Bet on the Top MLS Teams

Major League Soccer (MLS) is the top championship for soccer in America. It’s one of the best soccer betting markets for US punters, with teams that compete on an international level. Many sportsbooks now list MLS among its soccer offerings, with the US government allowing sports betting in the country.

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In this article, we’ll discuss the top MLS teams to bet on, with the main view on the performance of the New Jersey sides. We’ll also look at the format and structure of the league games. Finally, we’ll analyze the best players to watch this season.

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Top Sites for Betting on Teams in New Jersey

There are a few sportsbooks that New Jersey gamblers can access to gamble on the MLS. While you can now legally wager on sports betting, it may be hard to find bookies that allow you to register for their services. That’s why we’re providing you with a list of the top sportsbooks for MLS betting in New Jersey.

Unibet is a bookie that has a sportsbook specifically designed for NJ punters. For new members, there are some free bets and risk-free bets to grab. The bookie will treat you to promotions like the weekly parlay boost and the profit boost if you remain a loyal member.

Fox Bet is a recent bookie with an MLS offering. Only gamblers from Pennsylvania, Colorado, and New Jersey can register on the site. Furthermore, there are Fox Sports Analysts that give vital insights into the MLS standings, teams, and player performance.

888Sport has been around for a long time, but only recently joined in welcoming players from NJ. It offers a massive free bets bonus for new members, as well as an extensive list of sports promotions. If you’re interested in the latest MLS news, they also have a blog that you can read.

When you first access SugarHouse, the site will open to the Pennsylvania portal. However, you can switch to the New Jersey version at the top of the page. It uses iRush rewards to allocate sports Bonus Store Points every time you place a bet.

The final New Jersey sportsbook worth visiting is FanDuel. Another bookie that offers risk-free bets for new punters, you’ll also find bonuses for specific sports. It also features live streams to watch your favorite MLS games.

New Jersey Teams

The only New Jersey MLS team is the New Jersey Bulls. Located in Harrison, the team is part of the Eastern Conference. It formed in 1994 as the NJ MetroStars until Red Bull bought them out in 2006.

As the MetroStars, they started in the MLS in 1996. Although many fans expected them to win the season outright, the team performed poorly due to issues with team chemistry. In the first home match, one of the defenders scored an own goal in the last few minutes of the game. This led to a loss of that match.

MetroStars made a record in 1999 when they suffered the worst loss in MLS history. The final score was 7-25. Even with new players and coaches over the years, they continued with their losing streak.

The year 2000 saw another MLS record. However, this time it was a positive achievement. MetroStars player, Clint Mathis, scored five goals in a single game. It was the team’s highlight of the season, one that would see them through to the semi-finals.

Red Bull purchased the club in 2006, changing the name to the New Jersey Bulls. Some significant changes were made with new players. While Red Bull had hired Bruce Arena as a coach for the 2007 MLS season, he resigned when the team suffered an elimination during the first round.

Current Team and Conference Structure in MLS

There are 26 teams in the MLS, split into the Eastern and Western Conferences. The MLS bases conferences on locations in the United States. The sides in each conference face off against each other, with the best teams each side competing in the finals.

Here is a list of the teams per conference.

MLS Eastern Conference Teams
Atlanta United Chicago Fire FC Columbus Crew SC
D.C. United  FC Cincinnati Inter Miami CF 
Montreal Impact  New England Revolution  New York City FC 
New York Red Bulls  Orlando City  Philadelphia Union
Toronto FC  MLS Western   


Conference Teams

Colorado Rapids FC Dallas Houston Dynamo
LAFC LA Galaxy  Minnesota United 
Nashville SC  Portland Timbers Real Salt Lake 
San Jose Earthquakes Seattle Sounders Sporting Kansas City
Vancouver Whitecaps    

Bet on The Playoffs : Where the Best Teams Meet

The top seven teams in each conference qualify for the playoffs. Team placement is on points earned from games in the MLS season. The best team obtains a bye for the semi-finals, while the rest of the teams eliminate each other in playoff matches.

Playoff Brackets

Quarter-Finals  Round 1 2 vs 7, 3 vs 6, 4 vs 5
Semi-Finals Round 2 1 vs 4–5 winners 2–7 vs 3–6 winners
Conference Finals  Round 3 Semi-Final Winners
MLS Finals Round 4  Conference Winners


Playoff Game Location Framework

Eastern Conference
Group A Group B Group C
Orlando Toronto Atlanta
Inter Miami New England Cincinnati
NYCFC Montreal NY Red Bulls
Philadelphia D.C. United Columbus


Western Conference

Group D Group E Group F
Seattle Real Salt Lake LAFC
FC Dallas Sporting KC LA Galaxy
Vancouver Colorado Houston
San Jose Minnesota Portland


Wildcards & Byes

In the past, six teams from each conference would win their way into the playoffs, with one Wildcard making it through.

However, the MLS has discontinued it. Now all seven conference teams go through to the playoffs, with the top team earning a Bye to the conference semi-final.

