Updated: 9 April 2021


Updated: 9 April 2021

Football betting in North America centres around Major League Soccer (MLS), which launched in 1996. The 2017 Champions, Toronto FC, won their first Supports Shield and MLS Cup titles last season, but they've got a long way to go before rivalling the likes of the mighty LA Galaxy.

With more and more gamblers across the world betting on the MLS, getting a winning edge comes down to understanding MLS odds, finding the best MLS betting odds and punting on the top MLS betting markets.

Understanding MLS Odds

As is often the American way, the MLS features a dynamic structure and a futuristic approach to league structure and prizes. So, if you're not familiar with the way it works, it will pay to do your homework before taking the odds.

Bettors need to be aware that the league contains an Eastern and Western Conference; for 2018/19, this features 11 sides in the East division, and 12 teams in the West division. However, it's expected to expand to 28 teams to meet the goal of becoming one of the top leagues in the world by 2022.

Each team plays 34 games (17 home and 17 away), meaning they'll play every MLS side at least once during the regular season. However, this is where the betting can get interesting because in addition to playing each side in their division at home and away, MLS sides must also play the sides in the other division – but only once.

This means half the games will be at home and half away. Currently, there's also the added intrigue of additional intra-conference games selected at random: two for Eastern sides and one for Western teams. The leading team from both divisions combined wins the Supporters Shield, a key MLS betting market.

However, the MLS action really hots-up between November and December, when the top six sides from each division enter the MLS Cup Playoffs for the chance to reach the final of the MLS Cup. This means Major League Soccer bettors need to consider which teams look good for the standard league, but also which sides are best equipped for a strong campaign during the post-season play-off games.

Additionally, because the US is a huge country, there's a lot of travel involved, adding to home and away biases. This creates the scope to look for trends in team and player performances and take advantage by finding value odds and winning betting angles.

Finding the Best MLS Betting Odds

The growth of Major League Soccer betting is reflected by the large number of bookmakers offering an excellent range of odds and markets for MLS games and competitions. You'll find plenty of value by seeking out the different range of odds that can be available between sportsbooks, making a resource like bookmakers.co.uk a smart way to find the best MLS betting odds.

Due to the focus on British and European football leagues by bookies, there's also lots of potential for punters to dig into the stats and find value bets during the MLS season, with the intrigue of the league's format adding to the scope for astute betting.

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Top MLS Betting Markets to Consider

Overall, betting on MLS offers an interesting challenge for football bettors, with the complexities, travel and interesting league structure creating a dynamic betting environment. This includes betting on the top three betting markets:

  1. MLS Supporters Shield - Backing the winner of the Supporters Shield is one of the most popular betting markets among MLS bettors, with the challenge of selecting which team will come out on top overall across the Conferences.
  2. MLS Cup Winner - While the Supporters Shield is about maintaining strong form throughout the season, the glory of the MSL Cup is what many sides want – and it's potentially easier to back the winner, compared to the Shield.
  3. East and West MLS Conference winners - Betting on the winners and top ranked sides from MLS' East and West Conferences is a popular betting market, with the potential to double-up by putting the winner of each division on your betting slip.

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