Head-to-Head MLS Betting in 2021 – Which Teams Will Finish Highest?

| May 13, 2021 10:28 am PDT

If you are betting on Major League Soccer in 2021, I’m sure you’ve already checked out all the usual MLS futures. Those of you who regularly bet on MLS will no doubt be familiar with the main MLS prop bets.

Whether it’s betting on the MLS Cup winner, the MVP, or the Golden Boot, there are countless opportunities to win real money betting on Major League Soccer.

But have you ever considered head-to-head MLS betting?

Essentially, H2H betting means you are wagering on one team to finish higher than another team in the regular-season standings.

For example, if FC Dallas is priced at 1.57 and Austin FC is priced at 2.25, the bookmakers are favoring Dallas to finish above Austin come the end of the year.

10bet currently offers several head-to-head matchups for MLS teams, so I thought it would be a good idea to take a closer look at some of the biggest battles and try to find some value in the MLS odds.

Let’s start by making some MLS predictions for the Texas teams.

Who Will Reign Supreme in Texas?

Betting on the MLS teams in Texas has always been fun, and with the arrival of Austin FC, we now have three Major League Soccer clubs battling it out for the Lone Star State bragging rights.

FC Dallas has undoubtedly been the dominant force in Texas in recent years, while Houston Dynamo has struggled to compete. But can Los Verdes upset their new-found rivals this year?

Let’s take a look at the head-to-head MLS betting markets for the Texas clubs.

Can Houston Outshine Dallas in 2021?

FC Dallas1.20
Houston Dynamo3.90

Austin may have burst onto the scene, but there is absolutely no denying that FC Dallas vs. Houston Dynamo is the real Texas Derby.

However, it is safe to say that Houston has been living in Dallas’ shadow for a long time.

Since the Dynamo moved to the Western Conference back in 2015, they have only managed to finish above the Toros in one of the past six seasons. Last year, sixth-place Dallas finished 13 points ahead of last-place Houston.

Looking at the strength of the 2021 FC Dallas roster, Luchi Gonzalez’s men should once again finish higher than Houston in the West this year.

Does Austin Have What It Takes to Challenge Dallas?

FC Dallas1.57
Austin FC2.25

Interestingly, the oddsmakers believe that Austin stands a better chance than Houston of finishing above Dallas in 2021.

The expansion team has already claimed some notable scalps this year, beating Colorado and Minnesota. The newcomers also held their own against LAFC in their maiden MLS match.

I am sure that Josh Wolff’s men will enjoy a decent season, although surpassing Dallas’ achievements in their inaugural campaign is a big ask.

Austin Could Humiliate Houston

Austin FC1.50
Houston Dynamo2.40

When you consider the Dynamo’s recent struggles, odds of 1.50 for Austin to secure a higher finish than Houston feel like a good deal.

We have seen a few expansion clubs enter the league and hit the ground running, most notably Nashville SC in 2020. If Los Verde’s early-season performances are anything to go by, they could be the next newcomers to enjoy instant success.

Still, it is going to take some time for Austin to become the top MLS team in Texas.

Can Austin FC Become the Top MLS Team in Texas?

In less than a month’s time, Major League Soccer’s third Texas-based club will begin play as expansion team Austin FC joins the league. Since 2006, the Texas Derby has been waged between FC Dallas and Houston Dynamo, with the two rivals enjoying a...

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Betting on the Big Western Conference Matchups

From El Trafico to the Cascadia Cup (and a whole lot more), the competitiveness of the Western Conference has skyrocketed in recent times.

Below, I cover the head-to-head MLS odds for three key battles in the West.

Who Will Claim the LA Bragging Rights in 2021?

LAFC1.15
LA Galaxy4.75

It is no secret that Los Angeles FC has overtaken the Galaxy as the leading club in LA, at least in the modern day. I mean, Bob Bradley’s men have finished above the Galaxy in all three of their MLS seasons to date.

However, at the time of writing this, the Galaxy has just beaten LAFC and currently sits four points clear of the Black & Gold in the standings.

While the Galaxy has already picked up three wins in four games this year, LAFC has only managed to record one win.

Of course, it is still early days; a lot of can change between now and the end of the season. But if the Galaxy continues to enjoy a resurgence under Greg Vanney, backing the Carson club to finish higher than LAFC could land you a tasty profit.

The way things are going, the Galaxy’s price of 4.75 seems too good to be true.

LAFC VS. GALAXY – WESTERN CONFERENCE FINISHES
Season LAFC Position LA Galaxy Postion Points Difference
2020 7th 10th 10
2019 1st 5th 21
2018 3rd 7th 9

The Sounders Are Heavy Favorites in the Pacific Northwest

Seattle Sounders1.16
Portland Timbers4.50

As expected, Seattle has made a vigorous start to the 2021 season. Did you really anticipate anything else from the 2016 and 2019 MLS Cup champions?

