How We Find the Best MLS Sites
As the MLS has grown in popularity, so have the number of sites through which you can bet on it. We’ve taken the headache of searching the internet to find the top ones away by creating a checklist of what best in class looks like.
The top sportsbooks out there online should have:
- Evidence they are fully legal and licensed by gambling authorities and show a commitment to responsible betting
- A great selection of MLS betting odds both for matches and in terms of outright markets
- Live betting, so you can place wagers on the soccer in-play
- Strong customer service options for when you need help with your betting account
- Promotions that reward you regularly after playing through your welcome bonus
|How to Sign Up to an MLS Betting Site|
What MLS Betting Bonuses Can I Get?
Different sports betting bonuses available on our list of recommended sportsbooks are there for different types of bettor. It’s the same whether it’s a promotion specific to the MLS or a general offer that can be used on soccer. Oddsmakers have to go beyond just attracting new customers these days:
- Welcome bonus – Receiving an offer when you sign up to a sportsbook comes as standard now. Be smart though and check the terms and conditions to see if the welcome bonus is as good as it sounds. You may find so-called “free bets” have wagering requirements or other restrictions in place.
- Price boosts – Usually around big events like the MLS Cup Final, for example, there may be enhanced odds available on one team or another to win the game. These will usually be open to both new and existing customers.
- VIP club – An increasingly popular method of rewarding a bettor’s loyalty, especially if they gamble regularly, is for a betting site to offer a VIP club. If you place so many bets per week, then you can get bonuses for doing so. As with new customer offers, always check the terms to see what you have to do and whether opting in to the club is necessary.
An Introduction to MLS Betting
You may never have placed a soccer bet in your life but are interested in the MLS and want to know how it all works. At the most basic level, you can gamble on the result of a match. In this market, there are only three possible outcomes. Either the home team wins, the away team wins or the match ends in a draw.
The soccer odds on an MLS game can be expressed in three different ways and, broadly speaking, these depend on where in the world you’re placing your bet. While the oddsmakers of the UK and Ireland prefer their prices in fractions, the rest of Europe and beyond go for decimals.
In America, those decimal odds are preceded by a plus or minus and are called soccer betting lines. Let’s look at an example:
- LA Galaxy -2.00
- Draw +2.67
- Los Angeles FC +4.00
Galaxy are the betting favorites to win the match because there is a minus sign next to their price. If you place a $1 bet on the home team to win, then you will receive a return of $2 (your $1 stake back, plus $1 of profit). Betting on a drawing here would see a $4 wager return $10 (with $6 in winnings). Los Angeles FC, meanwhile, are the betting underdogs and for every $2 you put on them, you’ll receive $8 back (including $6 of profit) if they win.
If you’re used to seeing fractional or decimal odds without the moneyline plus and minus, then many sportsbooks allow you change how prices are displayed these days. Make sure you adjust any account settings before you start betting, so that you feel comfortable and confident that you know what you’re betting on and what it means.
Types of MLS Bet to Take
The MLS betting odds on offer these days are more sophisticated than simply betting on which team will win a match. Gambling on soccer is big business the world over; so, just in case you’re wondering what other popular markets are out there, here’s a breakdown of some:
- Goalscorer markets – Which player will score the first, next or last goal? What price are they to find the back of the net anytime, or more than once in a match? Odds are available on all these possibilities.
- Correct score – What will the final result be? Not just in terms of which team wins, but what will the precise scoreline be?
- Wincasts and scorecasts – You can combine players to score a goal and the outright match result or correct score market into one bet too. Wincasts are an anytime goalscorer and which team will win, while scorecasts involve the correct final result.
- Over/Under X goals – Odds are also available on the total match goals or goals in the first-half or second-half being over or under a certain amount. American punters who like spread betting on US sports may find these types of market appealing.
- Handicap betting – Sometimes called Asian handicaps, these are imaginary deficits for the team that is betting favorites to overturn or advantages for the underdogs to hold on to. If a team wins 4-1 and you had backed them with a handicap of -2, then they will have covered the handicap. Oddsmakers will set the threshold of the handicap market to be covered.
- Outright win – Which team will win the MLS Cup come December? This is a futures or ante post market that is open for the duration of the season.
- To make the playoffs – Which MLS team do you fancy most to reach the playoffs at the end of the regular season?
- Conference win – Who are you backing to win the Eastern or Western Conferences that the MLS is split into?
Live Betting on the MLS: How to Bet In-Play
A major innovation in the world of sports betting over recent years is you can bet on events like the MLS as games are happening. It used to be the referee would blow his whistle to start a match and that was when the betting stopped as fixed odds markets were closed.
