OUR regular analysis man Will Dyer (@w2Dyer) looks at the MLS and crunches the numbers to see how to make profit in the new season.
Don't Play Away
Formatting the Eastern and Western Conferences since 2012 has allowed teams to play more of their games closer to home, similar to the NFL, but America’s vast size still ensures teams have to fly to many of their away games.
As a result away wins are much harder to come by in this division;
- 2014 = 24.1%
- 2013 = 23.8 %
- 2012 = 24.4 %
To put that into perspective, last season’s Premier League away win percentage was 32.37% and this year it is currently 29%.
Anyone Can Win
In 19 seasons, nine different teams have won the MLS Cup. Over the same time period just four sides have won the Premier League.
New England Revolution, trust me to support them, have appeared in five MLS Cup finals and not won a single one including last year’s 2-1 defeat to LA Galaxy.
Go Over In The West
MLS is a really high scoring league and though that is reflected in the odds on many occasions it’s very much worth backing overs and both teams to score. I’ve have found doubles and trebles to be quite successful in these markets.
In general the Eastern Conference is not as high scoring as the Western so backing goals in games of East v West could be the best way to play it. Last year;
- Western Conference teams averaged 1.48 goals per team per game. 1.36 in 2013.
- Eastern Conference teams averaged 1.38 goals per team per game. 1.25 in 2013.
Other Profit Pointers
- Backing the draw has been a very profitable strategy in the Eastern Conference lately. If you had backed a draw in all of Chicago Fire’s post-April home games when they have been priced at 1.72 or over in the last five years you would have won 26 of 52 bets with a LSP of +33.55.
- Look out for the games between teams from different conferences as the travel mileage can be huge and the time difference seems to have an effect.
- Watch out for certain sides that draw a lot of their games and others that rarely draw. Last year the draw percentage varied hugely from club to club with Sounders drawing just 3 out of 34 games but Chicago Fire drawing a whopping 18. Certain fixtures have ‘draw’ written all over them.