The first round of the 2022 MLS playoffs kicks-off this weekend with six different matchups. Each are win-or-go-home format, which makes the betting stakes all the more fun. For picks on several different playoff games, you'll want to read this.
3-Way Moneyline: FC Cincinnati at New York Red Bull
The first game of the MLS playoffs is October 15 and if you ask the top betting sites for soccer, this is the closest game of the six matchups odds-wise. The Red Bull are favored to win, but are only even money on the 3-way moneyline — not minus like other playoff favorites. Here are the full odds at the moment:
|New York Red Bull||+100||+100|
We should mention one very important thing: this game is being played at Red Bull Arena. Normally, that's advantageous to the home team, of course, but we're not sure that's the case here. That's not to knock New York City themselves, but Cincinnati has proven to be road warriors this year. Here's a crazy stat: the Orange and Blue have lost just one of their last 14 matches played outside Ohio — a stretch that dates back to 26 March. Re-read that bolded sentence because that's a wild stat, and one not easy to pull off!
But that's been the story of Cincinnati's 2022 team: doing the unthinkable. This team has been a doormat for the league since becoming an expansion franchise in 2019, but are now into the MLS playoffs for the first time. We don't know whether its dream continues into round two, but at the very least, we think can stay competitive. Both of these teams split their regular-season meetings with 1-1 draws. To us, this game screams draw potential.
Handicap: Inter Miami at New York FC
We go from the closest betting game to the most lopsided. On the moneyline, NYCFC is favored by a whopping -170 to win, that's more than any other team. We're not interested in that bet type, however. We're instead putting our money on the Miami-New York City spread. Check out the current odds below:
|New York FC spread (-1)||+100||+100|
|Inter Miami spread (+1)||-130||-130|
We're a bit troubled by Miami's performance on Decision Day. With playoff positioning hanging in the balance, Miami dropped a 3-1 game to Montreal (its lone score wasn't even theirs as it was an own goal). Yes, Montreal is a good team (they own the two seed), but so is third-seeded NYFC.
We could see NYCFC winning this game by multiple goals — they're that much more talented than Miami, who is making its first-ever playoff appearance. Due to the Yankees also being in the playoffs, the game will be at Citi Field (home of the Mets), not Yankees field. That won't mean much because NYCFC will roll to victory either way.
3-Way Moneyline: Orlando City at CF Montreal
Both times these two faced-off in the regular season resulted in completely-opposite outcomes. In the season opener, Orlando cruised to a 2-0 win on their pitch. But later in the season and in Canada? Montreal beat the breaks off them with a 4-1 victory. Perhaps that's why the 3-way moneyline between Orlando and Montreal is far across the board:
Montreal is on quite the hot streak to start the playoffs. The club won eight and its last ten matches. It's tough to bet against that, especially on their home soil. We sense Orlando City plays Montreal tough, but ultimately lose in regulation by a goal.
Over/Under 3 goals: Real Salt Lake at FC Austin
Every MLS round-one matchup has the over/under set a 2.5 goals, everyone one except Salt Lake and Austin that is. Bookmakers have jumped this up to three goals, which speaks to the offensive-creating abilities of both sides. Though, the under is the betting favorite slightly:
|Over 3 goals||-105||-105|
|Under 3 goals||-125||-125|
Austin ranked third overall with 65 goals netted this season, whereas Salt Lake was far worse with only 43 (sixth-worst league-wide). Therefore, it's really on the home team to pile up the points, which we're betting they are. Austin's lead striker Sebastián Driussi is simply sensational (22 goals) and deserving of the MVP. He'll help push this game into over territory.
How To Bet On 2022 MLS Playoffs?
The best spot to bet on the 2022 MLS playoffs — whether it's the first round or MLS Cup final — is at one of the underneath bookmakers. They'll have ALL the lines for the postseason, and that includes futures on who wins the damn thing (this bet pays big time if you make it right now). Read our unbiased sportsbook reviews to get an idea of what you can expect at every site.
Here's one thing you should absolutely expect: huge amounts of free play. These bookmakers all offer types of free-play bonuses. How much depends on the site and how much money you're willing to fork over, but when maxed out, one site is offering up to $2500 in free play. That's sure a lot of money to make MLS bets on for free. See the table below to get started!