Although North-American sports fans still gravitate towards the more popular league like the NFL, NBA and MLB, Major League Soccer (MLS) has steadily garnered a solid following in the quarter-century or so of its existence, with bettors also gravitating towards the league’s captivating action for their wagering prospects. As this is one of our sports betting guides, you’d learn here about the basics of MLS along with some tips when laying bets on its games.
NitroBeting is here to get you started on what you need to know about betting on Major League Soccer, as well as how to bet on soccer games in general with this quick guide.
A Brief History on Major League Soccer
There’s no denying that soccer has been somewhat of an afterthought for the majority of the North-American sports fan base. So much so that whereas the rest of the world calls soccer “football”, fans from the U.S. would consider their brand of football as that of the pigskin variety.
However, the impact of soccer between all races and nations cannot be understated, and the United States was more than proud to host the biggest event in sports worldwide: The World Cup. In turn, Americans slowly warmed up to the global phenomenon that is soccer, with its popularity reaching a new level come the mid-90’s.
Major League Soccer was founded in late 1993, as hype surrounding the 1994 World Cup hosted by the United States was at its peak. MLS held its inaugural season in 1996 with ten teams in the league.
There are now 26 teams in the MLS; 14 from the Eastern Conference and 12 in the Western Conference. The team with the most regular-season wins is awarded the Supporter’s Shield, while the overall season champion is awarded the MLS Cup.
It’s also worth mentioning in his MLS betting guide that unlike most other professional soccer leagues, Major League Soccer has a fixed membership status for all its teams, similar to most other professional sports leagues in North America. In contrast, most soccer leagues from other countries make use of a promotion and relegation system.
The league has an average live attendance of 22,000 per game, which ranks third amongst all U.S. sports leagues only behind the NFL and the MLB. In 2013, the MLS also became the seventh-highest attended professional soccer league worldwide. Now, let’s head over to the next part of this Major League Soccer betting guide.
Competition Beyond the MLS Season
Like other professional soccer leagues, the MLS participates in several domestic and international competitions during the offseason and amidst the on-going season. Some of these competitions include: The CONCACAF Champions League, The Campeones Cup, the U.S. Open Cup and the Canadian Championship.
With much more action on the pitch for MLS teams and players, there’s more than enough action on the sportsbook front as well for bettors looking to get more thrills out of their Major League Soccer experience.
How to Bet on Major League Soccer Games
Betting on Major League Soccer matches is just as easy to get into like its other counterparts in professional sports. There are plenty of means to place stakes on the MLS action:
Moneyline, Spread, Point Total Lines
For each MLS fixture, bettors are given a number of choices for betting lines to wager on.
The simplest of which is the moneyline bet (ML), wherein the bettor needs to correctly predict the winning team in a given match. One team will be pegged as the favorite in a certain match, while the opposing team will be considered an underdog. The payout for winning bets for the team favored to win will often pay out less than winning bets for the underdog team. Bettors can also opt to bet that the game will end in a draw, with that result having odds of its own. Most bets on soccer games are placed on moneyline odds.
The point spread betting line, meanwhile, is a bit more complicated. The team favored to win needs to cover a certain number of points beyond just being victorious in the match, whereas bets on the underdog can still win that bet if the favored team fails to cover the goals needed for them to win the bet. Bets against the spread (ATS) are more commonly used in sports with high point-total outcomes, but handicap lines are available for soccer matches, nonetheless.
The total betting line, often referred to as the “over/under”, asks bettors to place stakes on whether or not the total number of goals scored by both teams in a match will be over or under the given betting line. Bettors predicting that the game will be a high-scoring affair will likely bet on the over, while those who think the game will be a grind-out defensive battle will likely side with the under.
Major League Soccer betting action goes beyond just the league’s individual matches. Sportsbooks would often have what’s called “futures”, wherein there are betting lines for predictions on several outcomes even before the season begins.
Some examples of futures odds involve predictions for the season’s eventual MLS Cup winner, the team that’ll be awarded the Supporter’s Shield, and who’ll become the league MVP just to name a few.
Where to Bet on Major League Soccer Games
Players can start placing stakes on MLS matches here at NitroBetting. Create an account in just a few minutes and get started with the soccer betting action in an instant!
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