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Columbus Crew Second in MLS Eastern Conference: Now Odds of 14-1 to Win 2019 MLS Cup

Federico Higuain of the Columbus Crew
Federico Higuain and the Columbus Crew are 14-1 to win the MLS Cup, despite sitting second overall in the Eastern Conference. By Hayden Schiff (Wiki Commons) [CC License]
  • The 4-2-1 Columbus Crew are second overall in the MLS Eastern Conference
  • Despite this, Bovada still lists Columbus at +1400 to win the 2019 MLS Cup
  • Columbus won its only MLS Cup title in 2008

As long as there’s been MLS, there’s been a Crew in Columbus. An original founding MLS franchise in 1996, Columbus has played in just two MLS Cup finals. The Crew won their only title in 2008.

Columbus is off to a solid 4-2-1 start to the 2019 MLS season and currently is situated second overall in the Eastern Conference.

But sportsbooks aren’t on board with the Crew as legitimate contenders in the MLS Cup odds.

2019 MLS Cup Odds

Team 2019 MLS Cup Odds at Bovada
Los Angeles FC -450
LA Galaxy +600
Seattle Sounders +900
DC United +900
Atlanta United +900
Toronto FC +1000
New York Red Bulls +1400
New York City FC +1400
Columbus Crew +1400
FC Dallas +1800

*Odds taken on April 16, 2019. Click the link in the table for more options. 

Bovada puts the Crew down as tied for the seventh-best MLS Cup betting choice at odds of +1400.

Columbus most recently played in the MLS Cup final in 2015, losing 2-1 to the Portland Timbers on their home pitch at MAPFRE Stadium.

Columbus, Toronto FC (2016) and the New England Revolution (2002) are the only teams to lose the MLS Cup final at home.

Forging a New Identity

When Crew coach Greg Berhalter left to take over the helm of the US Men’s National Team, former Portland Timbers coach Caleb Porter was hired.

Whereas Berhalter liked to preach about building through the process, Porter has instituted a new, results-driven mandate.

He encourages the team to regularly study the MLS standings, and to confidently talk about winning the MLS Cup.

You won’t find a Columbus player anywhere in the top 10 of an MLS offensive category.

Last season, Columbus finished fifth in the East and lost to the New York Red Bulls in the conference semifinals.

The East is Not in Crew’s Control

As much as their start is impressive, there’s plenty of evidence available to suggest that what the Crew is achieving is based more on smoke and mirrors than actual excellence.

You won’t find a Columbus player anywhere in the top 10 of an MLS offensive category.

The Crew give off the impression that they are an effective side by playing a very safe, high-possession brand of soccer.

The fact of the matter is that Columbus can’t score.

The Crew lost their most recent game 1-0 at Montreal to an Impact team that recently was lit up for seven goals by Sporting Kansas City.

They are on pace to score 34 goals in a 34-game season and averaging one goal per game won’t win a championship.

Just Say Goodbye Columbus

Columbus is 1-2 on the road, the only Eastern team with a winning record and a losing away slate.

Unless the Crew can find a proven finisher to complement their solid possession game, this team will continue to look better than they really are.

Don’t throw your money away betting on them to go all the way. Either of the LA teams – the Galaxy or LAFC – are more solid MLS Cup wagers.

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An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.