Most of us like to enjoy a quick bet on the Premier League or even top European leagues like Serie A or La Liga. But if you want a football bet with a difference, we think that trying some soccer betting USA-style could be a great option. There have been a few awkward attempts at setting up a national football league in the US before, but since 2013, the MLS has enjoyed a good amount of stability, and its average attendance dwarfs even that of classic US sports like the NHL and NBA.
There’s a tendency to think that MLS is just a place where top European football stars go to cash in during the twilight years of their careers. And whilst Thierry Henry, Frank Lampard and Andrea Pirlo have all made large amounts of cash whilst at MLS, it still has the ability to throw up some quality sporting entertainment.
What is the MLS tournament format?
The Major League Soccer format varies from most football leagues in that it doesn’t feature any kind of promotion or relegation. Instead the league has the same 23 teams from the US and Canada who play each other throughout a regular season that runs from March to October. The teams are divided into Western and Eastern conferences and they must play 34 games each.
By succeeding in their relevant conferences, the teams will get the chance to play in the postseason MLS Playoffs. This knock-out tournament culminates in the MLS Cup that takes place each December and the winners receive the Philip F. Anschutz trophy, as well as the chance to take part in the CONCACAF Champions League.
Don’t forget that there are also domestic knock-out cup tournaments like the US Open Cup and the Canadian Championship. These are kind of like the FA Cup competition and the US Open Cup has been held since way back in 1914.
Which MLS teams should you bet on?
The fact that there isn’t any promotion or relegation in MLS means that it’s relatively simple to get to know the competing clubs. Recently we have seen Toronto FC and the Seattle Sounders gain two successive MLS Cup appearances, and these two top teams should always be factored into your Major League Soccer predictions.
However, it’s worth remembering that Los Angeles Galaxy have managed to win this tournament the greatest number of times, with five cup titles to their name. Other clubs who have also provided plenty of top-class football recently include Houston Dynamo and Sporting Kansas City.
In the 2018 season, we have also seen clubs like NY Red Bulls, Atlanta United, Los Angeles FC and New York City FC putting in some commendable performances. And whilst San Jose Earthquakes and Orlando City have suffered with inconsistent form over the past few months, even these lowly-ranked teams are capable of delivering an upset and should always be factored into your US Major League Soccer predictions. So whilst MLS doesn’t have a ‘big 6’ like you’d get the Premier League, it still has the potential to deliver some very unpredictable results.
Key MLS players to keep an eye on
Another reason as to why Major League Soccer is a little different from European football leagues, is the fact that they include something called ‘designated players’. This aimed to bring international stars to the MLS by allowing each team to sign up to three players who earned more than each side’s salary cap.
The England legend, David Beckham, was one of MLS’s first designated players for LA Galaxy, and we have seen many other stars like Wayne Rooney playing for DC United, Didier Drogba playing for Montreal Impact and Frank Lampard playing for New York City FC.
In 2018 we saw Atlanta United’s designated player, the Venezuelan star, Josef Martinez, picking up the league top scorer accolade, and you can’t overlook the fact that LA Galaxy have been significantly helped by the arrival of the Swedish legend, Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Of course, there’s much more to making MLS betting picks than following the designated players, but on the whole, it’s these stars who have the tendency to seriously alter the flow of the game.
There’s much more to being an MLS tipster than just looking at how high profile players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic are seizing the spotlight. This is because all of our MLS tips are based on a careful combination of football statistics and news so that you can make your MLS betting predictions with a good amount of confidence. Here’s a quick look at how we go about formulating our MLS football tips to help you enjoy soccer betting USA style.
Analysing an MLS team’s form
Top MLS teams like NY Red Bulls have managed to put in many excellent performances recently, and they always seem like a good MLS outright betting option. But whilst a team like this can be at the top of their conference, there’s more to making successful MLS betting predictions than just looking at the Major League Soccer table.
So we will carefully examine each team’s past form in our MLS soccer betting tips. Obviously we will look over the whole season, but we will also pay particular attention to the past five games. This will help us quickly see whether there are any troubling areas in the side’s performances, and it will also highlight how any strengths could help them dominate the opposition.
