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In The Mixer: Experts offer up their MLS outright picks
Gareth Freeman
Gareth Freeman
February 21, 2024
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Sports Journalist at FST, Gareth qualified as a journalist after graduating from university and spent over a decade as a freelance broadcast journalist, commentator and tipster before joining FST. Now living in Manchester, he is a long suffering Bolton Wanderers fan who also enjoys boxing, the NBA, tennis and rugby league.

In The Mixer is FST’s weekly column where we catch up with our team of football betting experts and get their opinion on the hot topic of the week.

The new MLS season gets underway on Wednesday night as Inter Miami take on Real Salt Lake in the curtain raiser. We’ll be covering the competition in our match predictions section and with our free Football Tips, but before the big kick off we thought we’d get the thoughts of our team of experts on their potential winners.

All of our experts have snubbed 11/4 MLS Cup favourites Inter Miami, despite the presence of both Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez in their squad, in favour of bigger price options. All prices quoted come from bet365 and new customers can take advantage of their sign-up offer using the button below.

MLS Cup Winner Predictions

Aidan Perkins

Columbus Crew won their third MLS title last year and they look like the side to beat overall again in 2024 at 8/1.

Aside from losing midfielder Julian Gressel to Inter Miami, the Crew have largely managed to keep their title-winning squad intact over the offseason so they look strong enough to follow-up on that success this year, when they will again be guided by respected coach Wilfried Nancy.

Their most notable new signing is highly-rated Colombian winger Marino Hinestroza, who should do well in MLS after impressing for Mexican side Pachuca.

William Maxwell

While the star-power of Inter Miami and Columbus Crew’s ability to perform when they need to is nothing to shirk at, I believe that neither will make the final of the play-offs, let alone win the title. Cincinnati are 12/1 and they have what it takes to go all the way this year after lifting the Supporter’s Shield last season. They let a two goal lead slip in the semi finals to the Crew, eventually losing 3-2 after extra time, and that experience might make them a tougher nut to crack in 2024.

Aaron Rogan

Last season’s beaten MLS Cup finalists Los Angeles FC are among the favourites to win it this time around at 8/1 and they could go all the way. After lifting the trophy in 2022, LAFC were on course for a huge silverware haul last term before a mid-season slump. They’ve cleared the decks ahead of the new campaign, adding Hugo Lloris alongside promising young talent.

The addition of Eduard Atuesta in midfield really helps LAFC and they’ll be busy with more signings. Given their pedigree over the last couple of years, they’re good value to push for another MLS Cup.

Henry Hardwicke

I’d be looking to play around Inter Miami, who look far too short at the head of the betting and, at 12/1, Cincinnati look the bet.

The Orange and Blue dominated the regular season last term, winning the Supporter’s Shield and they were pretty unfortunate to lose to Columbus in the conference finals.

Forward Aaron Boupendza, who scored for fun during his time in France, Turkey and Saudi Arabia made a strong start to life in the MLS and the Gabonese can fire Cincinnati to glory.

Jamie Griffith

Inter Miami look too short and it is another Florida side who make the most appeal at the prices.

Orlando City finished second in the Eastern Conference last season before losing to eventual winners Columbus Crew in the playoffs and could improve on that solid season this time around, having added some serious firepower in the transfer window.

Luis Muriel is a striker who has thrived in Serie A over the years and clearly still has talent having scored four goals in five Europa League appearances for Atalanta this season, suggesting he could thrive in the MLS.

Two-time MLS champion and 2020 assist leader Nicolas Lodeiro has also joined and could help create plenty of chances for Muriel, making 20/1 look a big price for Orlando should those two get firing immediately.

Phil Agius

It makes more sense to back Inter Miami now at 11/4 than it did when they were a bafflingly popular pick after signing Lionel Messi last season despite being last in the Eastern Conference with more than half of the regular season played.

They didn’t even make the playoffs, but their run to the US Open Cup final highlighted their potential if their star man can stay fit.

However, I’d prefer to take a bigger price on Sporting Kansas City, who also made a slow start to the last campaign but finished with a rattle and came through two rounds of playoff games to make the conference semi-finals. There may be more to come and they’re interesting each-way at 33/1.

Rob Eddy

It is understandable why Inter Miami would be favourites but they still look far too short. The signing of Luis Suarez adds more glamour to a star-studded squad but it was keeping goals out that was their biggest problem last season, and the Uruguayan will not help them in that regard.

Seattle Sounders finished second in the West last season with easily the best defence, and they have made moves to strengthen their weakness – their attack – by signing Argentina U20 international Pedro de la Vega, with striker Danny Musovski adding further depth. It may be a little risky with De La Vega perhaps not proven but 16/1 makes them worth chancing.

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