MLS Picks & Predictions

Our Major League Soccer betting guide will prepare you to bet on the league that's growing at a rapid pace. We’ll take a look at the MLS Championship odds, reveal our futures tips and provide some effective pointers to help develop your betting strategy.

MLS 2024 Season Picks and Betting Tips

MLS Picks and Predictions

The MLS is the largest soccer league in the USA, with the regular season running from February to October and the postseason culminating in December.

The 2024 MLS season features 29 teams, 26 from the US and three from Canada, who compete in Eastern and Western conferences during the regular season. 18 teams will progress from to the MLS Cup Playoffs, with the final two eventually contesting the MLS Cup championship game on December 7th 2024.

The teams ranked seventh and eighth in each conference progress to a wildcard round to determine which will join the top seven teams in the first round of the playoffs.

Round one is a best of three series but all subsequent rounds are single-game knockouts until, eventually, the two conference champions meet in the MLS Cup final, to determine the overall winners.

The conference and postseason format is far closer to other major US sports, such as football and basketball, than other global leagues which crown a champion based on the league standings alone and have separate knockout cup competitions.

MLS sides are subject to a salary cap in order to promote financial health but are allowed a finite number of exemptions due to the Designation Player Rule, which allows each side to recruit a limited number of players on a higher salary. This rule has become notorious in recent seasons for allowing MLS clubs to recruit some of the biggest players on the planet.

The 2024 MLS season will feature a range of global stars, including eight-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Victor Wanyama, Christian Benteke, Lorenzo Insigne, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets, Riqui Puig, Xherdan Shaquiri, Thiago Almada, Douglas Costa and more.

The defending champions, Columbus Crew, are rated by sportsbooks as the third most likely team to win the MLS Cup and retain their crown, behind overwhelming favorites Inter Miami as well as Los Angeles FC.

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2024 MLS Cup Odds: Who will win the MLS Cup?

MLS Cup Winner prediction

After Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini's Los Angeles FC were crowned champions in 2022, it was the Columbus Crew who took the MLS 2023 title, beating LAFC in the final. Once again this season, LAFC should be in contention for the title, but they face stiff competition. Between the reigning champions and, above all, Inter Miami and their stars, there are some powerful contenders for the title.

Who will win this year's MLS title? Although it may be more reasonable to wait until the Playoffs begin to have a more precise opinion, we can advise you to try the Los Angeles FC/Inter Miami double chance. Both odds are good, especially for LAFC, and these are the two teams with the best chance of going all the way. 

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2024 MLS Cup: Odds on the Favorites to take the cup

Sports betting sites are offering attractive odds on the future winner of the MLS 2024 edition, the soccer championship in the United States. If you've already made your choice, don't hesitate to take advantage now:

  • Inter Miami CF +175
  • Los Angeles FC +650
  • FC Cincinnati +750
  • LA Galaxy +1000
  • Columbus +1200
  • Real Salt Lake +1400
  • New York City FC +2100
  • New York Red Bulls +2100
  • Vancouver Whitecaps +2600
  • Colorado +3400
  • Austin FC +3400
  • Charlotte FC +4400
  • Minnesota Utd +5000
  • Seattle Sounders +5000
  • Philadelphia Union +6500
  • Houston Dynamo +6500
  • Toronto FC +8500
  • St Louis City SC +8500
  • Atlanta Utd FC +8500
  • Portland Timbers +8500
  • Nashville SC +10000
  • CF Montreal +10000
  • Orlando City +12000
  • New England +12000
  • DC United +12000
  • FC Dallas +20000
  • Kansas City +20000
  • Chicago Fire +43000
  • San Jose Earthquakes +43000

odds from fanduel.com

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Golden Boot Tips for the 2024 MLS Season

Messi MLS Golden Boot

Sports betting sites also allow you to bet on the MLS top scorer. If the odds aren't available yet, we'd like to offer you a selection of players to watch out for this season in the United States. There's plenty to choose from, with some excellent young players and former stars still effective in front of goal.

Our preference is for Lionel Messi, who made an impact very quickly when he arrived in the second half of the season. In his first full year with Inter Miami, the Argentinian international could once again hurt MLS defenses and end the season with another personal accolade.

