The coronavirus pandemic halting all major-sports was inevitably going to come to an end. And Major League Soccer has been one of the first major sports to resume action. Read on for our small information guide, covering the latest betting odds, tournament format and teams that are being slept-on for the MLS is Back 2020.
Major League Soccer made a return to action last week, and with a lack of sports available has seen a higher viewership and interest than what’s usual in the states. The ‘MLS is back’ tournament provides a similar format to the ‘World Cup’, with a group based layout. The MLS had only seen two fixture days when the pandemic hit, causing MLS officials to create a workaround.
How does the tournament work?
- Twenty-five teams were split into six groups (FC Dallas removed due to a positive COVID-19 test).
- Each team will play three group games spanning across sixteen consecutive days.
- The top three teams from Group A and the top two teams from Groups B, C, D, E, F will advance to the final stage. The next three highest-ranked teams in the group stage based on points total advance to the Final Round of sixteen.
- The Eastern Conference will have three groups, one with six teams and two with four teams each.
- The Western Conference will have three groups, one with three teams due to the removal of Dallas.
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) June 11, 2020
The timing and schedule of the tournament are identical to that of the world cup, which becomes an exciting time for sports bettors. Fixtures take place in the morning and the evening, leaving plenty of room for your betting action.
Where to Bet on MLS is Back
The evolution of soccer in America continues to grow with the likes of David Beckham investing his money and time into Major League Soccer. This season, his wildcard team ‘Inter Miami’ came up short in their debut game versus Orlando to a 97th-minute shocker, resulting in a 2-1 loss, not the expected start for Miami but they showed promise.
Before the season’s start, Beckham made no secret that he was going to spend big money to create the team he desires. Twelve-million dollars spent on Mexican star Rodolfo Pizzaro, alongside tens of millions spent bringing in young South American talent and some legends to go with it. Pizzaro has been a fan favourite of the Mexican Liga MX, and should be an essential star in the attack of Milan through the MLS is back tournament.
A price of 5/1 +500 for them to win Group A seems like a shot worth taking, given the variables and unknowns in Major League Soccer, a new team looking to take over is ready for the taking. Miami is priced at 30/1 +3000 to win the entire ‘MLS is Back’ tournament, which is another look I wouldn’t argue backing with a small stake.
Looking outside of Inter Miami, another interesting long-shot for the MLS is Back tournament would have to be the San Jose Earthquakes – currently priced at +300 to win their group stage, taking a shot on the 18/1 +800 for the Earthquakes to pull an upset draws interest.
Their chemistry before the 2020 postponement has been evident in the statistics. San Jose Earthquakes started their new season with an almost identical squad to the 18/19 season, because they were unlucky and should have been a playoff team last season. The expected points placed San Jose in fourth place in the Western Conference in 2019.
Yes, the Earthquakes are the bottom half of the division in regards to the level of talent, but their projected goal output from top soccer models tell a different story. While their entire squad returns, who already know each other – the majority of MLS teams are panic formatting their squads, making the Earthquakes an excellent value bet for the tournament.