The 2019 Major League Soccer regular season, the 24th season of the MLS, kicks off in March and runs through to October 6th. MLS Cup Playoffs begin on October 19th and conclude with the 2019 MLS Cup on November 10th.
2019 sees the New York Red Bulls (+500 to win the MLS Cup) enter the competition as the defending Supporters’ Shield champions and Atlanta United FC (+600) as the defending MLS Cup champions, the latter having defeated Portland Timbers 2-0 at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in front of 73,019 spectators.
More than 8.5 million fans went to MLS games in 2018, proving that soccer is growing in the United States. This year sees FC Cincinnati join the league as an expansion franchise, taking the total number of teams to 24.
Due to the vastness of the United States, the MLS is split into the Eastern and Western Conferences to reduce the amount of travelling required, although there is still plenty of that to do. An MLS season is split into two distinct parts. Regular season sees each team play a total of 34 matches, 17 at home and 17 away, taking on their conference opponents twice during the regular season and one non-conference opponent once.
Once regular season is over, the top seven teams in each conference of the MLS standings progress to the Conference Quarterfinals, with the winner of each conference enjoying a bye into the Semifinals. These playoffs then pit the best MLS sides against each other, culminating in two teams facing off in the MLS Cup, the most prestigious title in the MLS.
The Supporters’ Shield is awarded to the MLS team with the best record during the regular season. New York Red Bulls won this title in 2018 for the third-time in their history. Amazingly, despite being one of the inaugural teams, the Red Bulls have only reached one MLS Cup final, which they lost in 2008.
Popular MLS bets, like in most soccer leagues around the world, are those relating to individual matches although season long MLS futures betting is also popular. Be A Better Bettor has MLS experts who regularly select their picks for games each week, so if you like to bet on the MLS you have come to the right place.
Best MLS Soccer Betting Lines
MLS betting odds vary depending on the sportsbook you use to place your wagers. We have several betting partners who offer a range of MLS betting markets from outright results, to first goalscorer, moneylines and over/under markets.
Check out the current list of betting partners to see if you qualify for an exclusive welcome bonus that you could use to boost your MLS betting bankroll.
What Are The MLS Soccer standings
The MLS standings change week by week and are the best indicator to how an MLS team is performing. Teams often get off to a flying start only to falter as the season progresses.
You should expect a team towards the top of its respective conference to have much shorter betting odds than those teams languishing towards the bottom, although this isn’t always the case as home teams have a distinct advantage in the MLS, more so than almost any other soccer competition in the world.
Feast your eyes on the current MLS standings and use this information to help you make a profitable MLS bet this week.
MLS Teams Likely to Challenge for the MLS Cup
The 2019 MLS season is going to be long and hard-fought as at least a dozen teams will fancy their chances of MLS Cup glory thanks to the playoff element of the competition.
Despite having only reached one MLS Cup final, New York Red Bulls are the preseason +500 favorites to win the 2019 competition. Any team that has a striker with the quality of Bradley Wright-Phillips has a chance of winning. Wright-Phillips has scored 124 goals in 210 appearances for New York Red Bulls, 106 of those goals have come in 171 MLS regular season games; look for Wright-Phillips to be among the top goal scorers in the competition this season.
Reigning MLS Cup winners Atlanta United FC are the +600 joint second favorites, along with L.A Galaxy, to win the 2019 MLS Cup. Atlanta finished second in the overall table, a mere two points behind Red Bulls and were the MLS top scorers in 2018.
This is because Venezuelan forward Josef Martinez scored an incredible 31 goals in 34 regular season games and now has 55 goals in 61 appearances in all competitions. Martinez looks set to become an MLS legend after being crowned the 2018 MLS All-Star game MVP.
LA Galaxy endured a disappointing 2018 campaign finishing 13th in the overall table and missing out on the playoffs despite Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring 22 regular season goals. Head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto needs to improve his team’s defense as it leaked 64 goals in 34 games last season, only four teams conceded more.
A good outside bet for the 2019 MLS Cup could be Galaxy’s L.A. rivals Los Angeles FC who finished fifth overall in the debut season and third in the Western Conference. Coached by former USA men’s national team coach Bob Bradley, Los Angeles FC have Mexico’s Carlos Vela pulling the strings for them in the offensive side of things. Vela hit 14 goals in 28 games last season and everything positive passes through the man who has represented Mexico more than 70 times in his career.
MLS Betting Tips
It always pays to do your own research whenever it comes to placing a bet, but you should also bear these statistics and facts in mind.
During the 2018 MLS season, there were a total of 392 matches played and 1,249 goals were scored. This is an average of 3.19 goals per game, which makes the over 2.5 goals market one to keep tabs on.
Also, MLS teams have a massive advantage when they play on home soil, partly because of the sheer size of the United States. Using the 2018 results as a guide, 14 teams won more than half of their home games, with each team winning at least six fixtures at home; only San Jose Earthquakes (who only won twice at home) failed to achieve this.
On the flipside, only one team, Atlanta United FC, won more than half of their away games with only seven teams winning at least six games on the road.
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- 1. New York Red Bulls +500
- 2. Atlanta United +600
- 2. LA Galaxy +600
- 4. Los Angeles FC +900
- 4. New York City FC +900
- 6. Seattle Sounders +1000
- 7. Portland Timbers +1200
- 8. Toronto FC +1400
- 9. Sporting Kansas City +1600
- 10. FC Dallas +2000
- 10. Philadelphia Union +2000
- 12. Washington DC United +2500
- 13. Columbus Crew +3300
- 14. Chicago Fire +5000
- 14. Montreal Impact +5000
- 16. Real Salt Lake +5000
- 17. FC Cincinnati +6600
- 17. Houston Dynamo +6600
- 19. New England Revolution +8000
- 19. Vancouver Whitecaps +8000
- 21. Minnesota United +10000
- 21. San Jose Earthquakes +10000
- 23. Colorado Rapids +15000
- 23. Orlando City +15000