Seeing Red: Toronto FC Tops Futures Odds for MLS Season

Kevin Stott

Friday, March 2, 2018 5:46 PM UTC

Friday, Mar. 2, 2018 5:46 PM UTC

The Toronto FC Reds and Seattle Sounders have met in the past two MLS Cup finals, with each club claiming a title. Have other teams improved enough to shake things up this season?

Soccer: 2018 MLS Cup Futures Book Odds

Major League Soccer's 23rd season began Saturday with the defending MLS Cup champion Toronto FC Reds losing to the Columbus Crew 2-0.

The 2018 MLS Cup Futures Book odds from Intertops shows three of the top four teams to be from the Eastern Conference, after the Western Conference saturated the top half of the league last year. After the top four favorites for this season, the West has six of the next eight clubs.

The MLS season includes a nine-day break for the 2018 FIFA World Cup. The MLS Cup playoffs begin Oct. 31 and conclude with MLS Cup 2018 on Dec. 8.

MLS Cup Odds

Toronto FC +350

Seattle Sounders FC +700

Atlanta United FC +800

New York City FC +900

Portland Timbers +1000

FC Dallas +1600

LA Galaxy +1600

Houston Dynamo +1800

New York Red Bulls +1800

Chicago Fire +2000

Sporting Kansas City +2000

Vancouver Whitecaps +2200

Columbus Crew SC +2500

Montreal Impact +2800

Orlando City SC +3300

Los Angeles FC +4000

Real Salt Lake +4000

San Jose Earthquakes +4000

Colorado Rapids +5000

DC United +6600

Minnesota United FC +6600

New England Revolution +6600

Philadelphia Union +6600

Competition Heats Up

With Jozy Altidore healthy and now seemingly consistently productive, Toronto FC has the best scoring duo with Sebastian Giovinco (16 goals) and Altidore (15 goals) combining for 31 goals for the Supporters’ Shield holders. However, at +350 the price in early March is way too steep and, like most MLS seasons, the futures odds waver with early results, and 5/1 might be found later or elsewhere for those wanting to back the Reds.

Clint Dempsey, who turns 35 on March 9, is back for the defending Western Conference champion Seattle Sounders (7/1 to win 2018 MLS Cup, Intertops). However, Seattle will be without Jordan Morris (right knee ACL) for the entire season, meaning Nicolás Lodeiro, Harry Shipp, Wolff Eikrem, Víctor Rodríguez and younger prospects such as Handwalla Bwana and Henry Wingo will have to step up. We might never see Seattle at 7/1 again and this team is often underappreciated for how well it consistently plays on defense in front of GK Stefan Frei.

Josef Martínez (19 goals), Hector Villalba (13 goals) and Atlanta United FC (8/1 to win 2018 MLS Cup, Intertops) had a very impressive expansion season in 2017, going 15-10-9 (W-D-L). Columbus (25/1) ended last season on an 18-match unbeaten streak (8-10-0), while Bastian Schweinsteiger, Nemanja Nikolic and Chicago (20/1) established a suburban soccer fortress at home (12-3-2). New York City FC (18/1) still has probably the best overall player in the league in 36-year-old Spanish playmaker and designated player David Villa (22 goals, 9 assists in 2017).

So, despite the Reds and Sounders meeting in the past two MLS Cups, approximately half of the clubs have a legitimate shot at the championship. However, the confidence Toronto FC gained from finally getting that monkey of its back could loosen them up, offering a chance for some early Eastern Conference domination.

Free 2018 MLS Cup Champion Futures Book Pick: Seattle Sounders 7/1 (Intertops)

comment here