higher than normal employment but far lower than the average yearly salary in the NFL ($2.7 million) and NBA ($7.7 million). These numbers are much lower than that seen in English Premier League where the average player earns $301 455,60 per week over a 36 to 40-week period (which is around $12 million).
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