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A basic guide to Major League Soccer betting
In a country where various sports play a big role in people’s everyday lives, it’s great to see how far soccer has come in America. Major League Soccer (MLS) attracts thousands of fans to packed stadiums. It’s definitely worth checking out, especially for punters.
MLS has a plethora of great players who add to the flare of the beautiful game in the United States. You can expect sleek tackles, impressive goals and argile saves, just like in any other professional soccer league around the world. The league also has talented managers and passionate fans who cheer on their favourite teams.
Do you want to be part of the action? A great way to do this is by placing bets on the league’s games. Check out this betting guide on the MLS to get started.
What is Major League Soccer?
The American professional soccer league with the highest level of play in North America is called Major League Soccer. This is one of the most highly respected leagues in the world next to England’s English Premier League (EPL) and Germany’s Bundesliga.
The league was created together with a successful US bid to host the 1994 World Cup and its first season was in 1996. This is to take advantage of the anticipated spike in soccer popularity that would come with staging such a high-profile sports event.
How does MLS playoffs work?
Unlike European soccer leagues where there are no conferences, the MLS is divided into two aptly named the Western and Eastern conferences. For each team, they need to play 34 regular season MLS games where half will be dedicated at home (their own arenas and cities) and away (outside their arenas and cities) for 17 games respectively.
The teams will also face their conference rivals two times while playing eight non-conference teams for the entirety of the season. This way, the games will be conducted fairly and the points system and seeding will be structured and dispersed evenly.
Also, the league must consider flight travel and schedules since some states and cities are so far away from each other that might take a toll on the players and staff.
Major League Soccer also has a dedicated season on top of a more rigorous scheduled postseason where the best teams vye for the top spot of a conference.
Essentially, the MLS postseason is seeded and single-elimination knockout competition ensues where respective teams in their brackets match up to get a chance to go to the next round.
The top seven teams in each of the conferences will secure a berth in the postseason while the bottom teams get eliminated.
How many games in MLS?
During the MLS regular season, each of the 28 MLS teams will play 34 games: 17 at home and 17 on the road (or away games), with each conference opponent being faced twice and eight non-conference rivals being faced once.
The MLS number of games have always been this way, so when you bet on MLS games, make sure to consider the length of the season to ensure that your bets are the MLS Cup favourites.
How good is Major League Soccer?
Before trying live MLS betting, find out if the league is worth studying, watching and betting on. Since 2002, MLS has seen a rise in the number of soccer-only stadiums, improved national television contracts, and the introduction of the Designated Player Rule, which permitted MLS clubs to acquire players from other leagues.
As one of the world's most recognised soccer players who is comparable to the MLS top scorers, David Beckham's move to LA Galaxy in 2007 helped bring attention to the MLS.
In addition to greater TV deals, top-tier player talent, and new soccer-only venues, the league has also grown financially over time. Additional teams from both America and Canada introduced new fans to other cities. This adds a lot of markets when betting on MLS.
It is important for the sport's expansion that the MLS effectively engages a new generation of fans. This is through improved merchandises, television contracts, stadiums, and more. For instance, Kick TV, the MLS YouTube channel (which was sold to COPA90 later) was one of the many methods the league was able to attract a new generation of fans.
NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL are the four most popular sports in the United States, with NFL supporters placing the most value on their team's performance. A lot of MLS betting guides say the same where team performance is the most crucial aspect in picking the best team.
However, there is a case to be made that MLS is currently the country's number five. For the 2021 regular season, ESPN and ABC's ratings for Major League Soccer were up at 18% over the past few years.
During the MLS Cup in 2021, 1.6 million people were watching the game between New York City FC and Portland Timbers. The Stanley Cup Final, which drew 3.51 million viewers, is the fourth most-watched sporting event on American television. This paves the way for a lot of great things in the Major League Soccer betting scene as well.
When it comes to popularity in North America, MLS has the potential to break into the top four because of its growing popularity in the United States which has a lot of promise for punters who know how to bet on MLS.
Best players in the MLS to bet on
American soccer holds its own when it comes to fame and quality of games and players. The question now is, who are the league's best players? Here are a few players that might become MVPs in the future:
Inevitably, the MLS 2022 Best Players list will include the 2021 Golden Boot winner. New York City won the MLS Cup last season with the help of Valentin Castellanos.
Last year, 'Taty' scored 19 goals with 8 assists. Even though Ola Kamara of DC United scored the same amount of goals, Castellanos won the Golden Boot because he had more assists than the DC United striker.
