Major League Soccer (MLS)
The United States is practically the king of team sports in the world. It has the best leagues for Football (NFL), Basketball (NBA), Ice Hockey (NHL), and Baseball (MLB). Its leagues are trademarks of quality and excellence, but how is it possible that the most popular sport in the world is not part of that list? Well, Major League Soccer (MLS), is in the process of becoming one.
In recent years, the MLS has become one of the most followed and attractive soccer leagues in the American continent. Together with the Mexican league, it is one of the most important in the Concacaf, and as time goes by, its importance is increasing.
Great teams make up the league, such as Los Angeles Galaxy, LAFC, DC United, New York City FC, Chicago Fire, Portland Timbers, among other teams that are capturing the interest of soccer fans not only in the United States but throughout the continent.
The United States is known in the world of sports for having the best leagues in the world, and with the growth of the MLS, it is expected that it will be at the level of these leagues because if there is something that Americans know how to do well, it is to work tirelessly until they reach the top of the world.
Top Standings & Scorers
- MLS Top 7 Standings: Standings are a valuable tool for sports bettors as they offer important insights into the performance of teams or individuals in a particular league or sport. By analyzing standings, bettors can make more informed decisions and increase their chances of winning. Standings provide key information about current performance and areas of strength and weakness, allowing bettors to place bets based on calculated risks rather than relying on luck or intuition. This gives them a competitive advantage over those who don’t use standings as part of their betting strategy.
- MLS Top 5 Goalscorers: Goalscorers are important in soccer betting because they have a significant impact on the outcome of a game. By considering the likelihood of certain players scoring goals, bettors can make more informed decisions about which team is likely to win or the total number of goals that will be scored in a match. Additionally, betting on goalscorers can provide higher odds and potentially greater payouts than other types of bets.
Player & Team Stats
- Player Stats: Player stats are very important in sports betting as they provide valuable information about a player’s performance, strengths, weaknesses, and overall impact on the game. By analyzing player stats, bettors can make more informed decisions about which team to bet on and which bets to place, ultimately increasing their chances of success. However, it’s important to also consider other factors such as team dynamics, injuries, and weather conditions when placing bets
- Team Stats: Team stats are important in MLS betting because they provide a basis for evaluating a team’s performance and predicting its likelihood of winning. These stats can include information on a team’s offense, defense, player injuries, and past performance against specific opponents. By analyzing these stats, bettors can make more informed decisions about which team to bet on and which types of bets to place. Ultimately, using team stats can increase a bettor’s chances of making a successful and profitable bet.
- Betting Trends: Betting trends can help you win in MLS betting by giving you insights into the performance of teams and players. By studying betting trends, you can identify patterns and make more informed decisions when placing bets. However, it is important to remember that betting trends should not be the sole basis for your betting decisions and that you should always consider other factors such as team form, injuries, and head-to-head records.
Understanding MLS Betting
Juice or Vig
Juice or Vig is a commission charged by sportsbooks on bets placed by bettors. It is usually expressed as a percentage of the total amount wagered and represents the bookmaker’s profit margin.
For example, let’s say a bookmaker offers odds of -110 on a match between LA Galaxy and New York City FC. This means that to win $100, a bettor must wager $110. The juice or vig in this case is 10% ($10), which is the amount the bookmaker keeps as their commission.
So if a bettor wagers $110 on LA Galaxy and they win, they would receive a payout of $100, while the bookmaker keeps the $10 juice. If New York City FC wins, the bettor loses their bet and the sportsbook keeps the full amount of $110.
Handicap or Point Spread
In MLS betting, a handicap is a type of bet where a team is given a virtual point disadvantage or advantage in order to level the playing field for betting purposes. This means that the stronger team will have a negative handicap (-) and the weaker team will have a positive handicap (+).
For example, let’s say the New York Red Bulls are playing against DC United and the odds are these:
- New York Red Bulls: -1.5
- DC United: +1.5
This means that the Red Bulls are considered the favorites to win and are given a handicap of -1.5 goals. In order for a bet on the Red Bulls to win, they would need to win the match by two or more goals.
On the other hand, if the odds for a DC United win are +1.5, this means that DC United is considered the underdog and is given a handicap of +1.5 goals. In order for a bet on DC United to win, they would either need to win the match or lose by only one goal.
Handicap betting is a popular form of betting in soccer as it provides bettors with more options and allows them to bet on teams they believe will perform well, even if they are considered the underdog.
Moneyline betting is a popular type of sports betting where the bettor wagers on the outcome of a game based on the odds set by the bookmaker. In MLS Moneyline betting, the bettor places a bet on either team to win the match outright.
For example, let’s say there is an MLS match between LA Galaxy and New York City FC. The Moneyline odds for the match are:
- LA Galaxy: -150
- New York City FC: +180
- Draw: +220
In this scenario, a bettor who wagers on LA Galaxy to win would have to risk $150 to win $100. If LA Galaxy wins the match, the bettor would receive their original stake plus $100 in winnings.
On the other hand, a bettor who wagers on New York City FC to win would risk $100 to win $180. If New York City FC wins the match, the bettor would receive their original stake plus $180 in winnings.
It’s important to note that in Moneyline betting, there is also the option to bet on a draw, which is sometimes referred to as a “tie” or “level”. If the game ends in a draw, any bets placed on either team to win would be considered losing bets, and the bet placed on the draw would be considered the winning bet.
