The show must go on.
Any team sport attempting to come back in the middle of a pandemic is bound to encounter some obstacles.
And Major League Soccer is no different.
So yes, there have been some positive tests. And yes, an FC Dallas/Vancouver match has already been postponed. But the show is going on. The MLS is Back Tournament begins Wednesday at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando. It will run from July 8-Aug. 11, giving fans a monthlong smorgasbord of soccer.
The tournament will follow a World Cup model, featuring games nearly every day, with kickoffs scheduled at 9 a.m., 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. to avoid the worst of Florida’s heat.
MLS betting is live now, tournament play begins Wednesday
Major League Soccer’s 26 teams will be split into six groups for pool play. The Eastern Conference will have three pools, one featuring six teams and two others with four. The Western Conference will have three pools with four teams each. The groups are available here.
It all starts at 8 p.m. Wednesday with a game between Orlando and Miami, followed by Chicago and Nashville in the nightcap. Both games will be broadcast on ESPN.
Here’s a quick overview of the tournament and all the available odds to get you ready for the MLS return.
Philadelphia Union in the top five in futures odds
Futures odds vary across the region’s sportsbooks, but Los Angeles FC is a consensus favorite. BetRivers, PlaySugarHouse and DraftKings Sportsbook have the team at +350 to win the MLS is Back tournament. Toronto is next at +900, followed by Atlanta United FC at +1100. The New York Red Bulls and the Philadelphia Union, Pennsylvania’s only MLS team, are tied for fourth at +1400.
FanDuel Sportsbook has different odds on almost all the aforementioned teams, so bettors would be wise to compare pricing.
The remaining top 15 favorites and their odds at BetRivers/PlaySugarHouse are as follows:
- FC Dallas: +1600
- NYCFC: +1600
- Seattle Sounders: +1600
- Sporting KC: +1600
- SJ Earthquakes: +1800
- LA Galaxy: +2000
- Columbus Crew: +2200
- Inter Miami CF: +2200
- Minnesota United: +2200
- Orlando City FC: +2800
Odds are available on the entire field, with Nashville SC and FC Cincinnati offering the greatest returns at 80-1. DraftKings also has a lengthy list of team and player props, including some first and last goal scorer bets for Wednesday’s games.
Single-game betting lines are live for the opening games
For those interested in wagering on individual games, the region’s sportsbooks have betting lines available for the first several days of the tournament. In Wednesday’s opening games, BetRivers/PlaySugarHouse have Inter Miami CF as a moneyline favorite at +127. Orlando City SC is +200, and a tie is +260. The game’s under/over goal total is 2.5.
In the late game, the Chicago Fire are -118 on the moneyline, and Nashville SC is +310. A tie is +275, and the over/under is set at 2.5.
Philadelphia is -155 in its first game, a matchup with Nashville SC (+360) on July 14. BetRivers/PlaySugarHouse have single-game betting lines posted on all the games from July 8-18, giving players plenty of options for MLS action. DraftKings and FanDuel should also have a number of daily fantasy contests available soon.
July begins major return to sports and sports betting action
Sports fans have taken a lot of hits over the last few months, but Major League Soccer is leading the return this month. The MLS is Back tournament begins this week. Baseball, basketball and hockey will follow soon after.
Games, matches and sports betting options should fill up the rest of the summer.
It all starts Wednesday. The curtain is rising.
And the show is going on.