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2024 MLS Golden Boot Odds

  • Cristian Arango +175
  • Lionel Messi +430
  • Christian Benteke +430
  • Luis Suarez +700
  • Denis Bouanga +750
  • Dejan Joveljic +4200
  • Cucho Hernandez +4400
  • Daniel Gazdag +5000
  • Georgios Giakoumakis +5000
  • Anderson Julio +6500

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Getting started in sports betting: How does betting on the Major League Soccer work?

How does betting on the MLS work?

As with most American competitions, and in particular the highly reputed NBA, Major League Soccer is played first in the form of a regular season (two conferences), before a playoff at the end of the tournament. The distribution of teams is slightly different between the two conferences, with 15 teams in the Eastern Conference and 14 in the Western Conference.

The Major League Soccer finals are held as follows: the top 7 teams in each conference qualify for the 1st round of the Playoffs. The 8th and 9th-placed teams play a playoff match to reach this stage.

In the 1st round, teams play each other over two legs. In the event of a draw, there is no extra time, but a penalty shoot-out is held to decide the winner. From the conference semi-finals onwards, duels are played over a single match, with the higher-ranked team hosting. In the event of a tie at the end of regulation time, extra time is played, followed by a penalty shoot-out if the teams have still not managed to separate at the end of extra time. At the end of the competition, the final between the Eastern and Western Conference champions is held, to crown the US champion team.

At the end of the regular phase, here are the places that matter:

  • The top 7 in each conference qualify for the 1st round of the finals.
  • The 8th and 9th in each conference play off for a place in the 1st round of the Playoffs.
  • No relegation system, so no downgrading to a lower league (closed league)

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MLS Betting Strategies

MLS Picks - Betting Tips

We’ve given you our MLS season tips for the futures markets and now we’re going to provide you with some key strategies that you can use to make your own picks on each game round. Here is a short list of our top tips for a winning MLS betting strategy:

  • Check MLS Injury News
  • Compare MLS Teams Form
  • Use a Points System to Help Your Staking
  • Take Advantage of Bonus Promotions
  • Compare MLS Odds
  • Do the Research

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Tip 1: Check MLS Injury News

Injuries to key players can hugely influence the chance of a team winning a game. This is especially true in the MLS, where each team has a collection of marquee designated players, such as Messi, who are vital to their hopes of winning. If you can find out and react to key injury news before a sportsbook adjusts their odds, you can beat line changes and land some big prices.

Follow key social media accounts and keep track of media outlets who are reliable for this information. As soon as you become aware that a key player isn’t available, check to see if the odds have already moved, if not then you have an opportunity.

Tip 2: Compare MLS Teams Form

MLS Predictions - FC Cincinnati

The first point of consideration before placing any soccer wager is to consider the respective form of the teams. Are the favorites on a long winning streak and look unbeatable? Are the underdogs beginning to hit form and could be a value bet to upset the odds?

As well as general form, you can also consider factors such as the respective home or away form of teams and also even their head to head record against each other. All of this information will help to inform your betting.

Tip 3: Use a Points System to Help Your Staking

You might be keen on two separate bets but have much more faith in one than another. Getting used to using a points system to determine your stake on these different scenarios will help you effectively manage your bankroll. A points system lets you rank your bets and work out how much to stake on them accordingly. The more points you allocate to a bet, the larger your stake should be. Generally picks with shorter odds are more likely to win and, therefore, may result in more points being allocated.

You should also record your bets and your points system to help you to self-analyze your record and look for areas of improvement. Don't forget that when you make soccer predictions.

Tip 4: Take Advantage of Bonus Promotions

Most sportsbooks offer free promotions when you join and at various intervals afterwards. These can take many forms including free bets and rebates. Taking advantage of these betting promotions will help you to maximize your profit. There are a couple of different approaches you can take to free bets. The first is simply to use them as intended, to have a risk free wager. If it loses then the promotion has gone but if it wins, your bankroll is increased.

Alternatively you can guarantee a profit with a practice known as hedging. A short summary of hedge betting is to find a two way market, such as total goals, with two relatively closely priced selections. Bet on one side with your free bet and then, at another sportsbook, bet on the opposite selection with a lower stake. This will create a scenario in which, whichever side wins, you guarantee a smaller profit.

