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Betting Blog

MLS Outrights Betting Tips, Predictions & Odds

MLS 2018 Season Preview

The 2017 MLS season was action packed from start to finish, and the continued influx of high quality players into the league meant that the quality of play improved dramatically as well. The contrast between the high priced attackers and more budget friendly defence of most teams resulted in goals galore, and that isn’t likely to change any time soon.

In the end it was Toronto FC who emerged victorious in both the MLS Supporters Shield and the MLS Cup, beating a Seattle Sounder side who were looking to retain the cup for the first time in the final. The double winners are being hailed as the greatest side ever in the MLS, but can the well balanced Toronto FC retain their trophies now that they have CONCACAF Champions League commitments as well?

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MLS Cup Outright Winners – Toronto FC

MLS predictions, betting tips and odds.

We think that they can. The Reds were head and shoulders above all competition last season. They ended up winning the MLS Supporters Shield by a huge 12 point margin, breaking the record for both points winning margin and total points accumulated in an MLS season.

Their star attacking duo of Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore netted 31 league goals between them, and the fact they have kept these two on their roster, along with midfield mainstay Michael Bradley will be a huge boost to their chances. Their only starter to have left during the off-season is Steven Beitashour, but he has been replaced by veteran right back Gregory van der Wiel. This is arguably an improvement in that position, and given their dominance last season it’s to be expected that they opted for stability rather than drastic change.

Many have argued that Toronto FC’s participation in the CONCACAF Champions League could lead to a slow start in the MLS, but we’re not expecting that to be much of a concern. They have made a very impressive start to proceedings but they are a long way off the final yet, and even if they do make it all the way that competition ends by May, leaving Toronto FC plenty of time to pick up any potential slack. They won by 12 points last season, and even if they don’t take the top spot again a spot in the playoffs is almost inevitable. By the time the MLS Playoffs come round any continental hangover will be in the distant past, so they can return to their best.

They are big favourites for a reason, and despite their shorter odds we still think they are good value for the cup this season.

MLS Cup – The Other Contenders

Of course, in a playoff style competition there is never a surefire winner, and there are a few other contenders that are definitely worth considering based on last season and their off-season activity.

New York City FC

New York City have improved year on year since their debut MLS season, and last year saw them take 2nd in the overall MLS ladder behind Toronto FC. They may have lost key midfielder Jack Harrison to Manchester City, but David Villa will be on the hunt for silverware in what is likely to be his last season in the MLS. The former Barcelona striker was second in the scoring charts last year with 22 league goals.

Patrick Vieira’s men suffered with inconsistency last season, but if they can stamp that out of their game they do look like genuine contenders for both the Supporters Shield and the MLS Cup.

Atlanta United

Newcomers to the MLS last season, Atlanta United put in the best debut season that’s ever been seen in the MLS. They eventually finished 4th in the overall table and just two points behind New York City. There were a huge 110 goals scored in their league matches, 19 of those scored by star striker Josef Martinez, and they averaged a higher attendance than any other side in the league.

Defensively they were far from supreme, and the loss of midfield linchpin Carlos Carmona during the off-season will only exacerbate that problem. However, they have brought in yet more attacking talent in the form of young Designated Player Ezequiel Barco and MLS regular Darlington Nagbe. If it’s possible, we could actually be in for even more exciting football at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium this season.

Seattle Sounders

In our opinion, Seattle Sounders are the only viable contenders from the Western Conference this season. They have made the MLS Cup Final in each of the last two seasons, winning the first one. On both occasions they have had very poor first halves in the regular campaign, but then proceeded to blow everyone out of the water in the latter stages. This has allowed them to carry momentum, confidence, and form into the MLS Cup, and whilst they would like to avoid another poor start they know that they can always kick on in the second half of the campaign.

As far as their off-season roster changes go, The Sounders have opted for stability. They have great squad depth available to them so should be able to deal with all but the worst injury crises, and whilst their squad is showing it’s age slightly that additional expertise could prove invaluable. We think it’s best to opt for an Each Way bet due to the sheer quality of their Eastern Conference rivals.