Check out our latest picks for who will win the 2021 MLS Cup!
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Now that the MLS All-Star Game is in the rearview and every team has made it through 30-plus matches on its schedule, it's time to reignite one of our favorite soccer conversations: Who's going to win the 2021 MLS Cup?
Our championship picture has never been clearer yet the entire league continues to lay title odds. That can make it difficult to navigate the field of potential options since it's so huge. This is where our MLS Futures, specifically our updated betting odds and predictions for the 2021 MLS Cup, come in: We want to help you find the best wagers and the most likely winner of it all.
Let's take a look at the latest MLS Cup betting odds, courtesy of BetOnline:
|MLS Championship Pick||BetOnline|
|Los Angeles FC||+700|
|New England Revolution||+700|
|New York City FC||+1000|
|Sporting Kansas City||+1200|
|Atlanta United FC||+1600|
|Columbus Crew SC||+2000|
|New York Red Bulls||+2000|
|Minnesota United FC||+2500|
|Orlando City SC||+2500|
|Intern Milan CF||+4000|
|Real Salt Lake||+5000|
|San Jose Earthquakes||+6600|
Please note that these MLS odds are subject to shift at BetOnline and other top online sportsbooks as the rest of the regular season and playoffs unfold. You will want to double-check where they stand before making your final MLS Cup prediction.
2021 MLS Cup Predictions
Though every MLS team continues to have championship odds, we know better than to consider each squad a viable investment. Some franchises have long since fallen outside the playoff race, such as Toronto FC (+50000) and Austin FC (+50000).
This space cares only about identifying the most genuine contenders. We will go through some of the biggest questions facing the premier title hopefuls and then, as always, wrap up with our 2021 MLS Cup prediction.
Are the Columbus Crew Done?
We of course must dedicate some space to the Columbus Crew (+4500), who won last year's MLS Cup against the Seattle Sounders (+600). Their bid to defend their title has been just as difficult as everyone expected—and then some.
Still treading water above .500, Columbus is not completely out of the MLS Cup running. But they need their offense to pick up in the stretch run, and they need it to happen in a big way. They are averaging barely one goal per game, a season-long rut that has left them with nine draws on their schedule, the second-most in the Eastern Conference, and compromised their overall postseason candidacy.
Should the New England Revolution be Favorites?
Previously, this question would have been a no-brainer. The New England Revolution (+550) are having a season to remember. They lead the entire MLS in goals scored and have been able to pull out some truly big, dominant victories.
But then their recent loss to New York City FC (+1500) happened. That 2-0 letdown has incited some doubt about their championship candidacy, making people wonder whether their defense can hold up versus some of MLS' comparably tougher offenses.
We are not so worried about that loss. In fact, we're not worried at all. The Revolution were missing five players from their starting 11 in that matchup, including Gustavo Bou, Carles Gil and Tajon Buchanan. The Gil injury is one to watch long term, but he's reportedly returned from rehabbing in Spain, which suggests he's nearing a return just in time for the 2021 MLS playoffs.
Better Bet: Seattle Sounders or Sporting Kansas City?
The Seattle Sounders (+600) have been an MLS Cup staple over the past half-decade. They won the championship in 2016; made it back to the MLS Cup Final in 2017; secured another championship in 2019; and then made it back to the MLS Cup Final in 2020.
For those keeping score at home, that's four MLS Cup Final appearances and two actual MLS Cup victories. That's a big deal, particularly when the Sounders remain entrenched among MLS' elite teams. Their defense continues to allow fewer than one goal per game, and the plus-16 goal differential they've racked up leading into September is the league's second largest.
Of course, Sporting Kansas City (+650) is making their own claim to contender status. They are one of only three teams to total more than 35 goals on the season, and their plus-15 goal differential ranks firmly within the top four.
For our money, though, we still prefer the Sounders. Some of that has to do with their recent playoff success. Mostly, however, it's difficult to trust Kansas City. They just recently deadlocked with the Colorado Rapids (+1300) despite multiple opportunities to close it out, and their second-half play has been decidedly uninspiring.
2021 MLS Cup Pick
And the winner of the 2021 MLS Cup, in our opinion, will be...New York City FC (+1500).
Anyone who even remotely believes in them should pounce on their odds before they shift. They are currently being treated like borderline dark horses. We don't get it. Not only did they just recently unseat the Revolution, but they have MLS' absolute best goal differential on the season.
Many will point to the suboptimal performance of Valentin Castellanos as a reason to doubt New York City. How can their offense continue to score at this rate when their top forward is struggling? It's a fair question, but their success by committee is working, and the defense has kicked it up a gear in recent weeks.
OSB MLS Cup Prediction: New York City FC (+1500)
Check out this list of the top online sportsbooks so you can decide which one to use for all of your soccer betting: