MLS Schedules

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Understanding the MLS Schedule

Major League Soccer, or MLS, is the top-tier soccer league in the United States. MLS calendar features each team playing a 34-game league that typically runs from February to October.

A big difference from most European leagues is that MLS plays during the summer. That allows a unique opportunity for the MLS schedule to have exhibition soccer matches during their regular MLS season vs. European teams on preseason tours. The MLS All-Star Game, typically held in August, most often features a team of MLS’ best players vs. one of Europe’s elite clubs. 

Those looking to bet on MLS should be aware that there are two conferences, Eastern and Western, and that there’s no promotion/relegation structure. Point spreads are usually released one week before a match is due to be played. Be sure to check the updated MLS schedule before placing your bets! 

MLS odds will usually reflect recent form and matchup history, whether a team is playing at home or on the road, the number of rest days a team has and any suspensions or injuries a team is carrying into a match. 

MLS Calendar & Format

Each MLS team plays every team in their conference twice, home and away. Each team also has eight interconference matches scheduled. MLS doesn’t stop play for most regularly scheduled FIFA breaks and only takes one international break, in September.

During the regular season, MLS teams can also be involved in other soccer competitions like the U.S. Open Cup, CONCACAF Champions League and Leagues Cup. 

Unlike most European soccer leagues, MLS has single-elimination playoffs that run from October to November.

The second-through seventh-place teams in each conference qualify for the first round of the MLS Cup playoffs while the first-place teams receive a bye into the Conference Semifinals. 

The winners of the Eastern and Western Conference playoffs meet in the league championship game, called the MLS Cup. MLS Cup betting is possible at any point during the season and early-season bets can often have big value. 

2023 MLS Season Events

Tips Prior to Placing Bets on MLS Matches

Before you decide to wager on any Major League Soccer (MLS) game, it’s essential to take these guidelines into account.

Consider Motivation Factors:

Evaluate the motivation levels of teams over the course of the season. Towards the latter part of the season, some teams might be striving for significant goals, such as securing a spot, avoiding relegation, or contending for the championship. Conversely, teams with little on the line might exhibit lower intensity. Grasping the motivational factors at play can aid in predicting team performance, leading to more precise betting selections.

Pay Attention to Schedule Density:

Give careful consideration to schedule congestion, especially during packed periods or after international breaks. Teams could face fatigue or squad rotation due to an increased number of matches.
Analyze how the schedule could impact a team's performance and adjust your betting approach accordingly. For instance, a team with a quick turnaround between matches might prioritize resting key players, potentially affecting their overall performance.

Analyze the Fixture List & Team Performance:

Examine the fixture list and assess the teams' performances throughout the season. Take into account factors such as home and away records, head-to-head statistics, recent form, and player injuries or suspensions. This information will provide insights into the strengths and weaknesses of the teams, enabling you to make more educated betting decisions.

These MLS betting tips are designed to assist you in making informed choices when betting on this soccer matches. It’s important to have a solid understanding of the factors influencing team performance and the various betting options available in order to enhance your betting experience.

MLS Calendar FAQs

When does the MLS schedule start?

The MLS season commenced on February, marking the return of exciting soccer action across various matches and teams. The first round of matches was part of the “MLS is Back” Opening Weekend.

What are the consistent match windows for MLS games?

During the regular season fans can enjoy consistent match windows on Saturdays and select Wednesdays. This schedule arrangement aims to enhance viewing accessibility and attendance at matches

How many clubs are participating in the MLS calendar and how are they divided into conferences?

The MLS season calendar features 29 clubs divided into two conferences: the Eastern Conference and the Western Conference. The conference alignment provides an exciting mix of matchups for fans to look forward to.

What is the structure of the MLS Cup Playoffs?

At the conclusion of the MLS Regular Season, the top seven teams from each conference automatically qualify for the Round One Best-of-3 series in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs. Additionally, the next two teams in each conference standings qualify for a single-elimination Wild Card match. Winners of the Wild Card matches secure a spot in the Round One Best-of-3 series, adding excitement to the playoff race.
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