Updated: Jan 31st, 2023

MLS Cup 2023 Betting

The 2021 MLS Cup is the championship of the top flight of American soccer. The game is held yearly at the stadium of the highest seeded team playing, or the team that performed the best during the regular season.

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MLS Cup Betting Tips

Tips for a Winning Soccer Parlay Betting Strategy
Tips for a Winning Soccer Parlay Betting Strategy
Soccer wagering fans are always keen to make the most of parlay bets to boost their odds, but these...

MLS Cup Betting Tips

MLS Betting action leads to the final prize, the MLS Cup, making it different from some European Leagues, such as the English Premier League, that focus on the regular season.

Given the setup of the playoffs, the MLS Cup isn’t always contested between the two best teams by record because the two best could be in the same conference. So betting on the final could be a fairly straight-forward affair.

The team that won the regular season usually doesn’t win the MLS Cup, either. Since the first MLS Cup in 1996, the winner of the regular season has won the MLS Cup only 7 times. This is a more common phenomenon in American sports leagues with extended seasons like the NHL.

That said, you’ll want to bet on a team near the top of the league. Previous winners are consistently one of the top three teams in their conference, with the 2016 Seattle Sounders being the lone team outside the top 3 to win the MLS Cup since 2015.

There also isn't a system of regulation and promotion in connection with other U.S. leagues as there exists in La Liga and other international club leagues, meaning teams at the bottom of the standings have less incentive to win.

Goal Scorer

Big-time matches demand big-time players, and the star players of each final almost always makes and impact. In 2018, it was Josef Martinez for Atlanta United. In 2017, it was Jozy Altidore for Toronto FC. In 2015, It was Diego Valeri for Portland Timbers.

You can regularly bet on the star players of the favored team to make something happen in the MLS Cup. Unlike European Leagues where anything goes with scoring, the MLS style caters to those star players/strikers more, allowing them to shine in the big games.

Don’t Worry About History

MLS is very fluid. It’s run by Americans, so it’s to be expected. The worst team in the league doesn’t drop to USL, they get the best player available in the MLS Superdraft. That’s usually not enough to change the fortunes of a team, meaning some teams see extended stretches of futility.

However, the top of the league tend to change between teams. The only team that’s been consistently at the top is LA Galaxy, and even then it’s been since 2014 since they last won the MLS Cup. From 2013, there’s been a different champion every year, even though there’s been some repeats in the final.

Favor the Favorite

The winner of the MLS Cup is rarely a surprise. Since 2010, most teams that have gone on to win the final were favored to win. Picking the favorite to walk away with the trophy is usually a good wager for bettors to take advantage of at U.S. bookies.

Bet on Extra Time

That said, it’s common for the MLS Cup to go to extra time at minimum. Since 2010, 4/9 MLS Cups have gone to extra time, and 9 of the MLS Cups since 2000 have gone to extra time. 9 in 19 years? You’re just under statistically a 50/50 shot of a regular time draw, and the odds there are always nice.


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MLS Cup Playoff Betting

The MLS Cup Playoffs are more unpredictable than the MLS Cup Final. It’s not uncommon for a 4 or 5 seed to make the conference final, or even the MLS Cup title game.

However, the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs introduced single-game elimination through the entire tournament. Previous tournaments saw two-leg games played during the conference semifinals and conference finals. The format change will definitely change the dynamic of the playoffs going forward.

The one thing that can be reliable in the MLS playoffs is that the home team usually does pretty well. The first round is a little unpredictable, but the conference semifinals and finals usually see the matches go the way of the home team.

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Recent MLS Cup Champions

YearWinnerRunner-upScore
2020Columbus CrewqSeattle Sounders3-0
2019Seattle SoundersToronto FC3-1
2018Atlanta UnitedPortland Timbers2-0
2017Toronto FCSeattle Sounders2-0
2016Seattle SoundersToronto FC0-0 (5-4 in PKs)
2015Portland TimbersColumbus Crew2-1
2014LA GalaxyNew England Revolution2-1

MLS Odds

FAQ


The MLS Cup is the final of the playoffs, with representatives from the Eastern and Western conferences playing against each other, and is the culmination of the MLS season.

The 2021 MLS Cup has not been scheduled yet.

The MLS Cup is played between the Western Conference Champions and Eastern Conference Champions.

The MLS Cup will be on the ESPN network in the US and TSN in Canada. The Spanish broadcast will be on Unimas and Univision Deportes.

Yes, but you must live in a state with legalized sports betting to do so.

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."

Interests
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  • Daily Fantasy

Reviewer since August 2019

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