Major League Soccer Betting Tips
Discover our tips, predictions and all the information required for your sports betting on the next American MLS match day.
Major League Soccer, or the MLS as it’s most commonly known, is the first football division in Northern America. In 2020 the new season began on February 29 but didn't last that long before suspension due to the ongoing pandemic. The new season had seen just two games played and no more took place until the MLS is Back Tournament that began on July 8. Details about this event later on in this MLS page.
The new season had seen two teams join the league. Inter Miami have joined the Eastern Conference and one of their co-owners is David Beckham. The team is managed by Uruguyan coach Diego Alonso and signings have inlcuded Victor Ulloa, Robbie Robinson and Matias Pellegrini. Life in the Eastern Conference didn't begin well with defeats by Los Angeles and DC United. Also joining the MLS are Nashville SC who are in the Western Conference. They also began with two losses being beaten by Atlanta United and Portland Timbers.
With the addition of those two teams, there are now 26 teams in the MLS and split into two conferences - Eastern and Western -both having 13 teams. The team that finishes at the top of the MLS Overall Standings at the end of the regular season will be awarded with the Supporters’ Shield, which also grants qualification to the CONCACAF Champions League.
The format of the MLS then runs in a similar way to other US sporting competitions such as the NFL or NBA - the teams that rank at the top of each conference will qualify for the MLS Playoffs, which run until the MLS Cup at the end of the overall season. The format of the MLS Playoffs has changed for this 2019 edition, as now 14 teams will qualify for the single round Playoffs at the end of the season. The seven top-ranked teams will qualify for the Playoffs and the two teams that finish at the top of each conference will receive a first-round bye.
Thierry Henry arrives as a manager in MLS, taking charge of Montreal Impact, while former Celtic boss Ronny Deila is the new manager of New York City FC and Raphael Wicky is the new boss of Chicago Fire. After their impressive campaign in the Western Conference last year, Los Angeles FC are favourites to win the MLS Cup in 2020, ahead of Atlanta United. At SportyTrader there will be extensive coverage of the MLS and this will include our experts previewing the key matches all the way to the MLS Cup final.
MLS is Back Tournament
With the USA still having problems with the pandemic, home and away games are not possible at present. The MLS is Back tournament takes place at the ESPN World Wide of Sports Complex situated at Walt Disney World. This began on July 8 with 29 matchdays planned and 54 matches. This begins with group stages and then a knock-out tournament to determine the overall winners. The final is due to take place on August 11 and the winners will earn a place in the 2021 CONCACAF Champions League. 24 of the 26 MLS sides are taking plac in this event. Nashville SC and FC Dallas both withdrew after they had players test positive for COVID-19.
The regular MLS season is planned to resume once this tournament has been completed.
Group A: Orlando City, Philadelphia Union, Inter Miami and New York City
Group B: San Jose Earthquakes, Chicago Fire, Seattle Sounders and Vancouver Whitecaps.
Group C: Toronto FC, New England Revolution, DC United and Montreal Impact
Group D: Real Salt Lake, Minnesota United, Sporting Kansas City and Colorado Rapids
Group E: Columbus Crew SC, New York Red Bulls, FC Cincinatti and Atlanta United.
Group F: Portland Timbers, Los Angeles FC, Houston Dynamo and LA Galaxy
The top two in each group and the four best third-placed teams go into the last sixteen.
Major League Soccer: The Conferences
Western Conference Eastern Conference
|Nashville SC||Inter Miami|
|Colorado Rapids||Atlanta United FC|
|FC Dallas||Chicago Fire|
|Houston Dynamo||FC Cincinnati|
|LA Galaxy||Columbus Crew SC|
|Los Angeles FC||D.C. United|
|Minnesota United FC||Montreal Impact|
|Portland Timbers||New England Revolution|
|Real Salt Lake||New York City FC|
|San Jose Earthquakes||New York Red Bulls|
|Seattle Sounders||Orlando City SC|
|Sporting Kansas City||Philadelphia Union|
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC||Toronto FC|
MLS: the stats to know
- FC Dallas are the last team to win the Western Conference regular season twice in a row. They did so in 2015 and 2016. The last four years have produced different winners with the current title holders being Los Angeles FC.
- Los Angeles FC had a regular season goal difference of +48 last season, the highest ever recorded in the conference.
- They scored 85 goals in 34 games, 27 more than any other side in the Western Conference.
- Vancouver Whitecaps drew the most games with ten matches ending level.
- Houston Dynamo finished tenth out of the 12 teams but lost the most games - 18.
- Los Angeles FC had the best home league record with 42 points from 17 games.
- It was Minnesota United who had the best home defence, conceding only 13 times in their 17 home league games.
