The MLS Cup has become one of the most sought-after prizes in North American sport, and now boasts over twenty seasons of historical significance. The best team from the Eastern and Western Conferences will fight for the prize in a winner-takes-all fixture to determine the champion. Betting on the Cup is never easy with 22 top teams each vying for silverware, and odds fluctuate on a weekly basis. We have you covered – you’ll find everything you need to know about betting on the MLS Cup right here.
MLS Cup Betting Trends
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Bet On MLS Cup
The MLS postseason features the top six teams from each conference, and often matches will buck the trend of the regular season, making them ideal for betting. Often you will see a team who has underperformed for most of the season go on a run to the cup, as was seen in both 2015 (Portland Timbers) and 2016 (Seattle Sounders) when teams who survived the knockout round managed to lift the cup.
This trend was bucked in the 2017 postseason when Toronto FC navigated their way to the final after a dominant season in which they claimed the Supporter’s Shield and the Canadian Championship, smashing a number of records along the way, and their opponents Seattle were also one of the top two seeds in their conference, progressing straight to the semi-final round.
Either way, the format of having the Western Champions come up against the Eastern Champions usually pits two sides against each other that do not have as much history of facing each other. While Seattle and Toronto have faced off in two consecutive MLS Cup Finals (a feat only achieved three times in history), they typically play against each other just once in the regular season, making the matchup just that little bit more intriguing and unpredictable.
Unlike the semi-finals and finals in the postseason, the MLS Cup Final is a one-off fixture, which adds to the potential for an upset victory. While a team as strong as Toronto FC will be able to get away with a poor performance in the postseason (like they did in their 2017 second-leg fixture against New York Red Bulls), there is no margin for error here, as they found out in their crushing penalty shootout loss to Seattle in 2016.
But don’t let this discourage you from placing a wager on the match – normally you will get outstanding odds on both teams as there is a great case for each team to win, and the leading sports betting companies will be just as unsure of the result as most of the general public. This is where you can use your in-depth knowledge of the sport to take advantage and beat the odds.
There will always be statistics to help you decide on the winner. After years of playing the MLS Cup at a neutral site, the league decided to award home-field advantage to the team with the highest point total during the regular season. Overall, the home side has a 5-2 record in MLS Cup finals, although both instances of the host losing the Cup have occurred in the last two seasons.
Just under fifty percent of MLS Cup finals have required extra-time (10-11), while four have been decided by a penalty shootout. 2016’s 0-0 draw was the only instance of that scoreline, while just three finals have featured more than four goals.
As always, there are a stack of betting odds and lines available, and we have them all here in once place. As long as you do your research and follow our tips, you should be on your way to a winning weekend. Good Luck!