The MLS 2023 season draws to a close on Saturday evening when the MLS Cup Final is played out as the Eastern Conference champions Columbus Crew taking on the Western Conference winners and defending MLS champions Los Angeles FC.
These are two of the better teams to watch in the MLS and so we should be in for another extremely entertaining final. Once again the MLS Season Pass on Apple TV is the place to watch it or alternatively the bookmaker live streams will show it too.
The Columbus Crew have really come alive since the end of the Leagues Cup and have taken care of three dangerous sides in the playoffs so far. They needed all three matches to get the better of Atlanta United in a thrilling first round tie and then went to Orlando City and won after extra time before winning the Eastern Conference final away to bitter rivals FC Cincinnati in extra time last week, when they showed all of their character to come from 2-0 down at one stage.
Having won those last two matches away from home, Columbus will be delighted to be back at Lower.com Field where they have been very tough to beat so far this season. They are able to adapt their attacking, high pressing style to good effort on their home patch and with that in mind they are entitled to be tough to beat here. Columbus have only lost one home match all season in the MLS including the playoffs and that feels significant.
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Los Angeles FC
The defending champions Los Angeles FC built their way into the season after struggling with an extremely hard schedule in the early stages of the campaign. They were able to get a break during the Leagues Cup and since then they have looked like the best team in the league that they were last year. Given that they went the course and distance last season they have to be dangerous here but unlike last term, they have to go on the road for the final this time around.
Los Angeles FC only won four matches on their travels in the regular part of the MLS season but they have been to Seattle and Vancouver in the playoffs which will give them some confidence here. They will feel that they have the best front three in the MLS and that unit will be out to show that as they bid to be the first team to retain the MLS Cup since their rivals cross Los Angeles did it back in 2012. If they are to win this you sense their defence will need to be at their very best.
Those who have been following our MLS picks since the season began will already be sitting pretty in this final as we were on Columbus Crew outright. That means you will have already secured the 14/1 place part of the bet and so we are effectively on a side who have lost once at home all season at 28/1 to win this final. I’m more than happy to let that ride with a bunch of profit secured but there is an obvious bet for this season closer which I won’t ignore.
That comes in the form of over 2.5 goals which won’t surprise anyone. We have two of the best front threes in the competition on show here and Columbus Crew haven’t changed for anyone or any situation yet and I don’t see any reason why they will bother doing it now. LAFC were involved in a crazy MLS Cup final last season and they might need similar chaos to get the job done here. I don’t see this as a final where either team will sit back and contain so I like the idea of over 2.5 goals in this one.
Back Over 2.5 goals for a 3/10 stake at 1.88 with Bet365