That’s no longer the case as live betting, also known as in-play betting, is available. Special markets like next team or score and next goalscorer have evolved out of this concept which has revolutionized how we bet. Top sportsbooks will already be on board with it.
MLS Betting on Mobile
Sitting side by side with in-play wagers is how easy it is nowadays to place a soccer bet on your mobile. You could even be at an MLS game taking in all action and, thanks to an internet signal and your smartphone or tablet, actually be gambling on what’s unfolding in front of you.
All the top sportsbooks have sports betting apps that are free to download and most commonly available for digital devices that run on Android or iOS operating systems. If you’re with another provider, such as Blackberry or Windows Phone, then don’t worry. A mobile friendly version of a sports betting site can be found in your web browser. One way or another, you can make your MLS betting truly mobile.
MLS Competition and Format Structure
There are currently 23 MLS franchises in the league – 20 in the USA and three in Canada. These are split into the Eastern Conference and Western Conference. Each MLS team plays the other clubs in their own Conference home and away in the course of the regular season, but also those from the other Conference just once (either home or away).
The top six teams from each Conference at the end of the regular season advance to the playoffs. Each club is seeded, so the top two from each Conference receive byes from the early rounds of the playoffs and enter at a later stage. The MLS Cup Final can only be between one team from the Eastern Conference and another from the Western Conference. Some playoff ties are over two legs, but the first round and final are just one match.
A Brief MLS History Lesson
Founded in 1993 and first played in 1996, the MLS has grown into an increasingly popular league that is now broadcast around the world. Franchises are being added to the competition all the time and its profile has increased because of some famous soccer players coming over to the USA and Canada to play in it, often towards the end of their careers.
The MLS started with just 10 teams in 1996 but has now more than doubled in size. In 2007, the introduction of a Designated Player Rule helped to facilitate the influx of international soccer stars starting with ex-England captain David Beckham. Far from being a one-way street, a number of homegrown American talents have started out in the MLS only to go on to bigger and better things in Europe.
Jozy Alitdore and Clint Dempsey are among those to have make a successful transition going the other way. A number of World Cup winning players like Spain striker David Villa, France legend Thierry Henry and Italy playmaker Andrea Pirlo all followed in trailblazing Beckham’s footsteps, however. Many of his England teammates such as Ashley Cole, Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard and Wayne Rooney all followed suit too.
Beckham’s influence on the MLS continues long after his retirement from playing as his Miami backed franchise is set to be included in the competition from 2020 onwards.
Placing Bets on the MLS
It should not go unnoticed that the MLS is catching up with the NBA, NFL and NHL in terms of popularity among American bettors. Gambling on soccer really is growing in the USA and the MLS is a solid choice now that it’s more established.
You’ll only find the top betting sites for the MLS that come recommended by our experts on this page. Each sportsbook is fully licensed where making your information secure is their priority. Why not sign up to one now and get betting on your favorite MLS franchise today!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the MLS?
The MLS is the abbreviation for Major League Soccer, the USA and Canada’s top division in association football or soccer. There are a number of franchises split into the Eastern and Western Conferences. The top six at the end of the regular season go on to contest the MLS playoffs and the final is called the MLS Cup game.
Is MLS betting legal?
It sure is. You’ll only find fully licensed betting sites available on our site, but please note gambling laws and the age at which you can place wagers vary from state to state in the USA.
What are the best sites for MLS betting?
If you’re looking for the top websites to place a soccer bet on the MLS, then we only shortlist ones extensively reviewed by our experts here. All of them can be vouched for in terms of quality and safety for your peace of mind.
What are the most popular MLS bets?
The most popular markets that MLS bets are taken on include outright match and competition betting, correct scores in games, various goalscorer markets, handicap betting and over/under for total goals. These last two types are reminiscent of the spread betting available on popular US sports like baseball, basketball and football.
What are betting lines in soccer?
The moneyline in soccer shows which team are favorites for a particular match with a minus sign appearing before their price expressed in decimal odds and which team are underdogs, who have a plus sign next to their odds.
Can I bet on MLS on mobile?
You can indeed. The MLS is just one of many soccer leagues around the world that you can bet on via your smartphone or tablet through a sports betting app or the mobile version of the sportsbook you have an account with.
What is an accumulator bet in MLS?
An accumulator, or acca for short, is where you bet on several teams to win their respective matches in one bet. Odds are multiplied depending on the number of legs there are. If you were to place an acca on the MLS over a single round of matches, then there would be 11 legs in total.