MLS Championship Odds for 2023

Nate Hornung

Fri Apr 07 2023

MLS Championship Odds for 2023 cover

The MLS Season is upon us, so it’s time to talk futures!

The first thing we need to get into is the expansion and the new playoff format. Major League Soccer switched up the playoff bracket with some significant changes and also added one expansion club this season.

It is a much more “Americanized” bracket that is unique to the soccer world. There will be no aggregate scores and no ties throughout the duration of the playoffs.

Let’s break it down.

Sports Betting Picks

Find trusted services with free offers and guaranteed picks!

MLS Expansion

Major League Soccer welcomed one new club for the 2023 season. St. Louis City SC became the league’s 29th team. They currently sit on top of the entire league with 15 points on a 5-0-1 record. St. Louis won their first 5 games in the MLS before finally losing to Minnesota United last week.

With an odd number of teams, the league features 15 teams in the Eastern Conference and 14 in the Western Conference. This makes it ever so slightly more difficult for teams in the East to secure a playoff spot.

However, the league is looking to expand to 30, possibly 32 teams in the near future, although 29 teams is an all-time high. Three cities currently have bids to be the next expansion team: Las Vegas, San Diego, and Phoenix.

Let’s talk about the new playoff picture.

New MLS Playoff Format

The playoffs look a little different than MLS fans may be used to. It might even confuse all soccer fans, as the new format is very unique and not following traditional soccer methods.

Nine teams from each conference will reach the postseason. This is up from just seven per conference last year. The playoffs will begin with a single game Wild Card match between the No. 8 and No. 9 seeds in each conference. The winner will advance to face their conference’s top team.

Once there are eight teams from each conference, the first round will begin. The top team plays the wild card winner, the No. 2 seed plays the No. 7, etc. in normal bracket form.

Although there is a catch.

The first round matchups will be a Best-of-Three series, with the higher seed hosting Games 1 and 3, if necessary. In these games, there will be no aggregate scores and no draws. If the score is tied after 90 minutes, the game will go straight to penalty kicks to determine a winner. The first team to win two games advances to the next round.

But then it’s back to normal.

Once four teams remain in each conference, the tournament resumes in single elimination format. The conference semifinals, conference finals, and the MLS Cup final, are all just one game, winner takes all, hosted by the higher seed.

These games will consist of two 15-minute periods of Extra Time prior to penalty kicks, if no winner is decided.

Best MLS Futures Picks

MLS Futures Odds

Odds courtesy of BetMGM.

  • Los Angeles FC +400
  • Philadelphia Union +800
  • FC Cincinatti +900
  • Atlanta United 12-1
  • New York City FC 12-1
  • Seattle Sounders 14-1
  • New England Revolution 14-1
  • Austin FC 16-1
  • Nashville SC 16-1
  • Minnesota United 18-1
  • St. Louis City SC 18-1

$1,000 Risk-Free 1st Bet

These are the top teams listed above, and personally, I see the cup staying with one of these 11 teams. However, the longshots are below with their odds.

MLS Futures Picks

While I’ll admit I don’t play a lot of futures, there are a few spots jumping out to me.

Atlanta United at 12-1 and Nashville at 16-1 are tough to ignore, especially with how impressive they’ve been early in the season.

Atlanta is 2nd in the league in total goals, scoring 13 in the first 6 games. They are also tied for 2nd in Shots on Target. The offense is electric, but there are some gaps in the defense who have allowed 9 goals already. If Atlanta lifts the trophy, nobody is gonna be yelling “Defense Wins Championships!”

Nashville SC joined the MLS from the USL Championship for the 2020 season. In three seasons in the league, Nashville has made the playoffs each year, reaching the Quarterfinals twice. They even finished 3rd in their conference in 2021.

They have all the pieces, they just need to put it all together, which I believe they can do this year. The new stadium brought plenty of fans in 2022 and will continue to do the same in 2023, making Nashville a tough place to play, especially in the playoffs. With Walker Zimmerman controlling the back line, Nashville will just need to find ways to score.

They are currently 3-1-2 scoring only 6 goals and allowing 2 so far this season.

However, if I had to place one future, this would be it.

Seattle Sounders +1400 BetMGM

$1,000 Risk-Free 1st Bet

I think Seattle could definitely win it all this year. They are off to a 4-1-1 start, ranking 2nd in Goal Differential at +9. They are tied for 2nd in Goals Allowed, just 3 in 6 games, and are third in scoring, netting 12 goals already.

Seattle has 3 shutouts, two wins and a nil-nil draw against league favorite LAFC. Jordan Morris leads the MLS with 8 goals so far this year, and Léo Chú leads the league with 5 assists. Nicolás Lodeiro is also tied for 6th with 3 assists of his own.

The Sounders have been here before, reaching the MLS Cup Final four times in the last seven years. They won the cup twice in that span, in 2016 and 2019, and lost in the final the very next year. They certainly have all the pieces to win the league.

Seattle is hungry for another trophy, and I think they have what it takes.

Be sure to check out all things Betting News on Twitter and Twitch!

Tune in to one of our several weekly streams! You won’t regret it!

Nate Hornung
Nate Hornung

Nate has been a recreational sports bettor for about 4 years. In that time, he has grown to love the pursuit of winners and sticking it to The Man. Currently pursuing a Math degree, Nate hopes to get a better understanding of numbers to help him become a more profitable sports gambler, however he will be the first to tell you this game is about more than just stats.