With a recently signed $2.5 billion stream contract with Apple TV, Major League Soccer (MLS) is here to stay and only growing in popularity each and every year. Unlike other soccer leagues across the globe, MLS is forced to compete with other long-established mainstream sports here in the United States, but that doesn’t mean the product is improving.
Let’s take a closer look at all things MLS and how you can get in on the action.
What is MLS?
With 14 teams in each conference (Eastern and Western), the MLS plans to expand to 30 teams by 2023, as the sport continues to catch like wildfire across the country. As of this season, three franchises (Atlanta United, Los Angeles FC, and Los Angeles Galaxy) are approaching the $1 billion evaluation. The MLS’s first billion team is undoubtedly just over the horizon.
Typically starting at the end of February, the MLS runs through the MLS Cup Playoffs in October and November, with the MLS Cup determining a winner. In total, each team plays 34 games, with the top seven in each conference having a chance to play in the MLS playoffs. With the winner taking home the MLS Cup, the regular season winner (based on points) wins the Supporters Shield each season, with the New England Revolution winning the most recent one.
While ESPN currently has the rights, Apple TV will take over next season with exclusive rights for the next 10 years. While local markets are free to negotiate with Apple, the deal will give the league the money needed to continue to expand the game.
How to Bet MLS
Like other professional soccer leagues, there are many ways to get in on the MLS action. In addition to the standard moneyline bets, you can also bet on the spread/goal line, total goals, and draw no bet. So far this season, Los Angeles FC leads the way in the West with 30 points and a goal differential of +13, while New York City FC leads the East with a goal differential of +15.
In addition to week-to-week betting, just like in other markets, bettors can also bet in the MLS Futures markets, which are updated each and every week. With the World Cup coming up, expect the MLS to get plenty of attention as the only show in town in the soccer world as it will go right up to the start in Qatar.
Whether you’re new to sports betting or a betting pro, our How To Bet and Sports Betting Strategy and Advice pages are for you. You can get started with our 101 section — including How to Bet on Sports — or head to more advanced strategy — like 10 Tips to Become a Sharper Sports Bettor — to learn more.