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TFC Favored to Win MLS Cup After Victory in Chicago

A 3-1 win at Bridgeview, a stadium where no other team had claimed victory all season, launched Toronto FC four points clear of New York City FC in the race for the Supporters’ Shield and into the top spot on the MLS futures board.

Odds at Bovada have the Reds as +600 favorites to lift their first MLS Cup at the end of the 2017 campaign but NYCFC (+800), Chicago (+800) and FC Dallas (+900) are all hot in pursuit.

TFC took last year’s finale to a penalty shootout but was unable to cap its unlikely run through the Eastern Conference with a win against a Sounders team the Toronto club probably expected to beat. Sebastian Giovinco and company have come back with a vengeance and after earning 50 points through 25 games, the Reds could potentially smash the Galaxy’s record for most points in an MLS season (68).

Led by the Atomic Ant, Giovinco, the Reds have accumulated by far the best goal differential in the league, bolstered by the Italian’s 12 goals and six assists.

Regular-season success, however, does not always translate into playoff glory – just ask the 2015-16 Golden State Warriors – and TFC is by no means a lock. The aggregate style of the MLS postseason creates a ton of parity and a berth into the 12-team bracket is all that’s required to be included in title talk conversations.

If Toronto manages to stay in this form, though, it’s difficult to picture them dropping to any team on the table and 6/1 is probably the best price you’ll get on TFC for the rest of the season. If you’re buying in on the Reds, now is the time to break out the pocketbook.

2017 MLS CUP Futures
Toronto FC+600
New York City FC+800
Chicago Fire+800
FC Dallas+900
Seattle Sounders FC+1100
Sporting Kansas City+1100
Atlanta FC+1200
Houston Dynamo+1400
Portland Timbers+1400
NY Red Bulls+1600
Vancouver Whitecaps+1600
Montreal Impact+1600
Orlando City+2000
Columbus Crew+2500
San Jose Earthquakes+2500
LA Galaxy+3300
Philadelphia Union+3300
New England Revolution+5000
Real Salt Lake+6600
Colorado Rapids+6600
DC United+15000
Minnesota United+25000

Odds as of August 21 at Bovada

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The Major League Soccer season has reached its midway point so it’s time to check in and take stock. A quick look at the standings will tell you that Chicago, Toronto, New York and Dallas have been the best teams through 18 games and futures markets agree.

Bovada’s most recent odds have pegged Western Conference leaders FC Dallas as the +750 fave to take home the MLS Cup with the Eastern Conference’s Chicago and Toronto trailing closely behind at +800 apiece.

Of all the teams bidding to qualify for the MLS playoffs, though, Chicago is by far the best story. The Fire finished both 2015 and 2016 in last place in the East but have turned the tables completely this year and they now sit atop the race for the Supporters’ Shield as the club with the most points thus far.

Nipping at Chicago’s heels, though, is a stacked Toronto FC team that most consider the most talented in the MLS. Toronto finished as runner-up to Seattle in last year’s MLS Cup final and has a good chance to make it back there in 2017.

Another story of interest is that of Atlanta United’s (+1100) rise in its first season of MLS competition in which the expansion club has managed to earn 30 points in 19 matches. Considering that just three expansion teams have ever qualified for the MLS Cup playoffs in their first season, it really puts into perspective just how impressive Atlanta’s season has been.

Rounding out the top three in the East it’s the boys from the Big Apple at 33 points. New York FC (+1000) has very quickly risen to power in the competition and a big reason for that is the unflappable play of David Villa, last season’s MVP. The former Barcelona star continues to produce at a world-class level and sits fourth in the race for the Golden Boot with 11 goals.

NYFC’s stellar play on the road (4-4-1) could help them rise to the top of a crowded conference and their 10/1 futures line is most certainly worth a look.

In the West, it’s really FC Dallas, Sporting Kansas City (+1100) and the rest. KC has suffered its fair share of heartbreakers in the playoffs in recent years but that hasn’t seemed to affect the motivation levels of the players or the raucous fans of Sporting.

Much can change in the coming months and the lead-up to the MLS Cup playoffs, however, so keep your eyes on this page for updates but also on a soccer league that just keeps getting better.

2017 MLS CUP Futures
FC Dallas+750
Chicago Fire+800
Toronto FC+800
New York City FC+1000
Atlanta FC+1000
Sporting Kansas City+1100
Portland Timbers+1200
Seattle Sounders FC+1400
LA Galaxy+1600
Houston Dynamo+1600
Orlando City+1600
NY Red Bulls+2000
San Jose Earthquakes+2000
Montreal Impact+2000
Columbus Crew+2200
Philadelphia Union+2500
Vancouver Whitecaps+2800
Colorado Rapids+4000
New England Revolution+4000
Minnesota United+10000
Real Salt Lake+15000
DC United+20000

Odds as of July 5 at Bovada