MLS Betting Guide: How to Bet on MLS

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MLS Betting and sports betting in the US go hand in hand. Major League Soccer (MLS) is one of the leagues that US sports fans love to bet on. It is a men’s professional soccer league founded in December 1993, and it represents the sport’s highest level of play in the United States. It would be difficult to find a sportsbook in Canada and the US that does not offer MLS betting. The league’s headquarters is in New York, and it is one of the Big Six major professional sports leagues in the US and Canada.

The league’s history can be traced to December 1988, when the US Soccer Federation pledged to create a Division 1 professional soccer league following the condition to host FIFA 1994 World Cup. By 1995, MLS was officially formed, and the first game was played in 1996. At the time, only 10 teams played in the league. However, in 1998, the number increased to 12. Presently, 27 teams play in the MLS, with 24 teams from the US and three from Canada. There are also plans to expand the number of participating teams to 30 in the future.

Teams in the MLS are geographically divided into conferences - Western and Eastern Conferences. Each team will play against the other teams in its conference in a double round robin format. The league typically runs from late February or early March till mid-October. The MLS Cup Playoff is also played among the top teams to determine the league champion.

Keep reading our comprehensive guide to know more about MLS and how betting on the league works.

Recommended MLS Betting Sites

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MLS Betting Tips

Best MLS Betting Sites

Major League Soccer Betting is not only fun but can be rewarding. However, for the best gambling experience, choosing the best MLS betting site for your needs should be your main priority. These are sites that offer competitive odds for events and also provide several betting options. Besides that, they offer incredible bonuses and promotions such as welcome and reload bonuses and free bets to players to wager on MLS games.

In the 2021 MLS season, each team will play home and away games in its conference and one game against all but four or five teams in the opposite conference. As a bettor, this means you have no lack of betting options in terms of MLS games played.

Following the regular season, a playoff tournament is hosted where 14 teams play against each other, and the MLS champion is decided. The teams qualify for the tournament based on their points during the regular season. The first seven teams of each conference make up the playoffs, and all games are played in a single-match elimination format. The top seed from each of the conferences will receive a first-round bye. The teams will battle it out leading up to the MLS Cup final.

But what happens if two top teams finish with the same points in the regular season? In that case, a tie-breaking procedure comes to play. The following will be considered to determine which of the teams feature in the playoffs.

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How to bet on Major League Soccer

Betting on MLS works pretty much the same way as any other sport. The odds determine the potential of winning the wager, and it is decided by sportsbooks. Major League Soccer odds vary from one gambling site to another, which is why you need to understand how the odds work before you get in on the betting action.

Sportsbooks often represent odds as either American odds, fractional odds or decimal odds. But for the purpose of this guide, we will be explaining how the American odds work since they are popular in the US and Canada. The odds for the favorites have a minus sign (-) preceding them, while the underdogs have a plus (+) sign.

To understand how this affects how the potential payout is calculated, let’s use an example. If Colorado Rapids is given a -143 odds as the favorite against Los Angeles Galaxy in an MLS game, then it means that you will need to wager $143 to win $100 as your profit. However, if LA Galaxy as the underdog is given a +150 for the same encounter, you will win $150 for a $100 wager if you bet on the team to win.

At most betting sites, you can combine multiple events into a single betting slip, known as parlays. This gives you a chance to win big since parlays have a multiplying factor. However, note that losing one of the bets means losing the entire bet slip.

That said, here are the typical steps involved in major league soccer betting:

As with most sports events, there are several betting markets available in MLS betting. This includes the regular markets that have to do with the overall outcome of the game and proposition markets. The betting markets have a big influence on the odds and potential winnings of a match. In this section, we will discuss some of the common MLS betting odds and markets.

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MLS Moneyline Betting

This is probably the most common betting option available for Major League Soccer games at online sportsbooks. The three-way moneyline bet involves betting on which team will win a match or if the outcome will end as a tie. For instance, say New England Revolution is playing against Philadelphia Union in the Eastern Conference of the MLS league.

With moneyline betting, you can bet on New England Revolution to win, Philadelphia Union to win, or the outcome to result in a tie. Moneyline betting is the same as the American form of betting mentioned above.

Lets give you a better look on how moneyline betting works:

TEAM MONEYLINE
New England Revolution -110
Tie +260
Philadelphia Union +240

Now, in order to win $100 betting on the New England Revolution, who are the dogs in this game with a -110 moneyline, you would have to place a wager of $110.

If you bet $100 on the tie in this game, you would win back your $100 and additional $260.

