Major League Soccer Betting Guide for the 2019 Season
Atlanta United FC won the 2018 MLS Cup, doing so in only their second MLS season. After finishing second in the Eastern Conference ad second overall, Atlanta United went on to defeat Portland Timbers two-nil in the 2018 MLS Cup final to secure the trophy. Can they retain the MLS Cup this season?
- New York Red Bulls are the +400 favorites to win the 2019 MLS Cup
- Atlanta United FC are priced at +450 second-favorites to retain the MLS Cup
- New York Red Bulls have been losing MLS Cup finalists twice, in 2003 and 2017
- Atlanta United FC sold Miguel Almiron to English Premier League side Newcastle United for a record $27 million
- Atlanta’s Josef Martinez was the MLS top scorer in 2018 bagging 31 goals, nine more than Zlatan Ibrahimovic
The 2019 Season
The 2019 MLS schedule sees the regular season run from March 2nd through to October 6th with the MLS Cup Playoffs starting on October 19th and concluding with the 2019 MLS Cup on November 10th.
This season sees a new franchise added with FC Cincinnati hoping to follow in Atlanta United FC’s footsteps and be an instant hit. Bookmakers do not believe this to be the case, however, as they are currently priced at +6600 to win the 2019 MLS Cup.
New York Red Bulls, the +400 favorites for MLS Cup glory, start their regular season campaign on the road at Colombus Crew SC, a difficult fixture against a team who finished fifth in the Eastern Conference and who reached the Conference semi-finals of the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Atlanta United FC start the 2019 MLS schedule on the road also. The reigning MLS Cup winners travel to D.C. United who have former England striker Wayne Rooney in their starting line-up.
According to the official MLS Soccer website, the strength of schedule shows the Red Bulls have the easiest MLS schedule for 2019 with Orlando Fire and San Jose Earthquakes having the toughest schedule.
This is because each team plays opponents from their own conference twice before being pitted against an out of conference team once. Every team plays FC Cincinnati at least once this season.
MLS Future Bets 2019
The 2019 MLS Cup looks set to be a three-team race between New York Red Bulls, reigning champions Atlanta United and L.A. Galaxy, if the pre-tournament futures betting is anything to base judgement on.
New York Red Bulls:
Red Bulls (+400) are the early favorites despite having never once the MLS Cup, although they have reached the final in both 2003 and 2017, finishing on the losing side on both occasions. Last year, Red Bulls finished top of the Eastern Conference and first overall, netting themselves a third Supporters’ Shield.
Unfortunately for Red Bulls fans, they lost in the Conference Playoff finals 3-1 to eventual champions Atlanta United.
Atlanta United are the +450 second-favourites to win the 2019 MLS Cup, doing so would make them only the fourth team in history, behind L.A. Galaxy, Houston Dynamo, and D.C. United to win back-to-back MLS Cup titles.
Atlanta are likely to challenge Red Bulls at the top of the MLS standings despite losing the services of Miguel Almiron to English Premier League side Newcastle United. Almiron was transferred for a record $27 million in January and will be sorely missed.
Almiron scored 21 goals and made 28 assists in 62 appearances for Atlanta and was named in the MLS Bext XI in both 2017 and 2018. His partnership with Josef Martinez was worth a staggering 140 goals over two season, can Atlanta fill Almiron’s boots and can Martinez function without his wingman?
Martinez is a goal machine having scored 51 goals in 54 appearances for Atlanta, including 31 goals last season where he finished as the top scorer. It would take a brave bettor to bet against Martinez winning the golden boot again in 2019.
Los Angeles Galaxy:
L.A. Galaxy edured a disappointing season in 2018 but are still +500 third-favorites to reverse those MLS standings and win the 2019 MLS Cup. Galaxy failed to reach the playoffs for the first time since 2008 despite Swedish legend Zlatan Ibrahimovic finding the back of the net 22 times.
Galaxy fans will be hoping the head coach can tighten up a porous defense that conceded 64 times in 34 games last season. If he can and Galaxy can still score goals, they should be legitimate contenders for the MLS Cup 2019, if not, another poor season beckons which is why we cannot justify the +500 odds for MLS Cup glory.
With odds of +1000, the Seattle Sounders are a solid outside bet. The Sounders are not the most spectacular of teams, but they are set up as a side that is difficult to breakdown and are therefore hard to beat.
The Sounders have qualified for the MLS Cup playoffs every year since their inaugural season in 2009 and have reached the quarter-finals six times, the semi-finals twice and have reached two finals, winning one. Sounders may not be everyone’s choice for 2019 MLS Cup glory, but they do have the ability to cause an upset in this season’s competition.
List of future odds
- 1. New York Red Bulls +400
- 2. Atlanta United +450
- 3. Los Angeles Galaxy +500
- 4. New York City +900
- 5. Los Angeles FC +1000
- 5. Seattle Sounders +1000
- 7. Portland Timbers +1200
- 8. Toronto FC +1400
- 8. Sporting Kansas City +1400
- 10. DC United +1600
- 11. FC Dallas +2000
- 11. Philadelphia Union +2000
- 13. Columbus Crew +3000
- 14. Real Salt Lake +4000
- 15. Chicago Fire +5000
- 15. Montreal Impact +5000
- 17. Houston Dynamo +6000
- 18. FC Cincinnati +6600
- 19. New England Revolution +8000
- 19. Vancouver Whitecaps +8000
- 21. Colorad Rapids +10000
- 21. Minnesota United +10000
- 21. Orlando City +10000
- 21. San Jose Earthquakes +10000
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