MLS Betting Odds
MLS is the preeminent soccer league in North America, but that doesn’t mean that it always has the most efficient betting market.
In the United States, MLS is way behind in the pecking order of professional leagues, as the NFL and NBA reign supreme in terms of popularity. That popularity translates to more dollars wagered on those sports, which leads to a more efficient market.
MLS has also been challenged by international soccer leagues, most notably the English Premier League, for viewership. On a worldwide scale, the top soccer leagues like the EPL and Spanish La Liga will have a more efficient market as they are the most popular to bet on.
However, that also presents Americans with an excellent opportunity to bet on MLS, as those that follow the league closely will be able to find edges in the market.
An odds comparison tool will also help MLS bettors unearth even more value, as you’ll be able to compare the odds at every sportsbook to make sure you get the best price on the teams you want to bet on.
This tool is handy when the odds shift throughout a given gameweek. For example, if a key player is missing training in the run-up to a match, the odds for that team to win will likely shift.
But if the manager says he’s going to play in his pre-match press conference, or you see him in the Starting XI an hour before kickoff, you can go back to the odds comparison tool and find out which books haven’t adjusted the odds to where you think they should be.
MLS Odds Explained
MLS odds may look different to even more experienced bettors, and that’s because the possibility of a tie is involved.
To make things easier to understand, let’s use the Caesars Sportsbook odds for the 2022 MLS season opener as an example:
- Three-way Moneyline: Philadelphia Union (-123), Draw (+255), Minnesota United (+360)
- Handicap Betting: Philadelphia Union -0.5 (-135), Minnesota United +0.5 (+105)
- Total Goals: 2.5 Goals — Over (-115)/Under (-115)
If you are new to soccer betting and haven’t seen odds formatted like this, it’s easy to get intimidated. However, if you’ve got any experience betting on the NHL, some of this will look familiar.
The three-way moneyline is similar to an NHL 60-minute alternate line, which takes the possibility of a tie into account. For example, if you place a draw bet in hockey, you’re betting on the game to go to overtime. Since soccer games can end in a tie, this three-outcome moneyline is the standard for MLS and soccer betting.
The plus and minus odds attached to each bet are the same as they are in other sports. If a team is at plus-money, you’ll win that much money if you bet $100 on it and your wager is successful. On the other side, betting favorites are at minus-money, representing the amount you’ll have to bet to profit $100.
So in this example, if you bet $100 on Minnesota United, you’d stand to profit $360 if they won. If you bet the draw, you’d stand to profit $280 if the two teams tied. And you’d need to bet $123 on the Philadelphia Union to make a $100 profit. If you win, you’d also receive your initial bet in addition to the profits.
Handicap betting in soccer is like NFL spread betting in the NFL, but you have to remember that the draw is still a factor. So, in the example above, Philadelphia is a -135 favorite to win by at least one goal, while Minnesota has +105 odds to win or tie.
When betting on soccer, a third popular option is the total, which is how many goals will be scored during the game. This line is typically set at 2.5 or 3.5 goals for each game, depending on how high-scoring the match is expected to be.
Finding the Best MLS Betting Lines
When looking for the best MLS odds, there are a few things you need to take into account.
What to Look for in MLS Three-Way Moneyline Odds
The moneyline bet is most simply betting on the result of the match. It is the easiest MLS bet to make, although the possibility of a draw does make things more interesting.
MLS teams are rarely evenly matched, especially when you consider factors beyond the team on paper. Injuries, home-field advantage, current form, and other factors play a role in determining the favorite. As we saw in the example above, Philadelphia was the favorite at minus money odds (-123).
One thing to note, which was especially critical in that example, was that their odds to win on the three-way moneyline were better than their odds on the handicap line -0.5 (-135), despite both bets requiring the Union to win by at least one goal. When betting the favorite, you’ll often see these types of inconsistencies.
When two teams are more closely matched, you’ll also see instances where the favorite, the underdog, and the draw are all at plus-money odds. These are great games to take advantage of because if you have a lean toward any of the three outcomes, you’ll get more bang for your buck.
What to Look for in MLS Handicap Betting
MLS handicap betting is like spread betting in most popular American sports.
A spread bet pertains to the margin of victory by a team and is signified by a plus (+) or minus (-) symbol. If a team is favored, like Philadelphia above, it is denoted by a minus symbol (-0.5). If they are an underdog, it is indicated by a plus symbol (+0.5).
Unlike football and basketball, where spreads vary wildly based on the matchup, MLS spreads are typically only a goal or two apart since soccer is a much lower-scoring sport.
Handicap betting for MLS games is much more useful when looking to bet on the underdog to cover the spread. As we saw in our example, you could still get Minnesota to cover +0.5 (essentially to win or draw) at plus-money.