By looking at the past recent form, we will help you see how likely your favourite team are to score a goal, and it will also reveal how their defensive record could affect the final result. Whilst there’s more to our Major League Soccer tips than just looking at their past form, it gives us a good grounding for coming up with our MLS betting predictions.
How head-to-head encounters affect our MLS football tips
Whilst the MLS tournament hasn’t been around too long, it has managed to throw up plenty of fascinating head-to-head encounters that could give you a good guide as to the way that things pan out once match day comes around.
Our USA MLS betting tips will pay special attention to the way that two teams’ playing record against each other could affect your bets. You have to remember that Toronto FC and Seattle Sounders met each other in the MLS Cup Final in two successive years in 2016 and 2017, and by seeing how each team took advantage of their opponent’s weaknesses, you could stand to make a much better-informed bet.
The arrival of designated players in Major League Soccer has meant that plenty of these head-to-head encounters deliver some serious fireworks. Certain grudges between star players have the potential to seriously alter the run of play, and where else are you likely to see Wayne Rooney competing against Zlatan Ibrahimovic?
Keeping up with the latest news for our USA Major League Soccer tips
Whilst we like to spend a lot of time scouring the MLS statistics to come up with our Major League Soccer betting tips, we’ve found that it’s also worthwhile checking out all of the relevant news stories regarding this action-packed league.
Anything from an injury scare to some transfer gossip can seriously affect the way that the action can play out on the pitch. If you are into soccer betting, USA and Canadian players might not be so familiar, but we will aim to highlight some of the lesser-known footballers so that you can get a good overview of what’s likely to go down when the match kicks off. So with a nice blend of statistics and news, you should be able to bet on MLS with plenty of confidence.
So if you are tempted to place a bet on one of the fastest-growing football leagues in the world, what should you factor into your wagering decision? Here is a quick reminder of some of the more important things to think about for a decent MLS bet.
Set yourself a betting budget
Regardless of whether you are wagering on a top MLS team like Sporting Kansas City or a lowly-ranked side like Minnesota United, you will always have to manage your money carefully. After all, if you put all of your cash into one bet and that loses, then you won’t be able to enjoy plenty more MLS bets later on.
All experienced football betting fans know that setting themselves a betting budget is critical to their long-term success. This is all the more true now that bookmakers give you all manner of betting options for each MLS match. So be sure to set a budget that allows you to place a simple match winner bet, but also give yourself plenty of headroom so that you can enjoy betting on in-play odds that cover anything from the next goalscorer to the first player to get sent off. Above all, it’s about making sure that you only wager with money that you don’t mind losing so that you never run the risk of making an overly emotional and poorly advised MLS bet.
Do plenty of research
Obviously, you should always come to Betastic to check out our betting advice before you put money down on MLS odds. We would also recommend that you put in lots of your own research before you bet on Major League Soccer. By reading news stories and behind-the-scenes gossip, you will be able to construct a much more accurate and all-encompassing picture of what could happen compared to just following one prediction.
It also pays to focus your betting efforts onto certain MLS teams. There is little chance that you will be able to know enough to wager on all 23 MLS sides, and by narrowing the scope of your wagering on those teams you know best, you will be able to concentrate your efforts on really getting to know them.
This is all the more true as most decent bookmakers now serve up dozens of betting markets for each MLS clash. By doing your homework beforehand, you will be in a good place to make an informed prediction on anything from the correct score to the first goalscorer betting markets.
So examine your favourite MLS team’s past form, look at their head-to-head encounters with their upcoming opponents, check out the latest sporting news, and then place your bets in the knowledge that you know all you can about what could happen once the game kicks off.
The MLS also features several rivalry cups that focus on regional grudge matches. Expect to see rivalry cups for clashes between Toronto FC and Montreal Impact, LA Galaxy and Los Angeles FC, and New York Red Bulls and New York City FC.
How has the MLS team been playing recently?
Understanding a team’s recent form is essential if you want to place an MLS bet with confidence. Look at their scoring record over the past few games, and also make a note of how robust their defence has been. Whilst there’s always the potential for a sporting upset, by seeing how a side’s confidence has improved or decreased over the past few games, you will get a good idea of whether or not you should back them in the next MLS match.