MLS Team Performance

If you’re going to be betting on the MLS, then you need a sports betting strategy. One tactic that works very well is researching team performance. You can follow trends from the previous seasons to take advantage of player patterns for prop bets.

This section looks at the past performance of the Bulls and other top teams.

New Jersey team legacy and past performance

It was clear to many that the move from the MetroStars to Bulls was a good one. Before the buy-out, the team struggled to make it through to the playoffs several times. After the change of management, they would succeed in doing so for seven seasons in a row.

In 2015, management decided it had to change the tired strategy of using world-class players. They switched to younger members that had more energy to take on the top MLS teams. The tactic worked, leading them to the semi-finals.

Throughout MLS history, the NJ Bulls have had a reputation for making it through to the Quarter Finals in the Eastern Conference. There were three occasions where they reached the semi-finals, namely in the 2014, 2015, and 2018 seasons. They have yet to take the finals and win the MLS cup.

On the road to the 2018 season playoffs, they won 22 matches, lost seven, and drew five. While these numbers revealed excellent performance, they lost the semi-finals to Columbus Crew. However, they won the second leg of the conference finals against Atlanta United with a score of 1-0.

When looking at the 2018 season stats, the Bulls scored between two and three goals in the games that they won. Two matches ended with a tally of 4-0, namely against the Portland Timbers and New York City FC. They’ll want to repeat these scores for the 2020 season.

The New York Red Bulls show the potential to take the cup one day. While they ended 6th in the 2019 season, they were only 2 points behind the two teams above them. However, they suffered an elimination in the first round of the playoffs.

Best teams in the MLS and past performance

Many experts provide power rankings to MLS teams based on their performance over the years. Among several online editorials, the teams with the highest rankings are the Seattle Sounders, LAFC, and New York City FC. We’re going to take a look at their performance and see why they are the best teams.

The Sounders are the defending champions from the MLS 2019 season. It was their 11th appearance in the MLS. After making their way to the top in the Western Conference, they beat Toronto FC in the finals.

It wasn’t the first time that the Sounders had taken the championship, as they had also done so in 2016. In all the team’s years in the MLS, they had either reached the finals or semi-finals. They are also four-time champions in the US Open Cup. 

LAFC have done well for a team that has only played in two MLS seasons. They came 3rd in the conference and 5th overall in the 2018, making it to the knock-out round. They fared better in the US Open, where they competed in the Semi-finals.

LAFC also had an excellent 2019 season, winning the Western Conference Semifinals. They would have made it through to the MLS cup final if the Sounders didn’t knock them out in the conference finals. They saw the same luck in the US Open Cup when they were eliminated in the Quarter-finals.

New York City FC finished top of the Eastern Conference last season. It earned them a Bye for the playoffs, meaning that they went straight to the Conference Semifinals. However, their top form shattered when the Toronto FC beat them in the Conference Finals.

Big Team Rivalries in the MLS

Studying team rivalries is one of the tactics you can use for MLS betting. You can find patterns of one team consistently beating another while watching player performance to see if the trend will continue. Alternatively, you can wager on the losing team winning this time around.

When it comes to the top rivalries, few are better than the Columbus Crew facing FC Cincinnati. Many fans have dubbed this rivalry with the phrase ‘Hell is Real.’ The name is inspired by a real estate sign en route to Columbus.

The reason for the rivalry is due to the two clubs staying close to each other. They first battled each other in the 2017 US Open Cup. The competition extended into the fans in the audience, who proceeded to argue and trash talk. Since then, these two teams have played for the title of the best team in their area.

The next rivalry is known as ‘El Trafico’ by fans. It began when Los Angeles FC joined the MLS in 2018. Once again, it’s based on location, as the Los Angeles Galaxy vied for the best MLS team in Los Angeles.

The rivalry title stems from the fact that Los Angeles has more traffic than any other nation in the MLS. However, the bitter rivalry emanated from the new team regularly leading in score by half-time in every game that season. The Galaxy team refused to stand down and struck back to take both wins.

The final battle worth mentioning crosses over into Canadian borders, called the ‘Canadian Classique.’ The Montreal Impact and Toronto FC have attempted to prove which is the MLS best team in their country. Of course, Toronto FC showed their dominance by making it to the MSL 2019 Cup Finals, losing out to the Sounders.

Notable MLS players in New Jersey

Brenden Aaronson currently plays for the Philadelphia Union in the MLS. However, he was born and raised in Medford, New Jersey. He played in the 2019 MLS season, scoring his first goal against Atlanta United. He was second in the ‘2019 MLS Rookie of the year’ award.

Juan Agudelo joined the New York Bulls in 2010, started his career in the MLS after showing promise in the US Open Cup. He played in three MLS seasons with the team, showcasing his performance with numerous goals. Today, he plays for Inter Miami after losing out on a contract with Toronto FC.

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Sacha Kinser [email protected] SEO Content Manager US, UK, Canada, New Zealand

Sacha Kinser is the SEO Content Manager for the US, UK, Canadian, and New Zealand markets. Her skills have developed from years of experience in curating content strategies and building brand identity through multimedia content online. 

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