With the 2023 MLS season just past the halfway point, the race for the title is as wide open as it has ever been. The big favorites at the start of the season, LAFC, Philadelphia Union, and NYCFC, have all had rough stretches, leaving them vulnerable to surprise teams.
Expansion side St. Louis City FC and young FC Cincinnati have stormed to the top of their respective conference and are now true contenders.
The league is continuing to play through the Gold Cup but will take a one-month break starting in late July for the newly formatted League Cup against Liga MX. When league play resumes in August, there will be a mad sprint to the finish of the regular season that will greatly impact the 2023 MLS Cup odds.
USA MLS Cup 2023 Odds
|Los Angeles FC||+450|
|New England Revolution||+1000|
|Seattle Sounders FC||+1600|
|St. Louis City SC||+2000|
|Inter Miami CF||+2500|
No team in MLS has repeated since the LA Galaxy did so in 2011 and 2012 with a loaded roster. Their Los Angeles rivals, LAFC, have a chance to do so this season. And at the beginning of the year, they were +410 favorites to win another title.
The Black and Gold got off to a great start this season, but a congested schedule with CONCACAF Champions League games and the U.S. Open Cup caught up to them in late May and early June.
The Black and Gold are still the favorites at +450, and they are tied for first place in the West with St. Louis City. But LAFC showed they aren’t as deep as they were last season. When they went six straight games without a win but scored only one goal in that span between May 23 and June 14.
They have since bounced back with two wins from the last three and will be favored on soccer picks in at least three of their five games before the break.
FC Cincinnati are having a big breakout season after making the playoffs for the first time last year. They lead not only the Eastern Conference but all of MLS with 43 points as the schedule heads into July. FCC not only has three MLS All-Stars, but they also have a USMNT breakout star in Brandon Vazquez.
The Orange and Blue suffered a surprising 3-0 loss on the road to end June at DC United, ending a 14-match unbeaten streak that dated back to April 22. They have one of the biggest soccer matches this week in the league as they host second-place New England Revolution and will also face top contender Nashville SC before the Leagues Cup.
Cincinnati is +475 on the 2023 MLS Cup odds after starting the season at +2150. They are in a great position to not only make the playoffs but secure home field in the East. So far this season, FCC is 10-0-0 at home in MLS action.
The Next Group
Following the top two teams, there is a group of three teams, all from the East, bunched together in the 2023 MLS Cup odds as July approaches. Last year’s runner-up, Philadelphia Union, is listed at +700, with Nashville SC at +900 and the New England Revolution are +1000.
The Revolution are in second place in the East, one point ahead of Nashville and two points ahead of the Union. Coached by former USMNT manager Bruce Arena, the Revolution won the Supporters Shield two years ago before falling in the playoffs. Led by Gustavo Bou and Carles Gil on offense, the Revolution haven’t lost at home this season and have scored 33 goals.
Those that bet on soccer know that Nashville goes as MVP candidate Hany Mukhtar goes. The MLS leader in goals has put Nashville in a great position with 35 points from 20 games.
The defense has allowed the least amount of goals in the East. Anchored by Walker Zimmerman and Shaq Moore, with Joe Willis in goal.
Philadelphia started slow this season, possibly with an MLS Cup heartbreak hangover from last December. But now the Union are clicking, and they have scored 34 goals with a 7-1-2 record at home. They have lost just once in their last ten games in all competitions. And have scored 23 goals in that span.
As an expansion side, St. Louis City FC was +10000 to start the season. But now their 2023 MLS Cup odds are +2000. They started hot, cooled off, and suffered injuries, but have found their form again with a 2-1 win in San Jose to finish June.
City has struggled on the road with four losses, but they have 37 goals on the season, and if they can get Eduard Lowen and Joao Klauss back from injury for the final push, they will be tough to beat.
Atlanta United and Seattle Sounders are also both at +2000 to start July. Seattle has the experience and the pedigree in the postseason, but injuries have taken their toll this season.
Cristian Roldan just came back from a concussion, and Raul Ruidiaz has been in and out all season.
Atlanta probably gives up too many goals (35) to be a true contender, but they have scored 37 on the season and can erase deficits like no other team in the league.
Inter Miami will be interesting if they can just make the playoffs after adding Lionel Messi and potentially other superstars this summer. They are +2500 and sit in last place in the East.
But if they make up the 13-point gap to get into the playoffs, Messi has the talent to make the difference in the playoffs.