Updated December 6, 2023By Dean Etheridge
Columbus Crew will host Los Angeles FC this Saturday to decide the winner of the 2023 MLS Cup. The match is at Lower.com Field, giving the Columbus Crew home advantage for the season finale. Columbus is the betting favorite. But Los Angeles is the defending champions and won’t want to give up their title without a fight. Let’s look ahead to the match in more detail in our latest MLS betting picks.
What; 2023 MLS Cup Final
Who; Columbus Crew vs. Los Angeles FC
Where; Lower.com Field, Columbus, Ohio
When; Saturday December 9th, 2023
Kick-Off; 4 p.m. ET
Saturday’s match will be the 28th edition of the MLS Cup Final. This is the final match of the MLS season and the championship match to decide who the overall winner is. The Columbus Crew are from the Eastern Conference, and Los Angeles FC are from the Western Conference. Both won their respective conference PlayOff finals last weekend and will now square off in the battle to win the 2023 MLS Cup.
As well as having the glory and prestige of a cup win, the winners will also gain a place in the 2024 CONCACAF Champions Cup (Round of 16). This is especially important for LAFC, more so than Columbus Crew. Columbus is already guaranteed a spot in Round 1 of the CONCACAF Cup. If they win the final, they will go straight to the Round of 16.
But in the case of LA, if they don’t win the final, they won’t qualify for North America’s premier club competition next year. Instead, the position would go to the New England Revolution. So no prizes for guessing who New England fans will be supporting this Saturday.
Who is the favorite to win the 2023 MLS Cup Final?
Onto Saturday’s match betting now, and let’s first look at the betting to lift the trophy.
Cincinnati was the favorite for a long time. But after Los Angeles knocked the Seattle Sounders out in the Western Conference semi-final, the LA outfit found themselves as the new betting favorites to win the MLS Cup at +137.
Despite winning their conference final since then, somewhat bizarrely, Los Angeles is now the second favorite to lift the MLS Cup at +120. The Columbus Crew are the new favorites at -150. This is down to Columbus having the home-field advantage.
Moving onto the 90-minute match betting and the best MLS betting sites make the Columbus Crew their +120 favorites to win on the money line. A win for Los Angeles FC is +240, and the draw is +250.
On the props betting lines, over 2.5 goals is -122, with under 2.5 at +102. For both teams to score, the best soccer betting sites have yes at -143 and no at +105. More MLS Cup betting is available on our soccer odds. For more information about the sites we get our betting odds from, please visit our best online sportsbook reviews page.
Columbus finding a way to get the job done
The last of the Columbus Crew’s MLS Cup wins came in 2020. That was their second triumph, with the first coming in 2008.
This year, the Columbus Crew were ranked three in the Eastern Conference playoffs. Getting to the final of the MLS Cup has been seriously entertaining for Wilfried Nancy and his team.
In Round One, they needed three matches to get past Atlanta United. Then in the conference semi-final, they needed extra time to get past Orlando City (2-0). And then last weekend, they again needed extra time to come from behind and defeat FC Cincinnati 3-2, having been 2-0 down with just 15 minutes left.
You could be forgiven for thinking that the Crew’s name is already on the cup, but the facts are that last weekend’s win was no fluke. Columbus dominated the stats, with 26 shots on goal, compared to Cincinnati’s 11. Eight of the Crew’s shots were on target, with Cincinnati having six. But the most telling statistic is that Columbus had 64% possession, nearly two-thirds of the match.
LA not giving up its title without a fight
Los Angeles FC are the defending champions, having defeated the Philadelphia Union on penalties 12 months ago to win the title for the first time in their history.
This year, LA has had to grind its way into this Saturday’s MLS Cup final. Gone is the flair they finished last season with, to be replaced with a back-to-the-wall over-my-dead-body attitude. In the playoffs, Steve Cherundolo’s team (also ranked three) defeated the Vancouver Whitecaps in two matches in the opening round. Then in their Western Conference Semi-final, they defeated the Seattle Sounders 1-0 with a gritty performance, Denis Bouango scoring the only goal.
This set them up for the Conference Final, where they defeated Houston FC 2-0, despite only having 29% of the possession at the BMO Stadium on Saturday.
Columbus Crew vs. LAFC; Our Betting Picks
The Columbus Crew may have a home advantage, but Los Angeles FC has Dénis Bouanga. The Gabonese striker was the top scorer in the MLS regular season with 20 goals (and seven assists), winning him the MLS Golden Boot. Having a player of that quality in your team always gives you an outside chance, even when you are the underdog.
Even though Columbus Crew is finding a way to get the job done, we feel that Bouanga has more to give this season, and we are backing the French-born goalscorer to fire his team to successive MLS Cup titles. Our betting pick to win the 2023 MLS Cup Final is Los Angeles FC. Back them to lift the trophy at +120.
Los Angeles FCTo win 2023 MLS Cup
Check below for our list of the top sportsbooks where you can wager online:
Columbus Crew vs Los Angeles FC MLS Cup Final
December 9, 2023
December 9, 2023
About the Author
Over the last 10 years, Dean has sharpened his expertise in crafting and revising content for his soccer and cricket betting platforms. Driven by his passion for sports betting and writing, he embarked on a journey of writing about sports wagering.
Although Dean’s preferred areas of focus are the English Premier League and cricket, his extensive sports knowledge enables him to tackle nearly any sport.
Gone are the days of traveling the world to witness events like FIFA World Cups and Ashes cricket, as Dean now prefers the comfort of his own home while enjoying sports.
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