MLS is North America’s version of the English Premier League. Top-tier teams compete for the MLS Cup, which is basically the Super Bowl for soccer teams from the United States and Canada. Here, you’ll find everything related to MLS betting from soccer odds to news and updates to give you an edge on your picks.
Major League Soccer Terminology and Additional Info
Before you start betting on MLS, you’ll need to get a basic understanding of the league itself and how it operates. Headquartered in New York, MLS officially started play in 1996. We’ve put together some basic information so you understand how the game is played and what to look out for when making your bets.
FYI, in Europe, they call soccer football. Here at Odds Shark, we refer to the sport as soccer to differentiate it from the NFL or college football. However, at some sportsbooks – aka online betting sites – they will use football for MLS-related odds and betting lines.
The team with the minus sign (-) beside their odds is the favorite. The other squad with the plus sign (+) is the underdog. This is universal across all sportsbooks. The odds here as displayed in American style. You can also choose to see odds as Fractional (1/5) or Decimal (1.20). Bettors in the U.K. are more inclined to use Decimal odds, whereas North Americans will generally use American odds.
Betting on Soccer
Now that you can read betting odds, let’s look at the types of bets you can make on soccer.
Moneyline: Picking a Club to Win
This is a very common bet that requires you to simply pick a winner straight up. If you were to make a moneyline wager on Philadelphia Union (-200) vs Atlanta United FC (+280), you would select the squad you think is going to win the matchup.
If you were to put $50 on Atlanta, you’d get a payout of $190 – you get your $50 back along with your winnings of $140. That same $50 on Philly gets you $75 – your original money is returned coupled with your winnings of $25. Bets on dogs are riskier, which is why they pay more. Because there is less risk associated with the fave, you won’t make as much.
Our Odds Calculator will show you how much you’d win based on the odds and amount bet.
Point Spread: Covering the Line
Another soccer betting option is the point spread. For this bet, oddsmakers give the underdog an advantage before the game begins. Conversely, the favorite is put at a disadvantage. Unlike the NFL or NBA where spreads are high, soccer spreads are typically small.
Montreal Impact -1.5
New England Revolution +1.5
In this scenario, Montreal would need to win by two or more goals to cover the spread. For NE to cover, they would have to win the game outright or lose by no more than one goal.
Totals: Combined Number of Goals
Often referred to as OVER/UNDER betting, this is a wager in which you’d need to determine if the total number of goals scored by both clubs is more or less than the oddsmaker’s set number. Generally, the average total in soccer is 2.0 goals.
LA Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake
If you think the pooled score for both teams is going to be more than 2, you would take the OVER. If think it’ll be less than 2, you would take the UNDER.
Futures: Projecting Championship Wins
As with any other sport, a futures bet for soccer is a wager you can make on an event that will take place months in advance. You could bet on a team’s chances of winning the MLS Cup in April before the season starts. When oddsmakers set the odds, they look at past season performance and off-season moves. It’s important to keep in mind that the odds will change as the season progresses, games unfurl, trades happen and players succumb to injuries.
Props: Player and Club Milestones
Prop bets are wagers based on the occurrence or non-occurrence of certain milestones that may not correlate to the outcome of a particular game. You could bet on how many yellow cards a team will get, which squad will score first, or how many goals a club will score in the second half of the matchup.
Asian Handicapping: Advanced Betting
The Asian Handicap is a bet where the oddsmaker creates a sort of spread with a little extra padding for bettors. Instead of 0.5, you would see 0.25, 0.75 and 1.0. This reduces your risk on any bet since you could still win if the game ends in a draw.
Live Betting: Wagering in Real Time
In-play betting gives you the option to bet on a match as it’s unfolding. You can bet on things like which team will score first, or whether there’ll be a penalty. Live odds disappear as quickly as they appear. If you see action you like, take it fast before it’s gone.
Where to Bet on Soccer Matches
We’ve created a list of the best sports betting sites, all of which feature odds for soccer. The sites we love are secure, safe and trustworthy. Each gives bettors action on everything from individual player props to live odds. Choose an online sportsbook that we recommend and you’re ready to go.
Keep it locked to this page for the latest MLS soccer betting info and we’ll give you what you need to make smart picks.