Are there any injury concerns?
Footballers are notorious for getting all manner of nasty injuries, and as Major League Soccer is made up of plenty of ageing international stars, it’s clear that injuries could hamper even the best laid betting plan. Make sure that you read all of the relevant news stories about any recent knocks that MLS players may have suffered, and don’t forget to factor in any suspensions into your MLS bets.
What strengths and weaknesses does each team have?
Good football managers will be able to pinpoint any weak spots in the opposing team. Be sure to think like a manager and see how each team could take advantage of any deficiencies in their opponents. Whether they are lacking in a particular defensive area, or even if they have a fairly blunt attack, by doing your research, you will be able to see how each head-to-head encounter could play out much more accurately.
Making sense of MLS statistics
There’s a wealth of statistics out there about each MLS team and it can often be a tough task in seeing which stats are going to be relevant for the game that you want to wager on. Try not to get overwhelmed by a team’s performance over the whole season, and instead focus on the most recent matches. Be sure to pay attention to the number of goals scored and conceded by the team, but also look at top goalscorers and assists too.
We’ve hopefully shown you that there’s plenty to consider when it comes to MLS betting. But just to remind you, here are some very simple questions that you should ask yourself in order to bet on MLS with plenty of reassurance.
Which upcoming MLS match do you know most about?
With each weekend giving you around a dozen MLS games to consider, it can be tempting to place bets on lots of different matches. But we would always recommend that you focus your bets on those MLS teams that you know best. Don’t fall into the trap on making overly emotional bets on your favourite MLS side, but instead keep a cool and calm approach so that you only wager based on rock solid statistics and proven recent form.
This doesn’t just apply to your favourite MLS teams, as there’s plenty of potential profits to be made by focusing on particular players. Whether it’s wagering on the top goalscorer market, or even placing a bet on which player will get the next yellow card, by narrowing the scope of your bets, you will stand to get a much better chance of walking away with a profit.
How much should you stake on the MLS game?
Knowing how much to bet is another hugely important aspect of football betting. Keeping your betting stakes low is a good way to survive any unexpected losses and is the best way to last the distance when it comes to wagering on something as notoriously unpredictable as Major League Soccer.
Remember that you don’t always have to bet on those matches that are too tough to call, and there are plenty of interesting betting markets like corner betting that can give you a good alternative. It’s only by taking a calculated approach to MLS betting that you are going to be able to bet over the long-term. So set yourself a budget, keep your betting stakes small, and know when to walk away for the best way to wager on Major League Soccer.
What are Betastic saying about the MLS clash?
Finally we have to remind you that you should never place a MLS bet without checking to see what the team at Betastic have to say about the encounter. Our panel of football experts are constantly scouring all of the latest MLS news so that you can quickly get up to speed with all of the latest gossip. In addition to this, we are able to instantly compare all of the relevant MLS betting odds from a vast array of bookmakers so that you can put your efforts into doing your research.
Whilst our team of experts won’t be able to help you land a winning bet every time, we think we have managed to come up with a pretty good strike rate in the past. And above all, information is power when it comes to sports betting, and with your own research and our expert predictions, we think that you will be able to make a reasonably sound MLS bet.
If you’ve ever placed a football bet, then you shouldn’t have too much of a problem in betting on Major League Soccer. But if you are new to wagering on football, here are a few simple betting terms to get to grips with.
- Draw no bet: Betting on a draw is a fairly unexciting option, so many bookies will take the draw out of the equation so that you can enjoy better odds for just wagering on a winning or losing result.
- Handicap betting: If you want to wager on a top team like Seattle Sounders to beat a lowly-placed side like Colorado Rapids, but can’t get any decent odds, then you might want to try a handicap bet. This puts a team at a points disadvantage which means that they have score more for you to win your bet, but if they do, you will make more profit.
- Double chance: This allows you to wager on two potential outcomes of a match. Betting on both a win and a draw is the most likely double chance bet that you will come across.
- 1X2: Many bookmakers will display their match result odds in 1X2 format. The 1 refers to the home team winning, the 2 refers to the away team winning, and the X refers to a draw. The simplest bet to make but not always the easiest to win.