Due to a serious MCL injury, Carlos Vela will miss most of the season. Nevertheless, after a hat-trick on the first weekend of the 2022 season, everyone was reminded of his unquestionable skill. Vela, on the other hand, didn't need to remind anybody of his abilities. Fans of MLS are well-versed in his abilities.
The 33-year-old has scored 70 goals and assisted on 30 others in 103 games for LAFC. In the 2019 season, he scored 34 goals in 31 games, becoming the most prolific MLS Golden Boot winner ever.
Carles Gil will be one of the finest Major League Soccer players in 2022, it is only appropriate. Why? Because he's the MLS's reigning MVP.
Gil had a record-breaking 18 assists as the New England Revolution won the 2021 Supporters' Shield. The New York Revolution's inventiveness and flair enabled the team earn 73 points, which put them 19 points ahead of the Eastern Conference leaders.
Hany Mukhtar had the most goal assists in MLS’ last season. Despite Nashville's third-place finish in the Eastern Conference, Germany's magician racked up 16 goals and 12 assists. In MLS, hat-tricks are reserved for the best players. The quickest hat-trick in League history belongs to Mukhtar and it was such a spectacle to see.
The hardcore fans in Seattle were concerned when Raul Ruidiaz and the Sounders couldn't agree on a new deal before the start of the current season. But he had reason to relax after agreeing to a new contract in February.
The Seattle Mariners fans were understandably concerned about Ruidiaz's future. That's because his goals have contributed to five straight second-place finishes in the Western Conference as well as MLS Cup success for the Sounders in 2019.
Without being an exceptional player, you don't earn back-to-back MLS Defender of the Year honours. It was in 2021 when Walker Zimmerman became the third player in history to accomplish this accomplishment. Zimmerman won the Supporters' Shield with LAFC in 2019. With his ability to break the MLS MVP record for defenders, he is one of the top MVP candidates for the year 2022.
You may have forgotten that Alejandro Pozuelo was named the 2020 Major League Soccer MVP, but even today, he is still one of the most renowned soccer players in the United States. The Spaniard faded into obscurity after being absent for much of the previous season due to injuries.
Pozuelo scored 12 goals and provided seven assists in his first season with Toronto FC. He won the MVP award the following year after scoring nine goals and dishing out 10 assists.
Tips when betting on the MLS
Learning about the MLS is one thing, but it’s entirely different when it comes to its own betting scene. If you wish to know more about the most effective MLS betting tips, below are a few that you should add to your wishlist of knowledge to place wagers better:
Know the odds
The odds are among the most important part when it comes to betting on any sport. This is because these show you exactly how much you need to wager and how much you’ll win. Depending on your preference, there are different odds to choose from. The three main types of odds are the American, fractional, and decimal odds.
Bet on the best players
Obviously, the best players on any team will have the best chances of winning. Just like other sports, the MLS is dominated by great players who can wreak havoc when they play.
Learn the league inside and out
Learning the league is also a great way of getting better at becoming a punter. For the MLS, you need to know the format and structure of the league to better help you understand how the games are played and where the best players reside in a particular team.
Where can I bet on MLS?
If you want to start betting on the best MLS games and learn the MLS betting odds, then you should consider Sportsbet as your go-to site. This is where you can find the best sports betting features like crypto betting, MLS betting predictions, and a ton of side casino games to try out if you want a change of scenery.
Check out a few frequently asked questions to help you learn more about the MLS:
Who is the best MLS player?
As the reigning league MVP, Carles Gil is regarded as the best player in the league until proven otherwise.
Is it worth betting on the MLS?
Yes. While there’s no disputing that the EPL is probably the top soccer league in the world, the MLS is worth your time and money to start betting on.
Is MLS as popular as other European soccer leagues?
The MLS is not the most famous soccer league. Regardless, compared to other leagues, the United States’ version of the Premier League still reaches the quality of what makes soccer great.
Start betting on MLS here at Sportsbet
If you want to start betting on the best MLS games, clubs, and players, then you should visit Sportsbet to find the most thrilling betting experience you can find. Wager on the best underdogs with the highest odds to win the highest payouts when visiting the site.
Words: Vonn Consul
The information provided by the blog above on Sportsbet.io is for general information purposes only. All information on the site is provided in good faith, however we make no representation, warranty, or guarantee of any kind, express or implied, regarding the accuracy, adequacy, validity, reliability, or completeness of any information or betting tips on the site.