Best MLS Betting Sites & Offers
MLS betting markets, offers, reviews & tips
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MLS Betting Sites
Major League Soccer was created in 1996 in an attempt to bring soccer back to the United States. Since the North American Soccer League (NASL) disbanded in 1984, no top-tier soccer league had existed for 12 years. The plan was put in place to recreate a soccer league after the United States hosted the 1994 World Cup. The hope was to bring life back to a sport that lacked big-time passion.
There are several differences between American soccer and the global game that soccer betting fans should be mindful of. First, there are no tiers in place in American soccer, compared to what other leagues around the world have in place. Which means that there is no team promotion or relegation system, and failure will never lead to a team’s being punished with demotion to a lower league.
In fact, the league plans to expand from the 23 teams it had in 2018, with FC Cincinnati set to join in 2019 and both Inter Miami and Nashville in 2020.
Another difference is the fact that MLS has conferences that are defined by east and west locations. The playoffs feature the top 6 teams from each conference in a mini round-robin tournament that begins with a knockout game. The season starts in March and runs to the last weekend of October. The last game of the year is known as the MLS Finals, and is played by the conference champions.
Understanding MLS Soccer Betting Odds
Similar to European football, the lines and props will look familiar to those just catching on to MLS betting. There are 1x2 or 3-way lines and totals, as well as prop bets and player props to utilize. In all, there are matches that could have over 300 types of betting options within just one game.
Soccer does not use a spread, as Americans are used to seeing with point spread betting football or basketball. Instead, you will see the term ‘handicap’ when betting on soccer. Handicaps can be tricky to learn and certainly need explaining to those of you wondering how it works.
1X2 or 3-Way MLS Betting
An example: The Seattle Sounders are playing the Portland Timbers. Seattle is +130, Portland +225 and a tie is +240. This works similar to moneyline betting.
This is referred to as the 1x2 or 3-Way Handicap. If you think Seattle will win, you bet them at +130. You will need Seattle to win the game to cash your ticket, as the draw or a Portland win would give you a loss. Should they win, your $100 bet on Seattle would return you $130 in profit.
Similarly, if you bet Portland at +225, you would win $225 with a Portland win.
Total Goals MLB betting
Essentially over/under betting, this is fairly straightforward. You are betting on whether the amount of goals scored by both teams goes over or under a predetermined amount. If the over/under is 2.5 and you bet the under, you need two or fewer goals scored to win.
Explaining handicap totals can be tricky, and learning how to use them takes experience and understanding. Handicap betting changes how you approach the totals, because of half-loss and half-win scenarios.
For example, Total Goals 2.25 is one common bet offered by every sports book that carries soccer. Total goals Over 2.25, means you are betting on a handicap line of 2 & 2.5 goals. To win this bet, you still need three goals to be scored.
So, if there are only two goals scored, you would only lose half of your bet, instead of all of it. The other half is what’s called a push, which means you get the other half of your money back. This is not your normal 2.5 Total Goals that most people associate with the Over/Under. The straight Over 2.5 is easier to understand, because you will need three goals to be scored to cash your ticket.
0/Pick - Draw No Bet & Handicap Betting
The straight 0/Pk Draw No Bet is exactly as it sounds. Should a draw happen in the match, your money will be returned like a push or voided bet.
There are many alternative handicap bets you can make on a match-by-match basis. For example, there are +1 lines on teams to cover a goal or -1 lines to win by a goal. There is also everything in between, like +.75 and +.25 lines, for example. The +.25 is also known as 0/Pk & +0.5, which is an alternate way of using handicaps.
Should you take a team to cover the +.25, you are essentially taking the draw & +0.5 a goal. A draw in the game would pay you half of your money back, and the other side of the handicap would be a push.
Other Popular MLS Bets
- Both Teams to Score: It is as simple as it sounds and it usually worth the price. The only expectation one needs to have to cash this bet is a 1-1 result.
- Half Time/Full Time: There are props on the first half, totals and handicaps included. Picking a team to be ahead at the half can pay dividends, and your play is graded after the halftime whistle is blown.
- Corner Kick Betting: Betting on corner kicks is a massively popular European approach. You can choose from how many corners both teams will combine to take, or bet on each team corners individually.
- Team Total Betting: Team totals are popular in MLS. Whether you like an Over or an Under, you can bet on how many goals a team will or will not score in almost every game.
Is There MLS Betting Online?
Yes. Almost every major sports book carries MLS lines as the matches play out during the year. You may not see the same type of player props and offers that European sports books offer yet, but as soccer grows in the U.S., the demand will increase.
Major League Soccer Betting Online Tips
Know the Weather
The weather will be different no matter where the games are played. So, you should expect possible rain storms in Portland and Seattle at any moment, and the humidity in Florida can be crippling.
Know Your Lineups
Don't just assume that everyone you expect to be there will automatically be in the lineup. Wait as long as you can before the game starts to make sure you have all the information on who is in or out of the game.
Know Your Fanhood
You can love your team as much as you want, but don't blindly bet on them to win. If you watch your team play every match then you know their strengths and weaknesses, so use that to your advantage.
Know Your Referees
Keep in mind that most MLS referees do not have a ton of top-flight experience. Most refs in MLS got their experience in the NASL, PDL or USL. The 2018 season, in particular, had many fans roaring at referee decisions that affected outcome of games.