You do have to be careful with favorites; however, as we saw above that they can be offered at worse prices than the three-way moneyline. So always check all the options and search for the best number.
What to Look for in MLS Totals
MLS totals bets are as simple as they come. You are wagering on the total combined goals that both teams score during a given match. So it’s a bet on whether the game will be high-scoring or low-scoring, rather than which team will win.
There are only two possible choices with MLS total bets: over or under. If you are betting the over, you need more goals than the number posted to be scored during the game to cash your bet. The opposite is true if you’re betting the under.
If we go back to our above example, say Philadelphia beats Minnesota 2-1. If you bet over 2.5 total goals, your bet would be a winner!
The MLS Odds Comparison Tool is useful because some sportsbooks may offer differing totals. For example, some may be more willing to set the total at 3, rather than 2.5, which increases the chances of your bet becoming a push (tie).
If the final score for Philadelphia/Minnesota is 2-1 and three goals are scored, your bet on the over would be refunded as a push. However, you’d be swimming in profits if you used the odds comparison tool and took the over at 2.5 goals.
What Other MLS Lines are Available?
The best part about betting on MLS is that you can make hundreds of different wagers on each match. Even though moneyline and total wagers are the most popular, sportsbooks offer a full menu of options to give bettors the chance to show off their knowledge of specific markets.
One of the most popular alternative MLS betting markets is goalscoring player props. You can wager on specific players to score a goal anytime during the match or even be the first or last goalscorer of the contest. If you’re feeling frisky, you can also single out a player you think will score 2+ goals or notch a hat trick in a given game.
Another popular bet are team props, which feature game-related outcomes like “Both Teams to Score.” One of my personal favorites is “Draw No Bet,” which is similar to a more traditional moneyline with just the two teams, and if the game ends in a draw, your wager is refunded.
Lastly, you can also get involved in live betting, which is very popular amongst bettors. Say in the example above, Minnesota scores a goal in the fifth minute to take a 1-0 lead. The odds will quickly change to reflect the scoreline, and Philadelphia will likely be installed at plus-money to come back to win. As the better team and original favorite, it’s a good opportunity to get improved odds on that pick.
Finding the Best MLS Lines at U.S. Online Sportsbooks
When finding the best sports betting odds, you are essentially comparison shopping like you would for any other product you purchase in everyday life. For example, why pay $12.99 for a six-pack of beer at your local bodega when you buy it for $9.99 straight from the distributor?
As a bettor, the process is the same. You want to line shop all of the wagers you are interested in placing to find the best odds. If you’re going to bet an MLS over and the listed totals are 3 and 2.5, you’re going to want to go to the sportsbook offering it at 2.5 because it gives you a better chance of profiting.
The same comes for comparing odds that are associated with the same bet. Why pay a sportsbook the extra juice at -110 on a total at 2.5 when you can get the same bet at +100 odds elsewhere?
Best Sportsbooks with MLS Odds
How to Use the MLS Odds Comparison Tool
With the MLS Odds Comparison Tool, it’s easy to lock in the best odds on MLS games all season long as we do the line shopping for you.
Each game is listed every week, so you can sort between the spread, total, and moneyline bets on the matches you choose and find the current odds at each of the top sportsbooks.
When you’re ready to place a bet, click on that bet and you’ll be automatically redirected to the sportsbook you want to place it at. If you already have an account, just log in and place your MLS wager.
If you don’t already have an account at the sportsbook with the best odds, our odds comparison tool will take you straight to the website, so you sign up and get the best price.
How to Sign Up for an Online Sportsbook
Registering for a sportsbook from our odds comparison tool is as easy as 1-2-3. Just follow these simple steps.
- Step 1 — Click the icon: Find the sportsbook you want to join and click the logo on the odds comparison page. You will automatically be redirected to that sportsbook’s registration page, which will also show you the best current sign-up offer for new bettors.
- Step 2 — Sign Up for the App: The registration page you open should have a button in the middle to sign up or register with the current promotional offer. If not, there is typically a register button in the top-right corner of the page. Click that button, enter your personal information, use the promo code (if there is one), and wait to be approved.
- Step 3 — Deposit: After creating your account, the next step to placing your bet will be depositing money into your account. There are numerous options available, including credit card, debit card, online banking, etc.
Besides having the ability to line shop, having multiple sportsbooks is beneficial because you can take advantage of lucrative sign-up offers.
Some sportsbooks offer 100% deposit matches when you sign up and make an initial deposit. Others extend “risk-free” bets for your first wager, where the sportsbook will refund you in free bets or site credit if your wager is unsuccessful.