However, if you think the underdogs in this game, the Philadelphia Union, will come out with the win, your $100 bet would bring you back your $100 and additional $240.

MLS Totals (Over/Under)

Betting on over/under is another popular market in MLS that most sportsbooks offer. Here, you are simply betting on the total number of goals to be scored in a game by both teams collectively to be under or over a value specified by the gambling operator. For example, if New York City is hosting Columbus Crew at home in an MLS game, you can bet on the total goals to be scored by both teams to be under or over 3.5.

If the score ends up being 4-3, the total would have gone over, and if the score was 1-1, the total would have gone under.

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MLS Point Spread Betting

Point spread betting , otherwise referred to as goalline betting, is also popular among players when betting on MLS games. A point spread gives the underdog team an advantage in points to balance the odds difference. Due to the low-scoring nature of soccer, points spread often does not go beyond a +/- 3 goals difference. The higher the point spread, the bigger the underdog.

To understand how this betting option works, consider this example. Say Inter Miami CF is playing New York Red Bulls; a sportsbook may give the underdog, Inter Miami CF a positive spread of +2. This means that Miami CF is starting the game with two goals, and they can either win the game outright or lose by one goal and this bet would cash. On the other side, the Red Bulls will need to win the game by more than two goals for a bet on them to cash.

MLS Futures Betting

MLS futures bets are not bets on particular games but rather on the winner of a league or conference. A few MLS futures bets are which team will win the MLS Cup, which team will win the Eastern Conference, which team will win the Western Conference, and which team will finish with the most points. You can make futures bets before and during the season with the odds changing depending on how the season is unfolding.

However, note that the odds for the events may change due to different factors such as the previous performance of the teams, injuries, suspensions, and other team reports. Once the odds change, it will directly affect the potential payout opportunity. For example, if the Seattle Sounders are at +500 to win the MLS Cup and they hit a long losing streak their odds may go up to +700. the odds you make at the time of the futures wager are the ones you are locked into no matter how much they change.

MLS Prop Betting

As we’ve mentioned earlier, proposition betting is another type of betting available in the MLS. Here, you are not overly concerned with the overall outcome of the game. Instead, you are betting on some occurrence in a match or the league itself. Some of the popular MLS prop betting markets available include:

Note that most player-specific bets are prop bets, and the good thing about this betting market is that it has higher odds. There are player and team prop bets and some will have even odds, such as Over/Under, and some will have inflated odds.

MLS Live Betting

Live betting in Major League Soccer refers to betting on an MLS game that is currently in play. Many bettors love this kind of bet because they can use the current happenings in the game to determine the possible outcome. In live betting, you will have several betting markets depending on the match and sportsbook.

For example, if Atlanta United FC is playing Toronto FC in an MLS live game, you can bet on one of the teams to score the next goal. The odds change quickly in live betting depending on what is happening in the game.

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Choosing a Sportsbook for MLS Betting

Now that we’ve explained the different MLS bet types, let’s talk about some of the essential factors you need to consider choosing the best sportsbook to use when betting on Major League Soccer.

Competitive MLS Sports Odds

Odds are one of the most important factors to consider choosing the best MLS sportsbooks as they directly affect your potential payouts. Make sure you choose a sportsbook that offers highly competitive odds for MLS games, so you can have the opportunity to win more money.

Mobile Betting on the MLS

Another factor to consider choosing a sportsbook is mobile compatibility. Most players love to bet on the go, right from their smartphones. So choose a mobile-friendly sportsbook that either has an optimized web platform or a downloadable mobile app for iOS and Android that you can download and use.

Free Bets or MLS Bonuses/Boosts

Bonuses are freebies from a gaming site that can help boost your bankroll and let you place more bets. So when selecting a particular sports betting site to use for MLS matches, make sure it offers good bonuses, boosts and free bets with reasonable rollover requirements.

Safety and Security

Before you join any MLS gambling platform, players’ safety and security should be one of the essential things you should check. Ensure the platform is SSL-secured, trusted, and licensed by the appropriate regulatory bodies in US states.

Top Online Sportsbooks for MLS Betting

Throughout this comprehensive guide, we have explained all the essential things to know about MLS betting. At Gambling.com, we provide detailed and honest reviews of the best betting sites that you can use for betting on the Major Soccer League and other sports. Remember that choosing a top sports betting site with good soccer odds can go a long way to give you the best gaming experience.

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Contributors

Contributors

Hi, I'm Adam Thompson

"Two decades covering sports and the evolution of online betting. My experience as a handicapper uniquely qualifies me to evaluate which operator is best."

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Reviewer since August 2019

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