- The lowest home scorers were the Vancouver Whitecaps. They only scored 16 goals on home soil, 13 less than any other side.
- The most home draws was six, a record shared by FC Dallas and Minnesota United.
- Los Angeles FC also the best away form in the regular season winning eight, drawing six and losing three games. The six draws was more than any other side in the table.
- They scored more and conceded less away goals than any other side.
- Real Salt Lake were the lowest away scorers with just 15 goals in their 17 away league games.
- The worst away defence belonged to Houston Dynamo who conceded 40 goals on their travels. They won two away games but lost the other 15.
- Houston Dynamo are the Jekyll and Hyde team - 34 points at home, six on the road.
- 26 out of 34 San Jose Earthquakes games had over 2.5 goals scored in them including 14 out of 17 away from home.
- The highest figure for under 2.5 goals scored was 19 recorded by Minnesota United, 11 at home.
- The top goal scorer was Carlos Vela of Los Angeles FC with 34 goals.
- Not since 2011 have the winners of the Western Conference regular season gone on to win the MLS Cup. LA Galaxy were the team to achieve that feat, before that you have to go back to San Jose Earthquakes in 2005.
- The last eight seasons have seen the winner of the regular season fail to win the conference final.
- Seattle Sounders won the Conference final last season beating Los Angeles FC despite finishing second and 16 points behind them in the regular season. It was the third time in the past four years they have won the Westen Conference play-off final.
- New York City won the regular season title last year finishing six points clear of Atlanta United.
- The top two teams had the most wins - 18.
- However, New York City only lost six league games in the regular season.
- New York City scored the most goals with 63 in 34 games, five more than Atlanta United and Philadelphia Union.
- FC Cincinatti finished bottom on 24 points, 13 adrift at the bottom.
- Cincinatti were also the lowest scorers with 31 goals and with 75 conceded had the worst defensive record.
- The most games drawn was 12, recorded by both New England Revolution and Chicago Fire.
- Atlanta United had the best home record with 12 wins, three draws and just two defeats.
- It was Chicago Fire who were the top home league scorers with 37 goals, one more than Atlanta United and Philadelphia Union.
- They also had the most home draws with seven stalemates.
- FC Cincinatti had the worst home record with only three wins and 11 losses.
- New York City had the most away league wins, they won seven of their 17 games.
- With 29 goals, New York City were the top away scorers, two ahead of New England Revolution.
- New England Revolution's 17 away game saw 65 goals scored. They conceded 38 on their travels, joint worst with Montreal Impact.
- FC Cincinatti were the lowest away scorers with 16 goals.
- However, it was Chicago Fire who earned the least number of points away from home with only two wins, ten defeats and 11 points.
- That wasn't the most away losses though, that unwanted record was shared by Montreal Impact and FC Cincinatti with 11 losses.
- New England Revoluton had the highest number of away draws with eight in total.
- 25 out of 34 Montreal Impact games had over 2.5 goals scored in them.
- 20 out of 34 D.C.United matches had under 2.5 goals scored.
- The Eastern Conference regular season title has been won by teams from New York in four of the last five seasons. The Red Bulls won it in 2015, 2016 and 2018 but finished sixth last season.
How to predict MLS Regular Season fixtures
Now that you are aware of all of the most important statistics surrounding the MLS, let's take a look at some other important factors that will impact your predictions on this US football league. As is the case in any football competition, the form of a team’s key players will always have an impact on the result a team can achieve. For the MLS in particular, as it is such a young league, the presence of experienced players can affect how a team performs. The presence of players who have transferred from Europe’s top leagues, such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic at LA Galaxy, Wayne Rooney at DC United, and now Nani at Orlando City, can give their teams extra experience on the field, and can often be the difference between two sides.
It is also important to remember that the MLS regular season runs over course of 6 months, in which teams must travel around the country to play games week-in and week-out. As a result, it is important to be aware of the possibility that a team could have accumulated fatigue when placing your bets, especially in the final months of the season.
Finally, you must also consider the stake of a match before placing your bets. If a team has already secured a Playoff spot in their conference, they may not have the same motivation to win each game that comes their way as a team that is still not certain to qualify for the final knockout stages. Teams at the top of the conference may choose to retain their energy before the Playoffs if their qualification position seems to be certain - an important factor to keep in mind.
American MLS 2020: our free betting tips
So finally, and what we’re sure you’ve been waiting for, to our experts predictions on the teams to watch in this 2020 MLS. Those opening two games of the season saw Sporting Kansas City, Minnesota United and Colorado Rapids winning both their Western Conference matches. In the Eastern Conference, only Atlanta United had a 100% record.