We're just under three weeks from the beginning of the Major League Soccer regular season, and the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook has released its preseason odds for which team will win the 2015 MLS Cup.
While there's nothing that jumps out as truly outrageous, there are certainly a few small surprises (NYCFC at 15/1? LOL).
As TML's resident degenerate gambler, I've decided to grace you with my wisdom on this popular preseason betting line. Take a look:
New England Revolution: 8/1 - Did the bookies already forget how close the Revs came to winning the Cup in 2014? And what have they done since then? Only add Juan Agudelo, who has the ability to be an All-Star striker and compete for the Golden Boot in 2015.
The major risk here is that the new CBA will add a fourth DP spot, and owner Robert Kraft will decide to be stingy. I'm thinking he'll be riding high on the New England Patriots' (who Kraft also owns) Super Bowl victory though, and continue to finally spend some money on his soccer team. New England is my pick to win it all in 2015, so they should be considered a steal at 8/1.
Toronto FC: 15/1 - This is a classic case of buying low. Yeah, Toronto had a terribly disappointing season last year, but it's impossible to ignore the talent on their roster. Sebastian Giovinco and Jozy Altidore will join Michael Bradley to give Toronto one of the most formidable DP trios in MLS history. Further, Altidore will be hungry to prove himself again after his European misadventures, while the man he's replacing, Jermain Defoe, seemed disinterested from day one.
It's perfectly reasonable to expect Toronto to struggle early as the new stars build chemistry and learn to play together. I wouldn't expect them to win the East, but if they've hit their stride by playoff time, watch out.
Orlando City SC: 25/1 - Just kidding! Sorry Lions fans, but 25/1 is a pretty fair deal for an expansion team, no matter how much we love them. Can they win it all? Sure, why not! But I would say 25/1 is pretty fair odds for Orlando City SC.
New York City FC: 15/1 - Speaking of expansion teams, this one's just ridiculous! Sure, they've assembled some talent, but the key word is "assembled." They've got supporters group issues, they've got ownership issues, they've got player issues, and they're playing in a dang baseball stadium. There's literally nothing about this team that would lead any reasonable person to believe that they're set to win the MLS Cup in 2015.
What are the odds that NYCFC won't win the Cup in 2015? I'd like to put literally all of my money on that, please.
LA Galaxy: 3/1 - All right, I get it. They won the Cup in 2014, and they've taken three of the last four. Realistically, they probably deserve to be the favorites in 2015. The loss of Landon Donovan will be HUGE, but you could argue that it will give Gyasi Zardes the chance to finally break out. Not to mention, they have the July arrival of Steven Gerrard to look forward to.
Still, repeating is incredibly hard, and LA is increasingly less far ahead of the rest of the league in terms of DP star power. I like the Galaxy at 5/1 or 6/1, but 3/1 is a bad bet for me.
D.C. United: 9/1 - DC United is not going to make the kind of free agency splashes required to win an MLS Cup until their new stadium is complete, and that's still a few years off. They may well win the East this year, but getting run over by the Red Bulls in the playoffs this year was no fluke. Give me 9/1 on a Supporters Shield for DC and we'll talk, but we're talking MLS Cup here. You'll have to wait until 2017, United fans.
Real Salt Lake: 12/1 - RSL were already well off the pace in 2014, having never really seriously threatened Seattle or LA in the West. In 2015, they are a team bordering on a rebuilding year. This off-season, they lost Nat Borchers (Portland), Chris Wingert (New York City), Ned Grabavoy (New York City), and Robbie Findley (Toronto FC).
No hate here. Out with the old and in with the new for one of the more consistently solid MLS teams of the last six years. Still, while there's nothing wrong with rebuilding, it won't be the year the team competes for a championship, and certainly isn't the year to bet on them to win it all at 12/1.
Who's your money on in 2015? Let us know in the comment section!