The race for the MLS postseason is heating up, and online soccer betting enthusiasts are keenly observing every move on the field!
A few clubs have only six games left in the regular phase, while some are gearing up for their last eight.
This year, MLS has unveiled a fresh playoff structure. The leading nine teams from each conference make the cut. However, finishing within the top seven allows teams to bypass the wild-card round.
Even better, those in the top four can host two matches in the revamped first round, set as a best-of-three series. Following this, the conference semifinals, finals, and the grand MLS Cup are single-match events with home advantage granted to the higher-seeded team.
Although the playoff blueprint has seen a makeover, historical data suggests teams should aim for roughly 43 points. This way, they will confidently vie for the ninth and ultimate playoff spot. This target could fluctuate slightly, but it's the consensus figure in league circles.
So, how are the teams stacking up as the end of the season looms? And most importantly, will Inter Miami make the playoffs?
Inter Miami's game transformed with the entry of Lionel Messi. The Argentinan completed his move to Inter Miami from PSG this summer and has already become a key figure in the squad. After the signing of the World Cup winner, Inter Miami completed the moves of Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, and the emerging talents of Tomás Avilés, Facundo Farías, and Diego Gómez. This reshaped the boundaries of what we thought an MLS team could achieve.
Despite clinching the Leagues Cup, Inter Miami faced challenges. They still linger at the lower end of the MLS's Eastern Conference, with the playoffs seeming like a distant dream.
But with Messi, dreams turn into reality.
Currently, Inter stands at 14th place with 28 points, trailing by six behind D.C. United. However, D.C United recent unbeaten streak of four games post-MLS break underscores the mistake of underestimating Messi and his brigade.
Yet, navigating games in Messi's absence is a significant challenge for Miami. They showcased resilience, making a comeback to defeat Sporting Kansas City 3-2 this past Saturday.
Toronto FC, boasting 22 points and players with notable European pedigrees, hasn't quite experienced the Messi-induced metamorphosis like Miami has with the arrivals of Messi, Busquets, and Alba. They are 12 points adrift in the Eastern Conference and have yet to taste victory on foreign grounds this season.
Similarly, despite their recent decision to part ways with coach Robin Fraser, the Colorado Rapids find themselves in a quandary. With a tally of just 19 points, averaging a meagre 0.73 per match, they face a daunting 11-point gap to level with the 13th-placed team.
Given the fact that teams aim for roughly 43 points for the ninth playoff spot, and considering Inter Miami's current 28 points with the number of matches remaining, it seems they face an uphill battle. However, with Messi's influence, the possibility remains open.