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Legal MLS Betting Guide

MLS LogoAlthough it has a long way to go before it can compete with soccer leagues across Europe, Major League Soccer in North America has established itself as a premier soccer collective. Despite less availability compared to other major sports betting lines, many sportsbooks accept action on MLS matches, futures, and props throughout the year.

With the help of this MLS betting guide, you can learn the basics of betting on soccer, and how the leagues work in the United States. We will cover the legalities, the best betting options, supplementary soccer information, and much more.

Is it legal to bet on Major League Soccer games?

Yes. Betting on the soccer, including the professional leagues, either domestically or through online sportsbooks, is legal in 48 states in the USA. Excluding Washington and Connecticut, bettors can usually utilize at least one of two sports betting options, depending on their state laws:

For states with and without legal domestic sports betting in place, this guide offers a variety of options for offshore, online sportsbooks that legally accept MLS bets.

Best MLS betting sites 2019

Site NameCurrent BonusU.S.Visit Site
Bovada Sportsbook50% Max $250USA Players Legally AcceptedVisit Site
Review
MyBookie Sportsbook100% Max $1,000USA Players Legally AcceptedVisit Site
Review
Betonline Sportsbook50% Max $1,000USA Players Legally AcceptedVisit Site
Review

Major League Soccer Betting Odds - Who will win the 2019 MLS Cup?

As the MLS playoffs are set to begin in October, odds are available on many sportsbooks.

New to the 2019 season is the current playoff structure, which may affect the betting strategies for some wagerers.

This postseason, 14 teams will qualify for the playoffs, up from 12 in 2018. The top seeds in each conference will automatically receive a first-round bye while the other 12 teams will play single-elimination matches based on seedings.

Last year’s champions, Atlanta United, enter the 2019 playoffs with +1000 odds, only sitting behind Los Angeles FC (+150) and New York City FC (+400) as Cup favorites. A full list of playoff teams and their odds is below for comparison.

Do any of the MLS teams have a shot at winning the U.S. Open Cup in 2020?

Apart from the MLS Cup, teams in this league can also compete for the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The oldest ongoing soccer competition in the United States, the Open Cup features teams from Major League Soccer, United Soccer League, and amateur American clubs.

Since the league began play in 1996, they have dominated the Open Cup championship. Along with being the most recent winners of the MLS Cup, Atlanta United is also the most recent Open Cup winners, proving that the best MLS team has a great shot at both championships.

Types of Soccer Bets

Each sportsbook has its own MLS-specific bets, but the general idea is usually the same. Like most other sports, soccer bets include spreads, money lines, and totals, among others.

The following provides a breakdown of the most popular bets for professional soccer.

  • Point spread - a set margin for which a favored team is expected to win over the underdog.
  • Money line - a bet made on which team will win and the odds that determine the payout amount.
  • Totals (Over/Under) - a number set on the predicted total goals scored by both teams in a match.
  • Prop bets - a bet on anything not directed affecting the outcome of a match, such as the first player to score or the color of the teams’ jerseys.
  • Futures - a bet on the odds made well in advance to earn a greater payout, like placing a wager on which team will win the MLS Cup that season.

What teams are in the MLS?

The MLS was founded in December 1993 and began play in 1996 with ten teams. Since then, the league has undergone a few changes amongst teams since its inception.

Luckily for the league, a majority of the changes have been expansion teams as they continue to grow in popularity. There are currently 24 teams in the MLS with four more joining the league between 2020 and 2022.

MLS Important Dates

The 2019 season began on March 2 and runs until Decision Day on October 6. Playoffs begin October 19 and culminate with the MLS Cup match on November 10.

  • Season start: March 2
  • Season end: October 6
  • Round 1 of the playoffs: October 19-20
  • Conference Semifinals: October 23-24
  • Conference Finals: October 29-30
  • MLS Cup Final: November 10

How to Bet on Major League Soccer

With the growing availability of legal sports gambling in the United States, placing bets on soccer has never been easier. If you are in a state with regulated in-person sports betting, a soccer bet is as easy as telling a casino clerk your request.

Thankfully, online options are not much more complex. With most applications and websites, there is a dedicated “MLS” or “soccer” tab that offers the option to place money on the desired match, future, or proposition bet. With a verified email address and a funded account, betting is just a few clicks away.

Tips for betting on soccer

The biggest tip for betting on soccer is to become familiar with the game. As soccer is not the most popular sport in America, many bettors may not fully understand the game and how bets can be strategized.

Aside from understanding soccer, other tips include managing your bankroll and shopping the odds.

  • Manage bankroll: the key to any successful business is maintaining a healthy stream of cash. With betting, that includes making deposits, winning bets, and limiting losses. A general rule of thumb is to only bet 1-3% of your total bankroll per line. This strategy allows for more bets over time and smaller losses in the long run.
  • Shop odds: There are many sportsbooks available in the United States and online. Because each one is unique with its own oddsmakers, most books will have different odds for the same competitions. For example, Sportsbook A might give +150 odds on the bet you want to make while Sportsbook B has +200. With just a few clicks and some research, you could make extra money without doing anything too differently.

Professional US soccer resources

To keep track of MLS stats, matches, and news, the best options is the official MLS website.

Other helpful sites include the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football, which is the FIFA governing body that the league falls into, and the US Soccer page.

MLS News