Soccer Betting in New York

While soccer may be regarded as a European pastime, it is becoming a much more popular sport in the US. This is likely due to the increased availability of viewable European football matches, which has progressively raised American awareness of the sport’s exciting action and sports wagering opportunities over time.

New York itself already has two Major League Soccer teams that compete in the biggest tournaments for the US and Canada each year. Fortunately, New York is likely to legalize mobile and online sports betting sometime in the future. Let’s take a closer look at soccer betting in New York so you’re prepared once those sportsbooks launch.

Soccer betting terms explained

If you want to enjoy sports betting with MLS matches, it’ll help if you have a full understanding of important soccer betting terms.

  • Matchthis is the same thing as a game. Each soccer match has two 45 minute halves and a 15-minute break in between
  • Roster this is the collection of players that comprise a team. Every soccer team can have 28 players on the roster, but each game can only have 18 players available for fielding
  • Club this is another word for the team. It originates from the European term football club. Remember, in Europe, soccer is known as football. In MLS, there are 24 clubs, 12 each for the Eastern and Western conferences
  • Pitch this is a term for the soccer field on which matches are played. Various soccer clubs may share fields or playing space with other sports leagues, such as the NFL or MLB
  • Draw this means a game ends in a tie.
  • Nil – this is a “zero” score that’s only recorded if a club scores no goals for a game

With these terms in mind, you’ll be able to understand soccer odds and place bets more successfully.

How do odds work in soccer?

Soccer odds are straightforward and follow the same general format as other sports betting odds.

Overall, favorite clubs to win will be granted negative odds, such as -100. Meanwhile, underdog teams to win will be granted positive odds by line makers, such as +100. This indicates the expected chances for a team to win or lose, or to satisfy any other wager conditions.

For example, say that an upcoming match between the Leeds United and Crystal Palace clubs had odds released for their overall match outcome. Different sportsbooks may have different odds, but the Leeds United club is widely understood to be the favorite club in this matchup.

The soccer betting odds, therefore, might look something like this:

  • Leeds United: -120
  • Crystal Palace: +300

This indicates that most oddsmakers used by sportsbooks and casinos expect Leeds United to win. However, this means that placing a wager on the Crystal Palace club has the potential for a much greater payout should they perform an upset and defeat the favored team to win.

American odds format for soccer

American odds are a little different from European-style odds, which are displayed in either fractional or decimal formats. American odds are based on so-called “moneyline” odds. These use a base $100 limit.

Moneyline odds are displayed to show you how much money you need to wager to win $100 or how much money you might win if you wager $100.

With the above example, if you were to bet on the Leeds United team, you would need to wager $120 to win $100 from the wager (presuming the Leeds United team wins, of course). On the flip side, were you to wager $100 on the Crystal Palace team, you would get a $300 payout.

Positive odds indicate how much money you’ll receive for wagering $100. Negative odds tell you how much money you need to wager to win $100.

Soccer betting lines and wagers

Now that you know how to read soccer odd, let’s break down the different wager types you can make when placing bets on MLS matches.


Moneyline wagers are arguably the most common in sports betting. All you have to do is pick the winner of the game. But soccer moneyline wagering is a little more complex. There are three outcomes you can choose from when placing a moneyline wager: draw no bet, two-way, and three-way.

A draw no bet means that you choose the winner of the match. If you’re right, you win. If you’re wrong, you lose the wager. And if there is a draw in a match, your wager is refunded.

A two-way moneyline bet protects you if a team wins or draws. Essentially, you bet that your chosen team will win or the match will draw, enjoying more stable but less profitable odds as a result. A three-way moneyline bet follows the same format. But you can choose either team to win or the match ending in a draw.

Point spread

MLS point spread bets are popular choices for soccer sports bettors. Spread bets involve betting on the spread of points between the teams after a match. Most point spread bets have a spread at half a goal or 0.5 goals. However, this number can eventually rise to as high as 2.5 or 3 goals.

Odds are assigned to the bets in the usual way. They might be displayed like this:

  • Leeds United + 0.5 (-100)
  • Crystal Palace – 0.5 (+100)

In the above example, you can wager on the Leeds United club. They’re the favorite team, so you have to wager $100 to win $100 and you’re betting that they will win by within half a goal. Meanwhile, the Crystal Palace team is the underdog so you can win $100 if you wager $100. You’d be betting that they lose within half a goal.


MLS totals bets involve wagering on the total number of points scored for a match. You don’t wager on a particular team: you wager on how many goals they score together by match end. Soccer scores are typically low relative to other sports, so some bets will have you wager on as low as 0.5 goals. Others may have you wager for as high as 4 goals (with much lower odds and, therefore, higher potential payouts if you are successful).


Prop or proposition bets in MLS matches are mostly popular for bigger competitions or events like the World Cup and similar tournaments. That’s because proposition bets are unique and involve you wagering on single events or outcomes within a match.

