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Eric Uribe | Tue 06/04/2021 - 06:05 EDT

Who Will Win The 2021 MLS Cup?

Who Will Win The 2021 MLS Cup?
We're inching closer and closer to the start of the Major League Soccer season on April 16, and now would be the perfect time to lock in a futures bet on the eventual champion. For expert advice — all free of cost — check this article out. We've hand-picked three bet-worthy teams!

Before we answer the "money question" — which team will win the 2021 MLS Cup — we need to get the perspective of the online bookmakers. Many have already released betting lines for the championship future, including BetOnline below:

TeamBetOnline
Los Angeles FC+500
Columbus Crew+600
Seattle Sounders+650
Toronto FC+850
Philadelphia Union+900
New York City FC+1100

While all 27 MLS teams have betting odds to win the MLS Cup, the six clubs featured above currently have the best odds. So are bookies on to something with the betting favorites? Or did they completely miss out on a team? We have all your answers below!

Familiar Names In The Mix

File this under the statistical category of "crazy but true": only five teams have reached the MLS Cup since the 2015 season. Seriously, the revolving door of clubs includes Seattle (four title-game appearances), Toronto (three), Portland (two), Columbus (twice), and Atlanta (once). That's all, folks!

That's why we feel obligated to at least pick one team from the usual mix as a possible MLS Cup returnee and eventual champion. You just have to given how strong the trend is.

In that scenario, our pick from the pack is Seattle. Since Brian Schmetzer took reigns of the team in 2016, they've reached four of five MLS Cups — winning two of 'em. Plain and simple, coach Schmetzer knows how to win more than any other league manager.

Admittedly, Schmetzer is in for a tough challenge in 2021. The Sounders lineup will be without a number of usual faces — Joevin Jones, Kevin Leerdam, and Gustav Svensson all departed in free agency, while Jordan Morris is injured and not playing this season. 

The losses probably mean Seattle will be off to a slow start, which should nosedive their futures odds. But in due time, we trust Schmetzer to figure out a lineup that again makes a deep postseason run. So our advice is don't rush into a Sounders bet yet, wait it out, then get them at a better price around mid-season.

Betting pick to make: Seattle Sounders (+650)

Breaking Into The Pack

When it comes to championship betting futures, whether in the MLS or another soccer league, you need wagers on multiple teams — no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Injuries, locker room turmoil, or other random events can single-handedly derail a team's season and you never know when that will strike. That's why you need backup plans (plural, not singular).

A perfect, and we mean perfect, Plan B in this bet is LAFC. Simply put, Los Angeles is the most talented team across the whole league. The club is led by the MLS' best one-two scoring punch, Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi. Vela won the MVP title in 2019, while Rossi claimed the Golden Boot award in 2020.

After going 37-13-18 in the franchise's first two seasons, LAFC took a step backward in the pandemic-affected 2020 campaign. The club was bounced in the first round of the postseason — but all this transpired mainly due to injuries plaguing Vela, who started all of four games in 2020. 

A reloaded Los Angeles squad has all the makings of a championship run. Beyond getting a healthy Vela back, the front office also bolstered the roster over the offseason by adding Corey Baird (2018 Rookie of the Year) and Kim Moon-hwan (international add-on from South Korea). This is a no-brainer bet to make alongside Seattle. 

Betting pick to make: LAFC (+500)

The Long Shot Pick

You got your tried-and-true betting pick (Seattle), you got your boundless-talent pick (LAFC), now you just need a potential-yet-unfulfilled pick — a "dark horse" per se.

In this category, we're backing Orlando City FC. Here's a club that overachieved last season, turning a perceived rebuild year into a conference semifinals appearance instead. It's now in year two of manager Oscar Pareja's reign and another overachieving campaign could launch them into the championship.   

The strength of the team lies in its midfield. Orlando City could realistically rotate six players and hardly miss a beat. The midfield group, and team at-large for that matter, is led by star player Nani. Even at 34 years old, the longtime Manchester United stalwart remains one of the most electric playmakers in all of MLS. 

If the stars align — e.g. Nani stays healthy and Pareja improves the team further — then Orlando City could shock the league in 2021. They're as great of an under-the-radar bet as you'll find in the MLS. 

Betting pick to make: Orlando City FC (+1600)

Where to Bet on the MLS?

If you need more MLS betting odds, whether futures or regular games, check out one of the bookmakers listed below. They'll have you covered with bettor-friendly lines all-season long from the regular-season start on April 16 to the championship game on December 11. 

One more thing before we let you go: betting MLS games isn't the only way to make money at these betting sites. You see, there are also killer promotions available at these bookies, especially if you're a first-time bettor of the site. 

Newbies can earn a sign-up bonus upon registering an account at a site. The bonus isn't small change, either, we're talking awards worth thousands of dollars in free play! To get an idea of what promotions are currently at your disposal, take a gander at the table below. 

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