The MLS playoffs begin with a do-or-die wildcard matchup — two of them actually. Before you even think about betting on it, you NEED to read this. We’re laying out the two best MLS Wildcard bets to take so stick with us because this advice is going to make you money!
- What: 2023 MLS Wildcard Round
- When: Wednesday, October 25
Charlotte FC at New York Red Bulls
We begin in the Eastern Conference where history is being made on both sides. The Red Bulls extended its playoff appearance record to 14 years in a row now. Then there’s Charlotte FC which is making its first-ever postseason appearance, having joined the MLS in the last few years. A quick look at the Charlotte-New York moneyline and one thing is clear: the Red Bulls are convincing favorites to win. Here’s how the best soccer betting sites have the game pegged on the three-way moneyline:
When it comes to playoff betting — whether in the MLS or another sport — it’s never a bad idea to “ride the hot hand.” By that, we mean bet with the team that’s playing the best going into the postseason. However, that’s a bit of a wash in this matchup because both are on the upswing.
The favored Red Bull was all but left for dead in May. The team won a single game in its first 11 matches which led to a mid-season coaching change, and it worked. Using stout defense — New York allowed the third-fewest goals in the Eastern Conference — the club roared back to life. The Red Bull won four of its last five to seize this playoff berth and the all-important home-field advantage.
Honestly, that turnaround parallels Charlotte’s own comeback. They only won one of their first eight matches and at one point, had an eight-game winless streak too. But the team managed to go undefeated (three wins and one tie) in its last four matchups to sneak into the playoffs. Those wins came on the back of great defense too with three of them being clean sheets. One clean sheet came against the Leo Messi-led Inter Miami too — it was Miami’s first loss with Messi and his two Barcelona teammates (Jordi Alba and Sergio Busquets) in the lineup.
Given the type of defensive pedigree both teams have, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to bet the game’s under on goals, which is set to three. We could very much see this being a slugest with one or two goals getting into the net and that’s it.
We’ll be betting the moneyline too because we simply think it’s too good to pass up. No way Charlotte should be as long as +400 to win straight up, not after shutting down a full-strength Inter Miami side. The odds are mispriced and the risk-to-reward ratio is too great to not take Charlotte here. Take the underdogs with confidence!
San Jose Earthquakes at Sporting Kansas City
Staying with the trend of the other matchup, Kansas City also began the season terribly, going winless in 10 straight matches at one point. However, they’ve turned it around and are now betting favorites over San Jose. Here’s how the SJ-KC moneyline is shaking out currently:
Here again, we get the feeling that the moneyline odds aren’t being fair to the underdog. San Jose aren’t as big of underdogs as Charlotte was, but it still isn’t pretty. We think the Earthquakes' lack of success — only three playoff bids in 10 years now — isn’t bringing down its odds more than it should. Under the guidance of new coach Luchi González, San Jose is back on the upswing, hence this playoff return.
However, that upswing will be tested greatly on the road in Kansas City. These two teams met in the same stadium two months ago exactly. On August 27, Sporting KC shellacked the visitors 3-0. San Jose couldn’t get anything going for them that game with a meager two shots on target and 40 percent possession.
We honestly considered betting on the draw as we do believe San Jose is better off now than back then. Still, our instinct says Kansas City pulls off the win in regulation. This team should be playing with plenty of confidence — based on its seasonal turnaround and the prior win against San Jose. So yes, the pick to make is Sporting KC.
How To Bet On 2023 MLS Playoffs?
The first round of the MLS playoffs fully begins over the weekend. It’s a best-of-three series to start off the quarterfinals so MLS playoff betting opportunities will be plenty for the next month until the final. For a one-stop shop for betting on MLS, you’ll want to visit one of the sportsbooks below. These are the highest-rated bookies in our newest sportsbook review section so you can't go wrong with any of 'em.
The best part about using these sites to bet? They offer lucrative sign-up bonuses worth hundreds to thousands of dollars in free play. With that type of money, you could bet most of the MLS playoffs using “house money.” See the table below for a list of our favorite deals available right now.