MLS 2023: What Team Will Win and Who Could Upset the Odds?

Date IconLast Updated: Feb 22nd, 2023
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MLS 2023: What Team Will Win and Who Could Upset the Odds?
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After months away and a World Cup to keep us going, Major League Soccer is back this weekend as Nashville and New York City kick off the 2023 edition on Saturday.

Looking ahead to the new season, we chose our pick for the 2023 MLS Cup and who could surprise us with a march toward the playoffs.

MLS Cup 2023 Winner
Best Odds
% Chance
Miami
25.64%
--
Los Angeles
11.11%
--
Columbus
9.09%
--
Cincinnati
6.25%
--
Philadelphia
5.88%
--
New York
4.76%
--
Orlando
4.17%
--
Seattle
4.00%
--
Houston
3.85%
--
LA Galaxy
3.70%
--
Teams Best Odds
Miami
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Columbus
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Our 2023 MLS Cup Pick - LAFC

Following a stunning win in 2022, Los Angeles FC heads into the latest campaign as the favorites to win the MLS Cup again. LAFC defeated Philadelphia Union on penalties in the final, as both teams won their respective conferences. Quite incredibly, both racked up 67 points in 34 league games.

This season, LAFC is the favorite to win the MLS Cup at +500, whereas Philadelphia is +600 and we think this could be another year where the Black and Gold wins it. If they do, it’ll be only the fourth time in MLS history that a team has won consecutive titles.

LAFC's 2023 roster is similar to last season's. Cristian Arango, Cristian Tello and Gareth Bale have all moved on, which does mean it is a bit weaker in the offense than it was last season. 

The 20-year-old winger, Stipe Biuk, has signed for four years with LAFC, however, and this eases the fears of a depleted offense. At the same time, Bale only contributed two goals in MLS last season, as Tello failed to score a single goal. Arango, however, will be missed after scoring 35 goals in 58 games for LAFC, which includes 16 goals from 34 matches last year.

The biggest positive for LAFC in regard to its roster this season is Italian legend Giorgio Chiellini. The 38-year-old signed midway through last season and only played 11 games. Now, the nine-time Serie A winner will get a full season in MLS and this only makes LAFC’s side even stronger than last season’s.

LAFC to win the MLS Cup is +500 with FanDuel.

MLS Western Conference Winner
Best Odds
% Chance
Los Angeles
26.67%
--
--
--
Seattle
16.67%
--
--
--
Houston
10.53%
--
--
--
LA Galaxy
10.53%
--
--
--
Dallas
8.33%
--
--
--
Teams Best Odds
Los Angeles
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LA Galaxy
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Our Surprise Package - Nashville

Last season, Nashville placed ninth in the overall table and finished fifth in the Western Conference. However, its impressive season was brought to an end in the first round of the playoffs, as LA Galaxy defeated it 1-0.


Check out: Gambling.com's MLS Picks Page, For Betting Advice and Analysis.


Similarly to LAFC, Nashville’s roster is similar to last season's. Eleven players have left the club, the most notable being Dave Romney for New England Revolution, and his absence will be felt in defense. 

But the offense for Nashville should be impressive as Hany Mukhtar looks to build on his 23 goals in 33 MLS games from last season.  Mukhtar's goals last year made Nashville one of the highest-scoring teams in MLS, as only LA Galaxy, Portland Timbers, Austin and LAFC scored more than it in the Western Conference.

This will also be the third season in MLS with Nashville for head coach Gary Smith. The Englishman won the MLS Cup with Colorado Rapids in 2010 and as he has now built up a roster to his liking over the past three years, we expect this to be the campaign in which Nashville gets a real shot at MLS Cup glory.

What's more, statistically speaking, seasons after the third in MLS for a new franchise tends to be the most successful, as seen with Atlanta United winning the MLS Cup in season three and LAFC and New York City’s triumphs in the past two years.

One thing to watch with Nashville, midfielder Dax McCarty will be trying to move up the all-times games list this season. In his first appearance, McCarty will pass Jeff Larentowicz for third all-time.

MLS Eastern Conference Winner
Best Odds
% Chance
Miami
34.48%
--
--
--
Columbus
18.52%
--
--
--
Cincinnati
10.53%
--
--
--
Philadelphia
10.53%
--
--
--
Orlando
9.09%
--
--
--
Teams Best Odds
Miami
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