MLS Betting Odds
A look ahead at the 2017 MLS season
By Matt Pitt
The Seattle Sounders struggled for form in the early part of the 2016 season only to put together a solid run that saw them finish the campaign strongly before going on to win their first MLS Cup. TopBet price the Sounders at +650 joint second favorites to win the 2017 MLS Cup but you should shy away from those odds.
There are better teams that deserve more attention.
Toronto FC: +525 to win the 2017 MLS Cup
Toronto FC have improved in each season since joining the MLS in 2014. In their debut season, Toronto finished seventh in the Eastern Conference (13th overall), sixth (12th) in 2015 before a superb 2016 saw them finish third in the East (fifth overall), where they reached the MLS Cup final.
The Canadian club only finished three points behind the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference in 2016, ending the campaign with a 14-9-11 record, scoring 51 goals and conceding 39 for a +12 goal difference, second again only to the Red Bulls.
Toronto looked unstoppable once they reached the playoffs. They beat Philadelphia Union 3-1 before brushing aside NYCFC 7-0 on aggregate in the semi-finals. Sadly for their fans, Toronto failed to turn on the style in the MLS Cup final and lost 5-4 on penalties after the game finished 0-0.
Toronto may have lost the services of Will Johnson to Orlando City but they have brought in Chris Mavinga to their defense (the left-back is a product of Paris St.Germain’s youth set up) and have kept together the majority of their impressive 2016 squad.
Toronto have the third easiest schedule, at least on paper, and that could be enough to see them live up to their tag of favorites.
Prediction: Winners of both the Eastern Conference and the MLS Cup
New York Red Bulls: +650 to win the 2017 MLS Cup
Everything looked like it was going the Red Bulls’ way in 2016. The New York outfit put together a 16-game unbeaten run, finished with a league best 13-2-2 home record. Their away form, however, seriously let them down; the Red Bulls finished 3-7-7 on the road during regular season.
After receiving a bye to the Conference semi-finals, where the Red Bulls faced Montreal Impact, the Red Bulls looked favorites to win the MLS Cup but lost 3-1 on aggregate to end another season without that elusive MLS Cup.
The Red Bulls’ squad is almost the same as 2016 with Chris Duvall and Dax Carty being the only major departures, which shows Jesse Marsch has faith in his stable of talent. Plus the Red Bulls have the 2016 MLS Golden Boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips among their ranks. With his goals, anything is possible.
Prediction: If Toronto don’t win the 2017 MLS Cup, the Red Bulls will
New York City FC: +1600 to win the 2017 MLS Cup
With odds of an MLS Cup victory currently at +1600, bookmakers think New York City FC are three times less likely to win MLS’ biggest prize than Toronto FC. I bet to differ.
True, NYCFC are one of the outsiders for glory but pricing them as long as +1600 with the wealth of talent they have at their disposal seems like a slight oversight.
Take into consideration that NYCFC finished second in the East in 2016 after finishing with a 15-10-9 record, only three points behind conference champions Red Bulls. They were the conference’s top scorers, too.
Head coach Patrick Vieira needs to address his team’s defensive problems, however, as they conceded 57 goals and at least two goals in 16 of their 34 regular season games.
If, and it is a big if, Vieira can plug his porous defense, NYCFC could be legitimate challengers to Seattle’s crown this season. They did, however, lose Frank Lampard. The English legend retired at the end of last season, which is a big loss for NYCFC.
Prediction: Easily into the playoff and perhaps the semi-finalsMore articles...