- As their season opener fast approaches, Toronto FC have dipped to a +933 bet on average to win the MLS Cup
- TFC have reached the MLS Cup final in three of the past four years, but will face massive challenges from powerhouse Eastern Conference rivals
- Check out the most recently updated MLS Cup odds below
As the countdown continues toward the start of the 2020 MLS season this weekend, Toronto FC have taken a dip in the MLS Cup odds, slipping to +900 in the soccer futures.
Odds to Win 2020 MLS Cup
|Los Angeles FC||+350|
|New York City FC||+800|
|NY Red Bulls||+1600|
|Real Salt Lake||+1800|
|New England Revolution||+2500|
Odds taken on Feb. 25, 2020.
Expectations Tempered by Bradley’s Injury
TFC have emerged as one of the most competitive clubs in MLS, reaching the MLS Cup final in three of the past four years and raising the trophy back in 2017. Toronto FC defied the odds during their march to the 2019 MLS Cup final, and return to action with last season’s core largely intact. However, the club will be without captain Michael Bradley when they hit the pitch for Saturday afternoon’s season-opening matchup with the San Jose Earthquakes at Earthquakes Stadium.
— Kristian Jack (@KristianJack) January 22, 2020
The heart and soul of the Reds during their three recent MLS Cup runs, Bradley remains sidelined indefinitely after undergoing surgery to repair an ankle injury suffered in Toronto’s 3-1 loss to Seattle in last November’s MLS Cup final. And not surprisingly, TFC’s dip in the MLS Cup odds coincided with the announcement regarding Bradley’s injury. Toronto trailed only the LA Galaxy with average odds of +500 prior to Bradley’s surgery, but have steadily dropped since to their current position with +933 average MLS Cup odds.
#TFCLive DP Pablo Piatti will miss the season opener on Feb.29 at San Jose and likely home opener March 7 at BMO Field vs. NYCFC. Suffered a slight left hamstring strain in training and is back in T.O. working with trainer Giuseppe Gueli. Re club spokesmen: out "a few weeks" #MLS
— steve buffery (@Beezersun) February 22, 2020
The club is hoping to get a lift from the offseason addition of La Liga veteran Pablo Piatti. The 30-year-old winger arrives in Toronto after playing in Spain for the past decade, and spending the past four seasons with Espanyol, where he potted a career-high 10 goals during the 2016-2017 campaign. However, a hamstring injury is expected to sideline the Argentine for the first two matches of the season.
Shaky Road Record, Conference Rivals Present Challenges
But while the Reds enjoyed a spectacular playoff run last season, getting to the postseason was far from easy. The club racked up a middling 13-10-11 win-loss-draw record during the 2019 season, and particularly struggled on the road, going 4-6-7 during the regular season, and have posted just six total road wins over the past two years.
The Reds also face the daunting task of overcoming a pair of powerhouse rivals in the Eastern Conference. New York City FC, whom the Reds face in their home opener at BMO Field on March 7, have a lot to prove after suffering a stunning conference semifinal loss to Toronto in last year’s playoffs as the top seed.
Maxi Moralez is the third player in @MLS history with 20+ assists in a season, joining Sacha Kljestan & Carlos Valderrama.
He is an easy Best XI choice this year, and probably 4th in the MVP ballot (tho you could make a case for him as high as 2nd IMO). #NYCvATL
— Matthew Doyle (@MattDoyle76) September 25, 2019
Like the Reds, NYCFC return to action with last season’s core largely intact, led by last year’s assists leader Maxi Moralez. The Cityzens were also just one of three MLS clubs to suffer just one home loss last season and return to action sporting attractive +800 odds in the MLS Cup futures.
Ah yes, this looks familiar. 🔥
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) February 19, 2020
Hobbled by injuries to defenders Michael Parkhurst and Miles Robinson, Atlanta United also made an unexpected early playoff exit at the hands of the Reds. Parkhurst was one of several players to leave the Five Stripes during an offseason roster overhaul.
However, with striker Josef Martinez still leading the attack, and Atlanta enjoying a favorable early-season schedule that features a season-opening date with the expansion Nashville SC, and a home-and-home with Cincinnati, the club should have ample opportunity to integrate their youthful additions, and offer intriguing value as +550 second favorites.
Fast Start Key to TFC’s Success
Of course, the road to the MLS Cup is also likely to go through Los Angeles and Seattle. LAFC open the campaign perched as +350 chalk in the MLS Cup futures, while the Sounders sit as a +700 bet to claim a third title in five years.
— Toronto FC (@TorontoFC) December 19, 2019
But while question marks loom over TFC, and their ability to carry over their strong play and good fortune from last season’s playoff run, a favorable early-season schedule that features matchups with Nashville, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Miami will likely determine whether this club can dominate on the pitch without their captain.
Pick: Atlanta United (+550)
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