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MLS Betting Guide - How to Bet on MLS Matches

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Major League Soccer (MLS) has really started to come to its own in the past decade as football as a whole grows its following in the United States. The league is covered by most sports betting platforms and just like betting on any other football league, employing certain strategies and following certain betting tips when making your selections goes a long way. In this guide, we delve into the world of MLS betting and explore strategies that will help you make the most of your wagers.

What is the MLS and How Does it Work?

The MLS is the top professional football (soccer) league in the United States and Canada. There are 27 teams, and it operates on a unique structure with a regular season leading to the MLS Cup Playoffs. Teams earn points throughout the regular season, and the top teams from each conference qualify for the playoffs. The champions of the Eastern and Western Conferences face off in the MLS Cup Final, determining the league champion. The format for those of us familiar with it closely resembles that of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in the United States.

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Types of Bets You Can Place on MLS Games?

  • Moneyline Bets: Bet on the outright winner of the match.
  • Over/Under (O/U) Bets: Wager on the total number of goals scored in a match. Bookmakers set a benchmark, and you predict whether the actual total will be over or under that figure. There are also alternative lines that allow you to practically place an O/U bet on any goal total.
  • Spread Bets: Also known as handicap bets, these level the playing field by giving an advantage or disadvantage to teams. In this type of bet there is a favorite (+ handicap) and an underdog (- handicap).
  • Prop Bets: This is not a specific type of bet but a category of bets that can be placed. Pro they usually focus on specific events or individual player performances within a match. This could include goalscorer predictions, the number of yellow cards, or even the team with the first corner.
  • Futures Bets: Place bets on outcomes that will be determined in the future, such as betting on who the MLS Cup winner will be at the start of the season before it is known who will win.
  • Double Chance Bets: Cover two possible outcomes with a single bet, increasing your chances of winning. Options :
    • Home Win or Draw
    • Away Win or Draw
    • Home Win or Away Win
  • Correct Score Bets: Predict the exact final score of the match. This is one of the most challenging types of bets to place.
  • Draw No Bet: Eliminate the possibility of a draw and receive your stake back if the match ends in a tie. You either choose the home or away team to win in this bet, and if the game draws you get your money back (no bet) but if the other team wins you lose.
  • How to Read MLS Odds?

    Before you start betting on MLS games you have to understand the odds being offered by the bookies, and they come in different formats: American odds, decimal odds, and fractional odds.

    • American Odds: Represented by a positive or negative number, these odds indicate potential profit or the amount needed to wager to win $100. Positive odds show potential profit on a wager of $100, while negative odds indicate the required wager to win $100.
    • Decimal Odds: Common in many parts of the world, especially Europe, decimal odds represent the total payout, including the initial stake. The odds reflect the amount you'll receive for every unit wagered. For example, 2.50 odds mean a $1 bet yields $2.50. To get the payout amount just multiply your wager by the decimal odds.
    • Fractional Odds: Displayed as a fraction (e.g., 5/1), these odds represent the potential profit relative to the stake. The first number is the profit, and the second number is the stake. For example, 5/1 means a $1 bet would result in $5 profit.

    Tips for Betting on the MLS

    Betting on MLS matches requires a strategic approach, and here are some essential tips to enhance your chances of success:

  • Find the Best MLS Odds: Shop around different sportsbooks to ensure you get the best possible odds for your bets. Small differences in odds can have a significant impact on your overall profitability. Using a tool like odds comparison tables for football can make this easy for you.
  • Look at Stats and Data: Dive deep into statistical analysis to make informed decisions. Consider team performance metrics, such as goals scored and conceded, possession percentages, and recent form. Betting stats provide valuable insights into a team's strengths and weaknesses, helping you make more accurate predictions. Teams come into games with different streaks and betting trends that you can ride on your bets.
  • Research Each Team: Context matters. Assess each team's current circumstances, including factors like recent match outcomes, fatigue levels, and travel schedules. Teams facing tight schedules or coming off intense matches may experience performance variations. Understanding the broader context enhances your ability to predict outcomes accurately. Some teams may be riddled with injuries for example, and the team you are expecting to play may not be the team that MLS team fields. The absence of a star player or key defender can significantly shift the dynamics of a match.
  • Look at in Form Players: The impact of key players cannot be overstated. Analyze individual player form, considering recent goals, assists, and overall contribution to the team.
  • Follow Expert Advice: There are plenty of football match preview articles that you can read before placing a bet on any MLS match. These articles delve into games and cover every important detail that you should be aware of before you place your bets on your sportsbook. Many individuals with years of experience in sports betting also offer their free football picks that you can follow and get a feel for what the experts are thinking for a given MLS game.
  • Where to Bet on MLS Games?

  • Choose a Sportsbook: Selecting the right sportsbook is crucial. Look for reputable platforms with a history of fair play, reliable payouts, and a user-friendly interface. Consider factors such as competitive odds, variety of betting options, and customer reviews to make an informed decision.
  • Sign Up & Make Sure to Get Your Welcome Bonus: Once you've chosen a sportsbook, sign up for an account. Take advantage of welcome bonuses offered by many platforms to boost your initial bankroll and possibly even give yourself a better chance of winning. Whether it's a matched deposit or free bets, these bonuses give you a valuable head start in your MLS betting journey.
  • Make a Deposit: Sportsbooks offer various deposit methods, including credit/debit cards, e-wallets, and bank transfers. Choose a method that suits your preferences and complete the transaction securely. Keep in mind that some sportsbooks take time to process deposits and that your deposit may not be immediately reflected on your account.
  • Go to the MLS Section: Most platforms organize events by league, making it easy to find upcoming MLS matches.
  • Place a Bet and See What the Results Are: Select your preferred market, enter the stake, and confirm the wager. Once the match concludes, check the results on the sportsbook platform.