The MLS Playoffs are an annual postseason elimination tournament for Major League Soccer teams. The purpose of the tournament is to ultimately crown the winner of the MLS Cup and champions for the season. The top seven teams from each conference qualify and are seeded into two brackets - with the final two teams from each bracket facing off in the MLS Cup. Each year, sportsbooks offer MLS Playoff odds on each game of the tournament, as well as futures on who will win the conference titles.
While this may be a little different than other soccer leagues in terms of formatting, this is a format we in North America know all too well because it is how each professional sport in the United States conducts the postseason.
Having MLS playoffs makes it more exciting and fun, and provides huge betting opportunities for all stages of the postseason. Sportsbooks don’t sleep on a single game - they will have upwards of 200 betting options for each game of the MLS Playoffs to make sure you get maximum value for your bets.
The regular season does play a huge factor in the MLS playoffs, as only the top seven from each conference will make it to the postseason, and the top team in each conference will receive a bye to the semi-finals.
Anything can happen during the upcoming MLS playoffs, and we guarantee you won’t want to miss out on the countless betting opportunities you can find on the MLS Playoff odds board.
But first, let’s look at some popular MLS Playoff betting options, and where we can place our wagers for the 2020 MLS Playoffs.
Popular MLS Playoff Betting Options
The three-way moneyline is almost exclusive to soccer on a professional team sport level, as many of the North American professional sports don’t have the third option on their moneyline wagers. The third option is, of course, the draw.
As many soccer games result in draws after the regular 90 minute time expires, many games go into extra time to determine a winner. We can bet on if you think when the clock strikes 90 if the score will be tied.
So as you’d have your regular moneyline options - favored team and underdog, you will also have the draw. Your job is to decide how the game will pan out and which bet will cash.
Here’s an example of a three-way moneyline at an MLS game:
- LA Galaxy -150
- D.C. United +250
- Draw +300
In this case, LA Galaxy is favored to win this match, and D.C. is the underdog. If you already understand soccer odds, you’ll know that a $150 wager on LA would only pay out $100 because they are the favored team and most likely to win, and a $100 wager on D.C. would pay out $250 as underdogs.
The draw is unlikely but in the case that they do tie after 90 minutes, the draw would pay out $300 on a $100 wager.
It’s common to choose a moneyline in the playoffs because of the elimination-style tournament - it makes things a little more interesting.
Spreads are popular in any sport, and in soccer, they’re called goalline bets, not point spreads because soccer has goals instead of points. Goalline spreads in soccer are fairly low, as many games are lower scoring. An easy way to understand spreads is to look at the numbers as how much a team has to win by.
A common MLS playoff spread you may see is -0.5/+0.5, which means that the oddsmakers are giving the underdog a head start before the game even begins. This means that the underdog needs to win the game, and in the case of the favored team, they will need to win by one or more goals.
Over/Under or Totals Betting
The Over/Under wager in MLS playoff betting is similar in the aspect that it is betting on whether you think the total score for both teams combined will be higher or lower than the oddsmaker’s line. The difference between soccer and other sports is that totals are shown in multiples of .25 since the scoring in soccer is so low usually. You may see totals of 2.5, 2.75, 3.0, etc.
MLS Playoff Futures
Prior to the tournament, you will see a ramp-up of MLS Playoff futures. These include the MLS Eastern Conference Odds and MLS Western Conference odds, as well as the MLS Cup winner. The futures will have a list of each team in the conference, and the likelihood of them winning the conference title.
The MLS Playoff odds will shift as the regular season progresses, and you’ll see plenty of changes happen as teams win and lose or as key players get hurt, etc.
Odds to Win the 2021 MLS Cup
The odds were last updated on April 14, 2021:
|MLS Cup Odds|
|New York City FC||+1100||+1200||+1200|
There are a few props or proposition bets you can place on an MLS Playoff game, and it’s a good time to do so as there will be more during the playoffs than any time of year. Props are fun and unique wagers placed on instances in the game that have nothing to do with the final outcome. You can bet on the team you think will be leading at Half and Full time, Corner over/unders, who will score the next goal (this is a live bet you’d place while watching the game) and you can predict the exact score of the game for a huge payout.
Top Online Sportsbooks for Betting on MLS Playoff Odds
Now that you’re primed and ready to bet on the MLS Playoffs, you need to find a reliable sportsbook to place your wagers at. If sports betting is not yet legalized in your state, or if your state has strict rules and no mobile wagering, online sportsbooks are a great alternative.
They are convenient - you can place a wager from your smartphone from just about anywhere, and they boast some of the best MLS playoff odds as some retail or local sportsbooks don’t offer many sports other than football or baseball.
Be sure to do your research before signing up, by reading sportsbook reviews and making sure they have everything you need before betting on the MLS playoffs.