Not only have the Sounders clinched two of the last five MLS Cups, but they have also finished inside the top four in the Western Conference for 12 consecutive years – including four straight second-place finishes between 2017 and 2020.

Granted, the Portland Timbers ended up third last year and have finished atop the West on two occasions since 2013. But they have made a poor start to the new campaign, winning just one of their opening four games.

With a seven-point gulf separating Portland and Seattle already, the Sounders should finish above the Oregon outfit with ease this year.

2021 Roster Assessment for the Seattle Sounders

When Brian Schmetzer signed a multiyear contract extension back in January, everyone associated with Seattle breathed a sigh of relief. After all, the long-standing head coach has taken the Sounders to four of the last five MLS Cup finals – triumphing...

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Can LAFC Finish Higher Than Seattle?

Seattle Sounders1.83
LAFC1.83

The bookmakers seem to think there is nothing between Seattle and LAFC. But if you are betting on MLS in 2021, I recommend backing the Sounders to end the campaign in a better position than Bradley’s side.

Following a couple of close seasons between the two sides, Brian Schmetzer’s men finished seven points clear of the Black & Gold in 2020. Judging by their contrasting early-season form, the Sounders look set to outperform LAFC again this year.

At odds of 1.83, siding with Seattle feels like a no-brainer here.

Head-to-Head Betting in the Eastern Conference

When it comes to betting on the MLS Eastern Conference in 2021, there are plenty of exciting matchups to get your teeth into.

Let’s see if we can find some value in the MLS odds and try to predict which teams will finish higher in the standings come the end of the season.

Will the Red Bulls Reclaim the New York Bragging Rights?

New York City FC1.20
New York Red Bulls4.20

Both the New York clubs have made a promising start to 2021, winning two of their opening four matches. Right now, there isn’t really much to separate the teams.

New York City won the Eastern Conference in 2019, with the sixth place RBNY trailing 16 points behind. But last year, the Red Bulls closed the gap to just seven points and finished the season on a high.

Under Gerhard Struber, the Red Bulls have upped their game. If they can continue to make strides and hold onto their best players (most notably teenage sensation Caden Clark), I don’t see why they can’t finish higher than NYCFC this year.

Perhaps we’ll be able to gauge where the NY teams are at when they meet for the first Hudson River Derby of 2021 in August.

MLS Cup Champs vs. Supporters’ Shield Winners

Columbus SC1.40
Philadelphia Union2.70

The Philadelphia Union ended up finishing six points clear of Columbus in the East last term, sealing the Supporters’ Shield in the process. However, the Columbus Crew went on to clinch the 2020 MLS Cup.

As you can see, the bookies expect Columbus to finish above Philly this time around.

The Union has only managed to win one of their opening four matches this season, losing to New York City and Chicago Fire along the way. On the flip side, the Crew has enjoyed an unbeaten start to the 2021 campaign, registering a win and a couple of draws.

Sure, the U could turn things around. But the strength of the Columbus roster should make it difficult for Philly to outshine the defending MLS Cup champions this term.

The Canadian Classique – Toronto or Montreal?

Toronto FC1.10
CF Montreal6.00

Prior to the start of the season, I wouldn’t have batted an eyelid at these odds. But when you look at the current standings in the East, Montreal’s price of 6.00 is worth considering.

The two rivals met on the opening weekend of the 2021 MLS campaign – and Montreal secured a 4-2 victory over Toronto FC. Since then, the two sides have been moving in opposite directions.

While the Reds have failed to win any of their first three games (0-1-2), Wilfried Nancy’s men have only lost one of their opening four (1-2-1).

We all know that TFC has dominated Montreal in recent years. The Quebec club has only managed to finish above Toronto in two of the last seven seasons, while the Ontario outfit has claimed the MLS Cup, Supporters’ Shield, and three Canadian Championships in that time.

But is the pecking order beginning to change north of the border?

What Can We Expect from the Canadian MLS Teams in 2021?

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More MLS Betting Opportunities in 2021

That concludes my look at some interesting head-to-head bets in Major League Soccer this year.

Of course, the odds in this market will fluctuate as the season goes on and teams change places. Make sure you keep up to date with all the latest prices at the best soccer betting sites.

If you are looking for some more MLS bets for 2021, why not take a look at some of my other recent posts?

We also publish betting previews for every Major League Soccer match in our MLS picks section, so make sure you check those out too.

Ben Morris
Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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