In this case, a bettor who wagers $100 on the draw would receive $220 in winnings if the match ends in a tie. If either team wins the match, the bettor would lose their original stake
In MLS (Major League Soccer) betting, the Over/Under bet refers to predicting whether the total number of goals scored in a particular match will be over or under a set number. The sportsbook will set a line for the total number of goals, and bettors can place wagers on whether the final score will exceed that number (Over) or fall short of it (Under).
For example, if the Over/Under line for a match between LA Galaxy and New York City FC is set at 3.5, a bettor who places a wager on Over will win if the final score is 4 or more goals, while a bettor who places a wager on Under will win if the final score is 3 goals or less.
Another popular type of MLS betting is the Team Total bet, which involves wagering on the number of goals that a specific team will score in a match. The sportsbook will set a line for the total number of goals for that team, and bettors can place wagers on whether the team will exceed that number (Over) or fall short of it (Under).
For example, if the Team Total line for LA Galaxy is set at 1.5, a bettor who places a wager on Over will win if LA Galaxy scores 2 or more goals, while a bettor who places a wager on Under will win if LA Galaxy scores 1 goal or less. It’s important to note that Team Total bets are specific to one team and do not include goals scored by the opposing team.
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MLS Betting Tips
- Consider AI Picks: AI Picks use artificial intelligence to predict the outcome of soccer matches. It analyzes data related to team performance, weather, and other factors to generate predictions for future games. While not infallible, it can help fans and bettors make informed decisions.
- Know the teams: Before placing any bets, it’s essential to have a good understanding of the teams playing in MLS. Study their previous matches, their players, their playing style, and their current form.
- Analyze the odds: It’s important to analyze the odds given by the bookmakers before placing a bet. Odds represent the probability of a team winning, and they can change based on various factors, including team form, injuries, and weather conditions.
- Set a budget: Betting can be addictive, and it’s crucial to set a budget before placing any bets. Determine how much you can afford to lose and stick to it.
- Bet on the underdogs: In MLS, the underdogs can often pull off surprises, and betting on them can be a profitable strategy. However, it’s essential to analyze their recent form and playing style before placing a bet.
- Consider the venue: Home advantage can play a significant role in MLS, and it’s important to consider the venue before placing a bet. Some teams perform better at home, while others are better away.
Legal States for Soccer Betting
- District of Columbia
- New Hampshire
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
How does the MLS play?
The MLS this season consists of 29 teams, divided into two conferences. There are 15 teams in the Eastern Conference and 14 teams in the Western Conference.
The format is 34 games per team, where teams within the conferences will play against each other, with each team playing one home game and one away game.
With 15 teams, each team in the Eastern Conference will play 28 games, 14 at home and 14 away, plus 6 games against teams from the Western Conference. Seven teams qualify directly for the playoffs, and two will play a Wild Card to determine the eighth qualifier.
With 14 teams, each team in the Western Conference will play 26 games, 13 at home and 13 away, with the particularity that, depending on the team, one team will have two more games against another club from the Western Conference and 6 games against teams from the Eastern Conference, while another team will have 1 more game against another team from the Western Conference and 7 games against teams from the Eastern Conference. Seven teams qualify directly for the playoffs, and two will play a Wild Card to determine the eighth qualifier.
The MLS playoffs are played with eight teams per conference, with the following matchups:
- 1 vs 8 (wild card winner)
- 4 vs 5
- 2 vs 7
- 3 vs 6
For Round One, a best-of-three series will be played, where the team that wins two games will advance to the conference semifinals. From the conference semifinals to the MLS Cup final, a single game will be played where the winner advances until reaching the MLS Cup final, where the winner is crowned MLS Champion.
This is the table for the Regular Season with the 29 teams. The team with the best points at the end of the Regular Season wins the Supporters’ Shield.
The MLS Cup champion qualifies directly to the Round of 16, while the winner of the Supporters’ Shield, the Lamar Hunt U.S Open Cup, the best team from the conference opposite to the Supporters’ Shield winner, along with the top teams in the MLS overall table, advance to the first round of the CONCACAF Champions League.
MLS, or Major League Soccer, was founded in 1993 as part of the United States successful bid to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup. At the time, soccer in the US was mostly played at the amateur and collegiate levels, with no top-tier professional league.
In an effort to build a professional soccer league in the US, MLS was formed with 10 teams in 1996. The league’s early years were marked by financial struggles and a lack of public interest, but it slowly gained popularity as new teams were added and the quality of play improved.
MLS has since grown into a major professional sports league in North America, with 29 teams (as of 2023) and a growing fanbase. The league has also expanded into Canada, with three Canadian teams currently competing in MLS.
MLS has played a key role in the development of soccer in the US, providing a platform for talented American players to compete at the highest levels and attracting international talent to the league.
MLS Champions (since 1996)
Los Angeles Galaxy (5)
Championships: 2002, 2005, 2011, 2012, 2014.
D.C. United (4)
Championships: 1996, 1997, 1999, 2004.
Columbus Crew (2)
Championships: 2008, 2020.
San Jose Earthquakes (2)
Championships: 2001, 2003
Sporting Kansas City (2)
Championships: 2000 (as Kansas City Wizards), 2013.
Seattle Sounders (2)
Championships: 2016, 2019
Houston Dynamo (2)
Championships: 2006, 2007
Los Angeles FC (1)
Chicago Fire (1)
Toronto FC (1)
Championships: 2017 (First Canadian Team Champion)
Real Salt Lake (1)
Colorado Rapids (1)
Portland Timbers (1)
Atlanta United (1)
New York City FC (1)