Betting on the US MLS
The MLS is America’s premier soccer league, and has been run by that name since 1996. Year-on-year the league has grown in reputation and popularity, and can now boast global stars of the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovi? and Wayne Rooney among its number.
In the MLS, 24 teams are split across two conferences, with the best-placed teams qualifying for an end-of-season playoff series, culminating in the MLS Cup final, which decides the competition’s overall winner. The league itself is played on a calendar year basis (March through December), and it is worth noting that the league also features Canadian teams in the shape of Toronto FC (who won the 2017 MLS Cup), Vancouver Whitecaps and Montreal Impact.
Betting on the MLS is growing in popularity globally, partly because of the star names that are flocking there fromm Europe and South America (albeit towards the end of their careers) and partly because of the fact that the league is in action at a time when the majority of European leagues have finished. MLS title odds are growing as a topic of conversation among football and betting circles as a result.
Games from the MLS are increasingly being televised in countries around the world, and domestic audiences are growing too, showing that at last soccer is beginning to compete with some of the more established North American sports in terms of popularity.
USA MLS Odds
Betting on the US MLS is tricky. The format of the league is different from other countries: there is no league title winner as such as the best-placed teams at the end of the regular season enter a playoff series, culminating in the MLS Cup final which decides the competitions overall winner. Betting odds are therefore difficult to pin down because you have a league format and a knockout format to contend with, not to mention the fact that due to the organization of finances, no team dominates as they would in almost every other league around the world.
Six different teams have won the MLS Cup in the last six seasons, while 13 different clubs have won the competition in its 23-year history, which is pretty much unheard of in terms of soccer leagues. Most of the big European leagues, for example, would be lucky to boast half a dozen different winners in that time period. Many leagues around the world would not have had that many champions in their competitions’ histories. Picking a winner, even with the MLS title odds laid bare in front of you, can be almost a lottery at the start of the season.
The MLS does feature a lot of goals, which is great for spectators and also informative for bettors. In the past three completed seasons of 2018, 2017 and 2016, 3.19, 2.97 and 2.81 goals were scored respectively, which were all way above the global average. Also relevant is the fact that home teams secure points above the global average too – unsurprisingly considering the vast distances teams must cover to play away matches. Apart from home wins and goals, however, picking a winner can be really tough.
USA MLS Title Odds for 2019
The US MLS is rather unique among soccer leagues in that it employs a system which is familiar across all other US sports set-ups, namely a salary cap and player draft, which results in the league being much more equal than the majority of other leagues around the globe. Indeed, American sports leagues are set up on a basis which seeks to avoid just a handful of teams monopolising proceedings, and as far as the MLS is concerned, this has been a successful undertaking. The proof is in the pudding: six different MLS champions in the last six years. Barely any other league in the world can lay claim to such a statistic.
The USA MLS is played during the calendar year, starting in March and finishing in early December. The 2019 season is well and truly underway, and considering results to date, LA FC currently sit comfortably atop the standings, and are therefore recognized as the favourites in terms of current MLS Cup winners odds. The country’s most successful team, LA Galaxy, sit one place behind, and due to the team’s strong history, are also firmly established in and around the odds as one of the favourites to claim a sixth title come December. Philadelphia Union currently sit as third favourites.
USA MLS History
The USA’s MLS – Major League Soccer – has been in existence since 1996, two years after the USA hosted the FIFA World Cup. It was part of the awarding process for that tournament that the country agreed to set up a professional soccer league once more, after the North American Soccer League of the 1970s and 1980s was disbanded in a pile of financial difficulties and general lack of interest. That despite the fact the NASL has actually managed to attract some major stars, including Pelé and Franz Beckenbauer, over the course of its existence.
And so, the history of the modern US MLS begins in 1996. Since then, the league has grown to include new franchises from both the United States and Canada, and these days looks different from that nascent league in 1996.
Statistically speaking, Los Angeles Galaxy have been the league’s most successful side, winning the MLS Cup on five occasions up to and including the completed 2018 season. D.C. United have four titles under their belts, while Houston Dynamo, Sporting Kansas City and San Jose Earthquakes all have a brace of titles. A further eight teams boast a solitary title. Such is the nature of the organisation of American sports, it is unlikely you will see a monopoly on MLS titles the way you do in the majority of leagues around the world: US MLS winner betting odds are usually tremendously even for that very reason. It is a unique competition, and is worthy of its growing popularity for this, and a number of other very good reasons.