Seattle Sounders’ Nicolas Lodeiro pumps his fist as he heads off the field after the team’s 1-0 win over FC Dallas in an MLS playoff soccer match Tuesday, Dec. 1, 2020, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
- The defending champion Seattle Sounders have climbed to the top of the MLS Cup odds following their victory over FC Dallas in Western Conference semifinal action
- The Columbus Crew enjoy home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and sit second to Seattle in the odds, but longshots Minnesota and New England each offer intriguing betting value
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds as the MLS Cup Conference Finals get underway this weekend
After punching their ticket to the Western Conference Final for the fifth time in seven years with Tuesday’s narrow 1-0 victory over FC Dallas, the Seattle Sounders have emerged as +115 favorites to repeat as MLS Cup champions in the updated MLS futures. The Sounders can expect to face a surging Minnesota United squad in Tuesday’s matchup. The Loons have been dominant during a three-match win streak, but lag as +400 underdogs in the MLS Cup odds.
The Columbus Crew sit second to Seattle as a +200 bet, but cannot afford to look past the giant-slaying New England Revolution, who take their Cinderella run into the Eastern Conference Final sporting attractive +300 odds.
Odds to Win 2020 MLS Cup
|New England Revolution||+300|
Odds taken Dec 4 at DraftKings
Sounders Reclaim Top of Odds, with a Little Help
Listed as +340 second favorites heading into the Conference Semifinals, the Sounders helped their own cause with a narrow 1-0 victory over FC Dallas. However, the defending champions also received a lift from Minnesota’s decisive 3-0 win over the previous MLS Cup favorites, Sporting Kansas City, and Orlando City’s stunning 3-1 loss to the seventh-seeded Revolution.
#TBT: Our last three trips to the Western Conference Final. 💚 pic.twitter.com/t89CHzTFhu
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) December 4, 2020
Overall, the Sounders have racked up an 11-4-4 win-loss-draw record since the regular season resumed, capped by a current three-match win streak during which they have outscored opponents by a wide 8-2 overall margin. Seattle has also feasted on home cooking since early September, going 7-0-1 in eight dates at Lumen Field, and have not allowed more than a single goal in a match during that stretch.
The Sounders have also posted victories in three all-time home meetings with Minnesota, and are undefeated in seven matchups across all competitions since 2015. However, it is a different Loons squad that will visit Seattle for Tuesday night’s Western Conference Final.
2021 Premier League Top Scorer Odds Tracker
Molino, Reynoso Power Loons to Conference Finals
Undefeated in ten outings since late September, Minnesota have steadily gained momentum as the postseason has progressed. With their stunning upset of Sporting, the Loons have now posted 3-0 wins in each of their past three contests.
Reynoso and Molino one of the best duos in the league, unbelievable chipped reverse ball, Molino’s movement from deep is so hard to track. The difficulty and finesse of that finish can’t be understated. Reynoso running the game in the attacking phase, three 1st half assists. https://t.co/QYHoISH6qy
— Ben Green (@beno_greeno) December 4, 2020
Midfielders Kevin Molino and Emanuel Reynoso have powered the Loons’ attack. Molino has potted six total goals over the club’s past three outings, while Reynoso has assisted on seven of Minnesota’s nine markers over that stretch. And while the Loons are winless in Seattle, it is tough to ignore their recent road record. Minnesota has buried the memory of a recent lengthy losing streak by blanking opponents during their current 2-0-1 run on the road.
Can Crew Capitalize on Home Field Advantage?
Over in the East, the Columbus Crew have needed some late-game heroics to earn their first berth in the Conference Final since 2017. The third-seeded Crew had to overcome a first-half deficit to get past the New York Red Bulls in first-round action and were pushed to extra time before finally knocking off expansion Nashville with a 2-0 victory earlier this week.
Columbus Crew catch FIRE in extra time 🔥
Back-to-back goals from Pedro Santos and Gyasi Zardes! pic.twitter.com/H2vv91PdoW
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) November 30, 2020
While the Crew have kept their supporters on the edge of their seats, they have been reliable on home turf. In addition to compiling an impressive 10-1-0 record since the regular season resumed, Columbus have also avoided losing at home to New England since 2014. That bodes well for the Crew, who are guaranteed home-field advantage in the MLS Cup Final if they can get past the Revolution on Sunday afternoon.
Revolution Playing Better than their Seeding
Pegged as the eight-seed in the East, the Revolution have posted wins in four of five outings. The club has also risen to the occasion in the postseason, bouncing both the early MLS Cup favorite Philadelphia Union in the first round, and following up with a decisive 3-1 win in Orlando last weekend.
New England marches on!
Gustavo Bou (x2) and Carles Gil help the Revolution book their first trip to a conference final in 6 years. #MLSCupPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/1gnBGs3kJD
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) November 29, 2020
A key to success for New England is sustained offensive production. The club’s shooters have been streaky on the road this season, averaging over 2.1 goals per game in eight away wins since late August, but just two total goals in the four road dates in which they failed to pick up three points.
Overall, the urge to back the defending MLS Cup champions is difficult to resist. Time and again, the Sounders have silenced the naysayers in the postseason. However, with the Loons’ offense peaking at the right time, and a stout defense slamming the door, it is even tougher to look past the enormous value that Minnesota offers as +400 longshots.
The Pick: Minnesota United (+400)
Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.