Examples include:

  • who scores the first goal in a match
  • the team that scores first
  • whether a particular player scores a goal
  • whether a particular player is injured
  • how many goals a team gets overall
  • who wins the most corners
  • and more

Due to this variety, proposition bets are fun for sports bettors looking for creative betting opportunities.

Live betting on soccer

Wagerers will also be able to place live MLS bets if they use an appropriate sportsbook or sports betting platform. Live betting allows you to place wagers in the middle of a soccer match. Live betting wagers take place in a distinct and fast-moving market that evolves as moment-to-moment action unfolds.

With live betting, you can complicate the situation by hedging your initial bets (i.e. doubling down or adjusting your betting amount as events become more or less likely) or by jumping into new wagers as they crop up.

Because live betting happens so quickly, most people use mobile apps to take advantage of this wager type. Live betting offers a few unique wager markets since oddsmaker algorithms can come up with odds for incoming events at a moment’s notice, such as which team will be leading at halftime or how many goals will be scored over the next 30 minutes.

Major League Soccer in New York

New York fields two MLS teams: the New York City Football Club, which plays for the New York metropolitan area, and the New York Red Bulls, which typically play in the Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey. Both teams are part of the Eastern Conference and participate in the greater MLS season.

The regular season runs from as early as late February to as late as early October. All MLS teams play other teams in their same Conference (Eastern or Western) and play 34 games in total.

2021 has 27 teams, and each team will be required to play two games: one at their home stadium and one away game. Each team plays against every other team in its home conference in addition to a single game against most of the teams in the opposing conference.

The 2021 World Cup, which is by far the most popular MLS match to place wagers on, was delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the 2021 World Cup Playoffs are still scheduled to be played on December 11, 2021. Currently, the Columbus Crew SC are the defending champions. Time will tell whether they reach the playoffs again and are in a position to defend the cup.

Past champions

The last five years have been exciting for MLS fans. Here’s a breakdown of the last five MLS World Cup matches and outcomes:

  • 2016 – Seattle Sounders FC vs Toronto FC. Outcome: Seattle Sounders won 5-4
  • 2017 – Toronto FC vs Seattle Sounders FC. Outcome: Toronto won 2-0
  • 2018 – Atlanta United FC vs Portland Timbers. Outcome: Atlanta won 2-0
  • 2019 – Seattle Sounders FC vs Toronto FC. Outcome: Seattle won 3-0
  • 2020 – Columbus Crew SC vs Seattle Sounders FC. Outcome: Columbus won 3-0

Where to bet on soccer in NY

While sports betting is not yet legalized in New York, there’s hope on the horizon. In 2021, a pair of mobile sports betting bills have already been brought to the state legislature. These bills are titled S1183 and A1257.

They spell out a selection of sports betting rules and regulations. These include a hypothetical 12% tax for earnings statewide. In addition to these sports betting bills, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has already stated that he has supported a push for online and mobile sports betting.

This is likely because sports betting is already offered to New York residents via tribal-run casinos. Retail sportsbooks already operate as partners to these upstate casino locations.

However, 2021 is still early and no final decisions about sports betting in New York have been made. For now, sports betting enthusiasts must-visit retail casinos in New York to place sports wagers on MLS matches. Available sportsbook locations include:

  • Bet365 – Resorts World Catskills
  • DraftKings – Del Lago Resort & Casino
  • FanDuel – Tioga Downs Casino Resort
  • BetRivers – Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady
  • Caesars – Turning Stone Resort Casino, Point Place Casino, Yellow Brick Road Casino
  • IGT – Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort
  • Kambi – Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino, Buffalo Creek Casino

Soccer FAQ

The 2021 MLS season has been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, it will begin on April 3, 2021. The MLS season normally starts in late February or early March. The regular season will end on November 7, 2021. Meanwhile, the Cup Playoffs will begin on November 19, 2021, and conclude with the final match on December 11, 2021.

A “+” symbol means that a particular wager outcome or wagered team is the underdog. The wagerer endures riskier odds in anticipation of a higher payout should they prove to be correct. A “-“ symbol means the opposite. It’s attached to the favorite team or most likely outcome and comes with stabler odds but lower potential payouts.

Currently, the highest plate MLS player is the Los Angeles Galaxy forward named Zlatan Ibrahimovic, which receives an annual base salary of $7.2 million.

This is a matter of some debate. But many people believe the recipient of the Best MLS Player ESPY Award to be the top dog at the time. The last recipient of this reward was also Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

You can stream MLS games on most major sports network websites, as well as legal mobile sportsbooks such as DraftKings and FanDuel.

There are 26 MLS teams in total to compete in both Eastern and Western conferences. Four more clubs may join the MLS league in the next few years.