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Tip 5: Compare MLS Odds

Different sportsbooks offer contrasting prices on every MLS game and market you can imagine. As such it pays to shop around and make sure that you are claiming the biggest odds available.

Why take +120 on a selection if +140 is available elsewhere? Simply accepting the first price that you see might be convenient but, in the long term, it will definitely cost your bankroll so opening accounts at multiple sportsbooks and taking the biggest odds on offer is a vital long term discipline.

Tip 6: Do the Research

We’ve already touched on form, which can help you tackle moneyline and spread markets, but soccer has a huge selection of alternative betting options, including prop bets, that require research to be successful. In fact, many of these minor markets may give you a better chance to win if you put the effort into researching statistics and trends that the sportsbooks simply don’t have the time to do.

There are a huge number of statistical resources online for the MLS, make sure you use them to try and get an edge in your betting.

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What Not to Do for MLS Picks

To be successful in sports betting, particularly when betting on the MLS, it's important to continue adapting your strategy to better hone your approach. Adapting to the evolving dynamics of the league is key, but avoiding common betting missteps is equally important for sustained success. Here are several mistakes to steer clear of when placing bets on the 2024 MLS season:

  • Ignoring the jam-packed MLS schedule, which can feature congested fixtures including mid-week games and cross-country or even cross-continent travel with CONCACAF.
  • Placing bets without considering the recent performance and current condition of the teams involved.
  • Failing to shop around for the best odds across multiple sportsbooks, potentially missing out on higher gains.
  • Placing significant bets on a team without factoring in form, injuries/absences and rivalry matchups.
  • Chasing losses by placing bets on teams you're not famililar with.
  • Not considering a teams' form at home or away: some teams play significantlly better in front of the home crowd or on the road. Taking this into account might help you pick that upset.

By avoiding these pitfalls, you're giving yourself a leg-up for sure, but it's important to continually refine your betting strategy. Moving beyond merely backing your favorite team or following what the sportsbook lists as the favorite. Arm yourself with the power of knowledge, compare your betting options and place informed bets!

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MLS Facts and Statistics

Major League Soccer Stats

As we’ve mentioned, improving your MLS knowledge with statistics and facts is a key pathway to betting success.

Here are some stats, facts and figures on the 2023 MLS season which can inform your wagers ahead of the 2024 campaign.

  • Games Played: 493
  • Total Goals Scored: 1,359
  • Average Goals Per Game: 2.76
  • Top Goalscorer: Denis Bouanga (Los Angeles FC)
  • Most Assists: Thiago Almada (Atlanta United)
  • Goalkeeper With Most Clean Sheets: Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders)
  • Longest Unbeaten Streak: 10 Games (FC Cincinnati / Nashville SC)
  • Longest Winless Streak: 11 Games (Inter Miami / New York City FC / Toronto FC)
  • Total Attendance: 10,900,804
  • Highest Attendance: 82,110 (LA Galaxy vs. Los Angeles FC)
  • MLS Cup Winners: Columbus Crew
  • Supporters Shield Winners: FC Cincinnati
  • Season MVP: Luciano Acosta (FC Cincinnati)
  • Coach of the Year: Pat Noonan (FC Cincinnati)

MLS is a pretty spectacular league, improving year on year and generally putting on a great show. In any case, it's part of the American way of life.

It's clearly the land of excess and show, and soccer is now part of that too. More than half of all matches end with a goal from either side, and there are at least 3 goals scored in more than one match out of two.

Offensively, it's typically the home teams that perform best, with an average of 1.69 goals scored by the home team. Now you know the most important statistics for your MLS predictions!

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Conclusion: Getting your MLS picks correct

Major League Soccer Picks: Help

The key to successfully betting on the MLS is building up your knowledge of the league and understanding the markets that you’re investing your money in.

Watch and research as many games as possible as, in addition to statistical research, understanding how teams play and whether results reflect recent performances is vital to making strong picks.

The information on this page will provide you with a solid base to build your betting strategy but you should continue to improve it by watching games, doing as much research as you can, following successful tipsters, keeping a track on your betting record and managing your bankroll efficiently

If you can follow these rules, there is no reason that you can’t become profitable betting on the MLS. Good luck!

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