The 2014 MLS playoffs get underway this week with the Los Angeles Galaxy pegged as the 4/1 favorites to claim their third MLS Cup title in the last four years.
The Galaxy have emerged as favorites despite finishing the regular season trailing the Seattle Sounders, which finished atop the Western Conference with 64 points while claiming the MLS Supporters’ Shield for having the league’s best regular season record.
Los Angeles takes the pitch in the Western Conference semifinals against Real Salt Lake, who own odds of 8/1 to win the MLS Cup and are 1-1-1 in three games against Los Angeles this season.
The Sounders await the winner of the Western Conference knockout round matchup between FC Dallas and the Vancouver Whitecaps. Despite their strong finish, with seven wins in their final 11 matches, Seattle enters the playoffs as an intriguing 11/2 bet to win their first MLS Cup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
DC United, which finished with 59 points, good for top spot in the Eastern Conference, head into the postseason with solid 5/1 odds to win their fifth MLS Cup title, and their first since 2004. DCU enter the playoffs riding a six-game undefeated streak, and will await the winner of the Eastern Conference knockout round matchup between the New York Red Bulls and Sporting Kansas City.
The New England Revolution, which finished four points back of DCU in the East, starts its playoff march with 7/1 odds to win the MLS Cup at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com. The Revs, who are winless in four previous MLS Cup final appearances, were dominant down the stretch, winning nine of their last 11 regular season matches.
New England’s hot streak marked a reversal of fortune from their early-season eight-game losing streak, the longest in MLS this season. They will face the Columbus Crew in the Eastern Conference semifinals, a side that defeated them twice in three meetings this season but enter the playoffs with middling 8/1 championship odds at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.
FC Dallas leads the pack of four knockout round sides with 10/1 odds to win the MLS Cup, followed by the Red Bulls at 11/1. Sporting KC, the defending MLS Cup champions, are at 14/1, while the Vancouver Whitecaps enter the postseason as 18/1 longshots.