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Red Bulls the Favorites on MLS Cup Odds

The New York Red Bulls made an early exit from last year’s MLS Cup playoffs with a 3-1 two-game aggregate loss to the Montreal Impact in the Eastern Conference semi-finals, but that has not prevented the club from emerging as +500 favorites to win the 2017 MLS Cup.

The Red Bulls look to build on last year’s 16-win campaign as they travel to Atlanta for Sunday night’s season-opening matchup with the expansion Atlanta United at Bobby Dodd Stadium.

But despite claiming the Eastern Conference crown in three of the past four seasons, New York has never claimed an MLS championship and has failed to reach the MLS Cup final since falling 3-1 to the Columbus Crew in the 2008 title game.

 

Toronto FC Sits Second on MLS Futures

Conversely, Toronto FC enjoyed a breakthrough campaign in 2016, ending a decade of disappointment by reaching the MLS Cup final for the first time in franchise history after opening the season at a distant +2000 on the MLS championship odds.

That success has fueled TFC’s rise on the MLS Cup odds, where they trail only the favored Red Bulls at +550, and lead the Los Angeles Galaxy, who join the defending champion Seattle Sounders at +600.

The Galaxy locked up third place on the Western Conference table last season with a league-leading 16 draws, but have struggled in the postseason since their last MLS Cup championship win in 2014. That includes a disappointing loss on penalty kicks to the Colorado Rapids in last year’s conference semi-final.

Like Toronto FC, whom they topped on penalty kicks in last year’s MLS Cup final, the Sounders opened last season well back of the favorites at +1200, but dominated down the stretch with just two losses in their final 14 regular-season matches en route to their first league title.

 

FC Dallas, Colorado Lead Rest of Pack

Last year’s Western Conference champions, FC Dallas, follow at +800, while the Rapids round out the top of the odds at +1000.

FC Dallas led the MLS with 17 wins in 2016 while defending their Western Conference crown, but finished just two points ahead of the second-place Rapids, who advanced to the MLS Cup semi-finals for the first time since winning the championship in 2008.

New York City FC lead the middle of a crowded pack on the MLS Cup odds, sitting alongside Sporting Kansas City at +1400, followed by DC United at +2000, the Portland Timbers at +2200, the Crew at +2500, and the Impact at +2800, while the San Jose Earthquakes remain knotted with the Vancouver Whitecaps and Orlando City SC at +3300.

 

*Odds as of March 3, 2017

 

 

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