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How to bet on MLS: Complete May 2024 guide

Inquirer readers can learn how to bet on MLS with our May 2024 betting guide.

Inquirer readers came to the right place to learn how to bet on MLS this upcoming season. (Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto).
Inquirer readers came to the right place to learn how to bet on MLS this upcoming season. (Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto).Read moreanton5146 / Getty Images

The Inquirer is here to educate you on exactly how to bet on MLS, as we go over all you need to know when betting on Major League Soccer in 2024. With North Carolina sports betting live, you can wager on MLS in that state now too.

Best MLS Betting Sites

More on how to bet on MLS

Understanding MLS betting odds

MLS odds work in similar ways to odds for any other sport you’ll bet on. For starters, we’ll discuss underdogs and favorites.

When looking at a particular match, the underdog will always have a + sign next to their odds. The favorite for will have a - sign next to their odds.

Betting on the underdog will yield you a higher payout should you win your wager whereas betting on the favorite won’t win you as much money.

Betting odds are always written out in a way to tell you how much money you need to bet to make a $100 profit.

For example, if the Philadelphia Union’s odds of beating the Toronto FC are -250, you’ll need to wager $250 in order to win $100 profit. Since they’re the favorites, you have to wager more to win more.

However, if you’re looking to bet on Toronto, whose odds of beating Philadelphia are +200, you’ll win $300 if you wager $100.


Understanding MLS betting markets

Moneyline market

If you’re new to betting, the simplest way to begin is by wagering on the moneyline.

When you’re betting on an MLS moneyline, you’re simply betting on the result of a match and who you think will win.

Soccer bettors will also find something called a three way moneyline, which is something exclusive to the sport. This means you’ll have the option to wager on a game ending in a tie if you foresee that outcome happening. Because most sports don’t allow or try to avoid ties, it’s not a type of wager you’ll find on any other sport than soccer.

Draws will typically have higher odds because of how hard they are to predict.

Moneyline
LA Galaxy
Odds
+240
Moneyline
DC United
Odds
-200

In this example, betting $100 on the LA Galaxy (+240) will see you make a $240 profit, whilst wagering $100 on the D.C. United (-200) will yield you $50 profit.

Totals market

The next easiest betting market to understand is the totals market.

This market is exactly what it sounds like, as you’re betting on the total number of goals you think the two teams will combine to score throughout a game.

If an MLS game between Atlanta United and New England Revolution has a total bet of 3.5 goals, you’re betting on whether or not the teams will score less or more goals than that predetermined amount by the sportsbook.

However, if a totals prop is 3.0 and exactly three goals are scored, your wager results in a push and your stake will be sent back to you.

Totals bets can also be found for each individual team as well.

Spread market

After learning how the money line and totals markets work, next up is the spread market. Spread betting (Also known as Handicap) is betting on how many goals you think will separate the two teams by the end of the game.

Hanidcap
Austin FC +2
Odds
+150
Hanidcap
Nashville -2
Odds
-130

These numbers will be predetermined by your sportsbook. In this example, let’s say Austin FC has a handicap of +2, while Nashville SC has a -2.

If you wager on Nashville SC, you need them to win the game by more than two goals. If they win by a two goal margin or less, draw or don’t win the game, your bet won’t win.

If you place your bet on Austin FC, you can win the bet if they win the game, draw or don’t win by only one goal.

Live betting markets

Wagering on these traditional forms of betting isn’t limited to just before a game starts.

Nowadays, sportsbooks offer live betting props where you can wager on these props while the game is happening in real time. The main thing to keep in mind with live betting is odds are subject to change based on how the game is unfolding.

These odds will often be more competitive, as a team losing 2-0 with 40 minutes left will have very long odds if you place a wager on them to make a massive comeback.

Prop markets

When betting on soccer matches, bettors have a few different types of prop markets to bet on. These markets are team props, game props, and player props.

Team props offer you the chance to bet on teams, but not on the money line, spread, or totals. If you’re betting on team props, you’re wagering on whether or not a specific team will meet certain statistical criteria for that match. Examples of this can include:

  1. Will the Orlando City SC attempt more than 10.5 shots?

  2. Will CF Montréal score in the first half?

  3. Will the Columbus Crew make a goal in the first 15 minutes of the game?

Player props focus individually on the players of soccer matches. If you feel confident you know how well a specific player may play in that particular match, you can wager on whether or not they’ll achieve certain statistical criteria. Examples of these props include:

  1. Will Carles Gill record an assist in the game?

  2. Will Ezequiel Barco attempt more than 2.5 shots on goal?

  3. Will Maxi Morales score New York FC’s first goal?

Game props are a mix of team and player props. Game props encompass MLS games as a whole rather than just one specific team or player. Some of the examples you may come across in an MLS game are:

  1. Which team will have the most shots on goal?

  2. Will any player score two or more goals?

  3. Will either team have a player score a hat trick?

Futures markets

Futures markets are bets that won’t be resolved in the immediate future. These types of wagers encompass the big picture of a sport, such as who may win the MLS cup or MVP award.

These types of wagers become available before the start of a regular season or tournament. MLS odds on futures bets are traditionally much longer due to how difficult it is to predict something that’s so far away.

These odds will change throughout the course of a tournament or season. As teams who were at the bottom of futures odds before the season play well, they’ll rise the ranks. The same thing goes for players who may be in contention for an award.

Therefore, if you see MLS Cup odds you like, place that wager while you can.

Examples of futures bets you can place include:

  1. Which team will win the MLS Cup final?

  2. Who will win the MLS Cup MVP?

  3. Who will win the MLS MVP award?

  4. Who will win the MLS Golden Boot award?

  5. Which team will make it to the MLS Cup final from the Eastern Conference?

Parlays

The most popular MLS bet bettors can maximize their earnings is by building parlays. Parlays are when you combine a mix of wagers together into one. Each wager you add to your parlay is technically called a leg.

In order to win the parlay, you need every single leg to come out correctly. If you make a ten leg parlay and nine things go your way, you won’t win your bet.

The exception to that is when a sportsbook runs a parlay insurance promotion, where you can get one leg incorrect and get your stake up to a certain amount back in the form of bonus bets.

Parlays have much bigger odds because they add up all the odds of the legs you insert into your parlay.

You can mix and match traditional wagers with player or game prop bets to come up with your parlay. An example could look like this:

Parlay
Los Angeles FC to win, Gareth Bale to score over .5 goals, and Maxime Crépeau to record over 1.5 saves
Odds
+450

Which states have legalized online MLS betting?

State
Alabama
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
No
State
Alaska
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
No
State
Arizona
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Arkansas
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
California
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
No
State
Colorado
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Connecticut
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Deleware
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Florida
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
No
State
Georgia
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
No
State
Hawaii
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
No
State
Idaho
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
No
State
Illinois
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Indiana
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Iowa
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Kansas
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Kentucky
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Louisiana
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Maine
Online Betting
Pending
Retail Betting
Pending
State
Maryland
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Massachusetts
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Michigan
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Minnesota
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
No
State
Mississippi
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Missouri
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
No
State
Montana
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Nebraska
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
Pending
State
Nevada
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
New Hampshire
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
New Jersey
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
New Mexico
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
Yes
State
New York
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
North Carolina
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
Yes
State
North Dakota
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Ohio
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Oklahoma
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
No
State
Oregon
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Pennsylvania
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Rhode Island
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
South Carolina
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
No
State
South Dakota
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Tennessee
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
No
State
Texas
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
No
State
Utah
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
No
State
Vermont
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
No
State
Virginia
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Washington
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Washington D.C.
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
West Virginia
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Wisconsin
Online Betting
No
Retail Betting
Yes
State
Wyoming
Online Betting
Yes
Retail Betting
No

How to place your MLS bets

To begin placing your MLS bets, there are a few steps you must first take with the sportsbook of your choosing.

  1. Register an account with the sportsbook of your choice by clicking on the respective offer code in this piece

  2. Click or tap the register button

  3. Type in any necessary promo code when prompted during sign-up

  4. Read your sportsbook’s terms and conditions

  5. Take the final steps needed to create your account

  6. Make your initial deposit

  7. Different sportsbooks require different minimum deposit amounts

  8. Add a bet to your bet-slip and confirm you wish to place that wager

  9. If you win this bet, your winnings will be paid out in full once the bet is settled

  10. If your bets pushes, your bet will be void and your stake will be returned to you in full

  11. If your welcome offer is for bonus bets, your stake up to that designated amount will be refunded to you in the form of bonus bets after it has settled


MLS betting Q&As

What are the top MLS betting sites?

There are more MLS betting sites nowadays than ever as online sports betting continues to grow and expand. Consequently, it can be challenging to know which ones are the most trustworthy and offer the best services.

The best MLS betting sites in the table are at the top of this article and are among the most popular ones in the industry. Not only are they popular, but they’re safe and secure, alleviating any potential concern you may have over the security of your information.

One of the differentiating factors you can use to differentiate which sportsbook to start with is their welcome offer and how generous and easy to redeem they are.

Which MLS betting sites have the best welcome offers?

If you’re strictly looking for a welcome offer that will give you the most bang for your buck, the best options for you will be Caesars, BetMGM, and FanDuel. In addition to having the best welcome bonuses, they also offer the best soccer betting experiences on desktop or mobile.

All three of these offers work similarly in the way of how your bet gets redeemed. If your first bet up to their specified amount isn’t successful, you’ll be refunded your stake in the form of bonus bets that have a certain timeline to be used before they expire.

Can I win real money betting on MLS games?

Yes, you can absolutely win real money by betting on soccer. However, it is super important to remember betting is meant to be a form of entertainment only.

You shouldn’t rely on sports betting for income, and it’s critical you don’t chase your losses if you’re down on your luck.

What MLS betting tips and tricks are there?

One of the easiest pieces of advice we can give is to do research on your matchup. This can extend to the teams’ stats throughout the season, as well as researching the previous head-to-head matchups between two teams.

History is an instructive teacher, and looking at recent trends rather than season long stats can also be a useful idea for bettors.

Making sure you check the injury report is another important thing you should do before betting on an MLS game. Injuries happen all the time in any sport, and you wouldn’t want to bet on a team whose best player is out due to injury.

Who are the reigning MLS champions?

The reigning MLS Cup champions are the Columbus Crew, who won their third MLS championship in 2023 by defeating the Los Angeles FC, who were looking to repeat as champions.

The Crew were one of the best teams in the regular season, earning 57 points. That made them the third seed in the Eastern Conference entering the postseason. They had an impressive overall record of 16-9-9. Their leading goal scorer was Cucho, who netted 24 goals.

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.