MLS Cup Odds: Columbus Is A Worthy Dark Horse

Michel Anderson

Wed, 07/05/2023 – 23:30

Wow, did all eyes turn toward the MLS quick, eh? With Inter Miami signing Lionel Messi, the Herons’ Instagram follower count jumped from just over one million to nearly six million overnight. So with all those new eyes, let’s talk about who’s got the best shot at winning the MLS trophy this year. 

2023 MLS Cup Odds

Odds to Win MLS Cup Odds
Team Odds
FC Cincinnati +450
LAFC +550
Philadelphia Union +750
Nashville SC +900
New England Revolution +1200
Atlanta United FC +1400
Seattle Sounders +1400
St. Louis City SC +1600
Columbus Crew +2200
Orlando City +2500

Odds as of July 5

FC Cincinnati Finally Favored to Win MLS Cup

It took a while, but FC Cincinnati is finally at the top of the oddsboard by a healthy-ish margin. Cinci is at +450, a 100-point distance from LAFC. The Garys are six points up on second-ranked side Nashville SC with a game in hand.

Cincinnati has an ideal combination of offense and defense. The club has scored 32 goals (sixth-best) while allowing 21 goals (fourth-best), and its +6.5 xGD ranks fifth in the 29-team league.

FC Cincinnati has it all, including a near-perfect 10-1-0 home record. When oddsmakers are looking for a favorite. Cincinnati gives them everything they’re looking for. It just took way too long to give them that recognition.

MLS Cup Odds: Best bets

If you aren’t convinced that the top side in the league will eventually win this year’s MLS Cup, then I’ve got a few more options for you.

Nashville SC (+900)

Nahsville’s odds have bounced back. After getting shutout in their last two road games, the Music picked up a strong 2-0 win over D.C. United.

The clubs boasts the hottest striker in the game with Hany Mukhtar (even if he didn’t score a goal in the last three games). The 2022 MLS Golden Boot winner is still in top shape with 13 goals (and two hat-tricks) in his last 16 games. 

Beyond that, Nashville holds the best defensive record by only conceding 16 goals on the season.

The boys in yellow have something going for them on both sides of the ball and have the biggest X-factor in the league. Getting them at +900 feels like a steal. 

Columbus Crew (+2200)

The Crew’s odds are long at +2200, but we aren’t talking about some random side. This is the fourth-best side in a strong Eastern Conference, and Columbus has built up a bit of a run midway through the season.

Columbus has gone undefeated in its last seven matches with a +7 goal differential, including a 2-0 win over the aforementioned Nashville SC. So while they did beat up on some bottom-dwellers like Colorado and Chicago, the Crew took care of business against a stronger opponent. 

I’m also a big fan of their balanced attack. Sure, a side like Nashville is good offensively, but Mukhtar alone is responsible for 43% of their goals. The next best goal threat for the boys in yellow is Fafa Picault and his four goals, which account for 13% of the team’s tallies.

The Crew has three players with at least five goals a piece. Lucas Zelarayan has eight (19%), Christian Ramirez has seven (17%) and Cucho has five (12%). In the playoffs, a backline can shut down a single threat like Mukhtar. Trying to keep three guys seems impossible. 

At +2200, it might be the perfect time to cash in on Columbus.

Last 10 MLS Cup Champions

Last 10 MLS Cup Champions
Year Champions
2013 Sporting Kansas City
2014 LA Galaxy
2015 Portland Timbers
2016 Seattle Sounders
2017 Toronto FC
2018 Atlanta United FC
2019 Seattle Sounders
2020 Columbus Crew
2021 New York City FC
2022 LAFC

For the fan of competitiveness, the MLS has been a dream with no back-to-back winners over the last 10 years. Sure, the Seattle Sounders have won it twice in the previous decade, but those championships were separated by three years. This is a league where any team can win in any year.


Who is the favorite for the 2022 MLS Cup?

LAFC is the favorite to win the MLS Cup with odds of -125. Their opponents, the Philadelphia Union, have odds of +320 to win the MLS Cup final.

Who won the 2021 MLS Cup?

New York City FC defeated the Portland Timbers 4-2 after penalties in the 2021 MLS Cup final. 

Who are the last five MLS Cup champions?

Here are the last five Sportsbooks of the MLS Cup:

  • 2021 – New York City FC
  • 2020 – Columbus Crew SC
  • 2019 – Seattle Sounders FC
  • 2018 – Atlanta United FC
  • 2017 – Toronto FC

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