2020 MLS Season Best Bets
March 1, 2020
By Rock Westfall
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LAFC Tops 2020 MLS Championship Odds
For the second time in four seasons the Seattle Sounders won the MLS Cup in a 3-1 win over Toronto FC in 2019. Seattle was the number two seed out of the Western Conference while upstart Toronto was the number four seed from the Eastern Conference. Both teams are among the betting favorites to win the 2020 MLS championship. The Sounders championship was not the biggest story of the 2019 campaign; instead it was the fact that LAFC, by far and away the most dominant team of the regular season, failed to win the title. Seattle beat the Black and Gold 3-1 in the Western Conference Finals.
LAFC is the top betting favorite at FanDuel to complete their championship mission for 2020.
Odds to win 2020 MLS Championship
LA Galaxy +1400
Real Salt Lake +1400
DC United +2000
New England +2000
New York Red Bulls +2200
San Jose +2800
Inter Miami +5000
Orlando City +8000
Sporting Kansas City +8000
Odds provided by FanDuel (IN, NJ, PA & WV only)
Odds Subject to Change (T&C's Apply, 21+)
2020 MLS Championship Odds Overview
It is completely understandable why LAFC is the chalk for the 2020 MLS championship. The Black and Gold ruled the regular season a year ago like few teams in league history. Many gamblers see the playoff failure as a simple fluke and are lining up to double down on who they consider to be the superior team in the MLS. Toronto’s strong run in post season has made them the second pick. Meanwhile New York FC, similar to LAFC, is another top pick as a strong regular season team that was upended by underdog Toronto in the playoffs a year ago. NYCFC was the top seed from the Eastern Conference last season.
For the 2019 campaign, LAFC finished with 21 wins, four losses, and nine draws for 72 points and a goal differential of a whopping +48. LAFC’s goal differential was utterly staggering in that it was 27-better than the second-best team (New York FC). Just as remarkable is that LAFC is an expansion team that will be entering their third season in history. Carlos Vela headlines the Black and Gold marquee. Vela is a star for the Mexico national team that is coming off a career season and team best 34 goals for 2019. He was a member of Arsenal in the Premier League from 2008-2011. Gone is goalkeeper Tyler Miller with newly arrived Netherlands star Kenneth Vermeer expected to take over. Keep in mind that what LAFC did in the 2019 regular season was historic at all levels and they may have just been in the process of learning how to finish.
Despite posting the ninth best record in the regular season for 2019, Toronto FC has been bet up to the second choice for this year’s championship. Much of that has to do with the Reds strong second half of the season and playoff run. Of great concern is that team leader Michael Bradley is out until June due to an ankle injury suffered last November. Alejandro Pozuelo returns after scoring a team best 14 goals. The arrival of midfielder Pablo Piatti is seen as a potential game changer. However, the Reds are more of a workmanlike group that is better than the sum of their parts and may be overpriced.
New York FC
New manager Ronny Deila takes over a team that exceeded expectations for 2019 as the foursome of Heber, Alexander Mitrita, Maxi Moralez and Valentin Castellanos all picked up the slack for the departed David Villa. Heber led the team with 15 goals. The biggest concern for many is the coaching change that followed a strong overall performance.
Few teams in the league have a better or more proven general manger than Garth Lagerwey, who keeps Seattle a consistent contender in the Western Conference. But the defending champions will not catch LAFC, or anyone else for that matter, napping in 2020. Lagerwey has had a busy offseason managing considerable roster turnover that may prove to be too much to overcome as far as a repeat title for 2020.
2020 MLS Championship Pick
The only thing that LAFC lacked for 2019 was championship experience. They learned a painful, expensive, but valuable lesson on what it takes to win it all. Look for the Black and Gold to finish 2020 by hoisting the MLS Cup!
2020 MLS Odds Betting Pick: LAFC