With the start of the MLS is Back Tournament set for Wednesday down in Orlando, Fla., it’s Toronto FC that leads the three Canadian clubs at +1400 odds to raise the trophy at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
Soccer pitches across North America have been quiet since March, when MLS halted its 2020 regular season schedule after just two weeks of action due to the COVID-19 pandemic. TFC, an MLS Cup finalist for the third time in four years last season, opened the current campaign amid mixed expectations.
The most notable concern was the absence of team captain Michael Bradley, who was expected to miss significant time after undergoing ankle surgery, joining Pablo Piatti and Jozy Altidore on the sidelines. Despite the injury concerns, TFC avoided defeat in their first two league outings. In addition, the pause in the season has provided the Reds with ample opportunity to heal, which has emerged as a key factor in their rise to +150 favourites to win Group C of the tournament.
Among the opponents that TFC will face during group stage action are the Montreal Impact, who look toward Wednesday night’s opening kickoff as a +2500 wager to win the tournament at sports betting sites.
The Impact are coming off a disappointing 2019 campaign, failing to advance to the MLS Cup playoffs for a third straight year. The departure of Argentine star Ignacio Piatti has deepened those concerns. However, the arrival of new head coach Thierry Henry has raised hopes of a culture shift in Montreal, and a return to contention for the first time since 2016. The Impact are also buoyed by their recent success against their Group C rivals. In addition to knocking off the Reds in last year’s Canadian Championship, the Impact earned at least a point in three of their four 2019 dates with New England and DC United, and currently join the Revolution as +300 co-second favourites to win Group C.
It looks to be a much tougher road for the Vancouver Whitecaps, who lag at a distant +6600 on the MLS is Back Tournament odds. Winners of just eight matches last season, the Whitecaps must also face the defending MLS Cup champion Seattle Sounders in group stage action, leaving them lagging at +550 on the odds to win Group B.
Los Angeles FC leads the way to win the tournament as +500 betting favourites. The Sounders sit second at +800 on those futures, just ahead of Atlanta United at +900, while New York City FC rounds out the front of the pack at +1000 odds.