The 2022 MLS Playoffs haven't been nearly as unpredictable as years past. That's evident by looking at the final four, which includes two top seeds, a second seed, and the reigning MLS Cup champions. Before you lay money down at top-used soccer betting sites, you need to read this all the way through. We have two free betting picks on both MLS conference finals matchups!
3-Way Moneyline: Austin FC at LAFC
Upon first looking at the Austin-LAFC moneyline, we said to ourselves, "how?" This is a matchup that pits the conference's No. 1 and No. 2 seed, the team who should still be left standing, yet the underdog side is a whopping +350 to win in regulation. Does that feel steep to anyone else or is that just us?
Yes, LAFC is the Supporter Shield winner. Yet, they are at home. Yes, they feature a who's-who of a roaster that includes former international sensations — Gareth Bale, Giorgio Chiellini, and Carlos Vela, among many others. But Austin, despite being only in year two of its league existence, very much belongs in this game. There's no fluke run here.
For instance, only two teams in MLS scored more goals than Austin in 2022 (LAFC is one team but they only outscored Austin by one goal). Furthermore, only one club conceded fewer than Dallas (for what it's worth, LAFC ranked third-best here, also one goal behind Austin). Statistically speaking, this is a razor-close matchup between the Western Conference's best sides. So why such lopsided of a moneyline?
LAFC certainly has more collective star power, but no one single player on any side shines brighter than Austin's unstoppable goal-scorer Sebastian Driussi. And yes, unstoppable is a completely apt term to describe the MVP candidate. Driussi has shown zero signs of slowing down after a regular season campaign that included 21 goals. He's added three more for Austin in the postseason. He, alone, is capable of being an X-factor in this matchup.
You can probably assume what way we're leaning here after dropping heaps of praise on Austin. While we're not picking Austin to win straight up in regular time, we do think there's a lot of value in the draw. The underdogs are much more formidable than bettors and bookies give them credit it for. We say fade the public and wager on a draw here.
3-Way Moneyline: NYCFC at Philadelphia Union
The Eastern Conference matchup is much more even in the eyes of the bookmakers. The Union, with its historically-good defense, is favored on the moneyline as it should be. But the reigning MLS champions are not far behind to pull off the upset in regular time:
We'll be completely blunt and say we'd be shocked if NYCFC wins in regulation. Absolutely shocked, as a matter of fact. At home in Subaru Park, Philly went completely undefeated with a 13-0-5 mark. So that's one betting option we're disqualifying right off the bet, leaving us with two — a draw or Union victory.
Our money is on a Philadelphia victory. They are the most complete team in the entire league and all the metrics support that. The number-one scoring side in MLS, the stingiest defense in the league, and an MLS-best goal differential nearly twice as good as the next-best team. We could go on and on but it's hard to dispute Union's dominance this season.
We're not going to lie, there was a small part of us that wanted to take the draw. Sure, that +265 price is lucrative, but this is the champions we're talking about in NYCFC. What's the old Ric Flair saying, "to be the man, you have to beat the man, right?" But that's the thing, the Union has done that twice already this season. First, they won 2-0 on the road and again 2-1 at home. All signs point towards another regulation-time victory for Philadelphia.
How To Watch 2022 MLS Conference Finals
Want to track your bets in real time? Sure, you do! You can easily watch the 2022 MLS Conference Finals on TV. Below you'll find the TV schedule for both matchups:
- Austin at LAFC — Sunday, October 30 at 3 pm EST (ABC)
- NYCFC at Philadelphia — Sunday, October 30 at 8 pm EST (FS1)
And while you're at it, you might as well circle the MLS Cup Finals on your calendar. It will go down Saturday, November 5 at 4 pm EST, exclusively on FOX.
How To Bet On 2022 MLS Playoffs
There are three games left in the MLS season — the two we covered above, plus the championship finale. If you want to bet on the remaining 2022 MLS playoff matches, then you can't go wrong with one of the bookmakers listed below. These bookmakers have industry-leading lines on all soccer, not just MLS, so they'll be great options for the 2022 World Cup. Our table has up-to-date sportsbook reviews if you want to get a better idea about what's offered site-to-site.
Last thing before we let you go: look into the lucrative sign-up bonuses offered at these bookies. Hundreds to thousands of dollars in free play are at stake, all of which you could use to make free bets on soccer for the next month!