Pick Philadelphia in the East

Jane Barrett
By , Updated on: May 18, 2023 12:00 AM
Philadelphia the pick in the east

Philadelphia has been the top team in the East in recent seasons and it is a good pick to land the Eastern Conference title in 2023.

Who do Bettors Favor?

According to the best bookmakers (and you can check out our top sportsbook reviews here) it is clear that  Cincinnati FC is rated as the favorite among bettors to win the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia Union comes next in the betting, a little way ahead of New England, while Nashville, Atlanta and Columbus are all considered to be contenders and Orlando and Inter Miami are also attracting support.

Eastern Conference Winners
FC Cincinnati+150
Philadelphia+400
New England+400
Nashville+600
Atlanta+1200
Columbus+1200
Inter Miami+1600
Orlando+1000
NYCFC+6600

Cincinnati Lead the Way

Cincinnati FC went into the break with a tally of 51 points, which is already two points more than it managed in the entirety of last season, when it finished fifth in the East.

Pat Noonan's team has not always had it easy. The team experienced a tough stretch at the end of June, losing 3-0 in DC and being held to draws by Charlotte and New England and with ten minutes left in the game against the New York Red Bulls, it was also down 1-0 before goals from Lucho Acosta and Obinna Nwobodo sealed a 2-1 victory.

Cincinnati followed that up last weekend with a strong home victory over playoff contender Nashville, and it enters the mid season break eight points ahead of its closest competitors. However, despite that large advantage, the Eastern Conference title is still a way off and at these odds, there is little value in Cincinnati.

Philadelphia Has Momentum

Philadelphia Union has maintained an impressive degree of consistency in such a competitive league, finishing second in the East and second in the MLS Cup the last two seasons.

However, the team has yet to win the main prize, and following a dismal stretch earlier this year, it appeared that Jim Curtin's squad would never win the MLS Cup. When Union travelled to Nashville earlier this month, it had lost four of its previous five matches. However, an encouraging 2-0 triumph followed by a home victory against old rivals NYCFC helped Philadelphia get back on track.

Philadelphia is now up to fourth in the Eastern Conference and is just three points behind second-placed New England. Assuming that momentum continues, it could be in a good position to put pressure on the Eastern Conference leaders in the final weeks of the season.

New England Defying Expectations

New England’s strong showing so far this season has defied expectations but at the mid-season break, Bruce Arena’s team is only eight points off the lead and lies in second place in the East.

This has been made possible in large part by a run of just one loss in its last seven games. It has also been particularly effective at home, winning each of its last five games.

However, there are some clouds visible in the distance. The squad continues to struggle with injury absences, for one thing. One of the lesser teams in the contest has been handicapped by the absence of Dylan Borrero, Lucas Maciel, Christian Makoun, and Henry Kessler. Another problem is that the squad has a bad draw habit, having tied games seven times so far, and three of the most recent four matches have occurred after the side had taken a two-goal lead. This fragility makes the team hard to weigh up in the futures markets and it doesn't appeal as a Conference winning pick.

MLS Contenders in the East

Among the other contenders in the East, Orlando is a risky selection right now because of its inconsistent play, while the other big contenders in the East, Nashville and Atlanta, have also somewhat lost their way and could miss the playoffs if their present form continues.

Columbus' most recent game ended in a 3-2 loss in Portland, but the team is still in a strong position in the East, having gone on an eight-game winning streak before travelling west,, and is only seven points behind second-placed New England. The team has also demonstrated the ability to play well away from home and come back from deficits in games, and that tenacity and consistency may still give it an edge.

The other team to consider in the East is Chicago. Up until the middle of June, Chicago was having a typically disappointing season, but a run of five wins from six, including four clean sheets, has propelled the Fire back into the playoff mix. There’s a lot of ground to make up, of course, but few teams are in stronger form and those odds are tempting.

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Meet the author

Jane Barrett

With over 15 years of experience, Jane Barrett is a respected journalist in the sports betting industry. Jane has lent her expertise to major outlets including Betfair, ESPN, and Sporting Life during her prolific career. As a leading writer covering the sports bettin...

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