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LAFC Make History on Decision Day, Enter Playoffs as +150 Favorite to Win MLS Cup

Gary Gowers

by Gary Gowers in Soccer News

Updated Mar 31, 2020 · 11:02 PM PDT

LAFC are strong favorites to lift their first MLS Cup entering the playoffs. Photo By @MLS (Twitter)
  • LAFC win the Supporters’ Shield and are hot favorites for MLS Cup
  • Los Angeles club listed as +150 favorites
  • New York City FC win the Eastern Conference and are second-favorites

The MLS regular season is now complete and Los Angeles FC (LAFC) set many records along the way and claimed the all-time points record on the final regular-season game (Decision Day) with a 3-1 win over Colorado Rapids.

They have been favorites to win the MLS Cup all season and nothing has changed — they’re sitting at +150 to lift the trophy.

Is now the time to bet on LAFC, while they are still plus-money, or could the Supporters’ Shield winners slip up along their path to making history?

MLS Cup Odds

Team Finishing Position Odds to Win MLS Cup
Los Angeles FC 1st (Western) +150
New York City FC 1st (Eastern) +500
Atlanta United 2nd (Eastern) +800
Philadelphia Union 3rd (Eastern) +1400
Seattle Sounders 2nd (Western) +1400
Minnesota United 4th (Western) +1800
LA Galaxy 5th (Western) +2000
New York Red Bulls 6th (Eastern) +2000
DC United 5th (Eastern) +2500
Real Salt lake 3rd (Western) +2500
Toronto FC 4th (Eastern) +2500
New England Revolution 7th (Eastern) +3300
Portland Timbers 6th (Western) +3300
FC Dallas 7th (Western) +4000

*Odds taken on 10/07/19

With a bye in the first round, LAFC will face either Minnesota or crosstown rivals LA Galaxy in the Conference Semifinals on October 23–24, and as they have never beaten Galaxy they may need to create club history if they are to go all the way.

In only their second season in existence, LAFC have had a wonderful campaign, winning 21 of their 34 games and scoring an impressive 85 goals along the way. They finished on 72 points – eight more than any team in either conference – and with a positive goal difference of +48.

With the experienced Bob Bradley in charge, LAFC have put together an outstanding squad – one that on paper is definitely one of the strongest in the MLS – and crucially in Carlos Vela (34 goals) and Diego Rossi (16) they have two goalscorers of the highest calibre.

Will Galaxy Hoodoo Need Busting?

They do, of course, have plenty of work left to do before they can add the MLS Cup to the Supporters’ Shield in their trophy cabinet and whoever qualifies from the first-round playoff game will cause them problems. If it’s Galaxy it will require them to break their duck against their city rivals – they have yet to beat them – and Minnesota beat them 2-0 in LA in early September before the reverse fixture was drawn 0-0 on the penultimate day of the regular season.

So, a place in the Conference Final is by no means a given, although the fact they finished the season 16-points ahead of their closest rivals, Seattle Sounders, in the Western Conference should fill them with great confidence. If form is anything to go by, they’ll be in the final on November 10.

Expect the Unexpected in the Playoffs

Anything can happen in playoff soccer, but New York City look set to be LAFC’s biggest threat to the title – as indicated in the MLS Cup odds – having topped the Eastern Conference with a record second only to LAFC’s. 18 wins from their 34 games was the same as Atlanta United, but only six defeats compared to United’s 12 gave them a comfortable eight-point cushion. They also possess that priceless commodity called momentum having lost only once in their last 11 regular-season games.

Both Eastern teams will pose a threat to LAFC in the playoffs if their paths cross, but also Western Conference rivals, the Sounders, look nicely priced at +1400 and are worth look for those who fancy a longshot.

My pick: New York City FC to lift the MLS Cup  (+500)

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