The headline nay be true if you are a gambler looking for a safe bet, but fortunately for the Houston Dynamo faithful Vegas doesn't get a lot right with MLS and has banked long on the "put everything on the Los Angeles Galaxy" strategy, one that has paid off for the most part. The odds of the Dynamo winning the MLS Cup are a staggering 40/1 shot and while that may seem egregious it acknowledges that this is a team in transition. We have an untested foreign coach, loads of new players, and have just returned to the notoriously cruel Western Conference.
But does Vegas get it right? Last year Vegas correctly slated its odds to pick the Los Angeles Galaxy with its odds at 9/2, but the MLS Cup runner-up was the New England Revolution, a 20/1 shot. In fact, playoff contenders D.C. United, the Columbus Crew, the Vancouver Whitecaps, and FC Dallas fell at or below 20/1 shots (and for D.C. United, the top team in the East was slated as a 50/1 shot).
2014 MLS Cup odds-image per ProSoccer Talk
The odds simply don’t tell the whole tale of what happens in a league where a lot can change over the course of a season. Is it important to know which team might do well according to Vegas? Probably not because in this league there are very few certainties (don’t bet on Toronto has held up well historically) and anything can happen which is what I love and makes the league more exciting than most. Last year New England at 20/1 nearly won out over the 9/2 LA Galaxy at home for the MLS Cup which drives home the point that teams that make it into the playoffs can beat the odds, or at least almost beat them in this case. Vegas is pretty good at figuring out most of the teams that get into the playoffs (though a few educated guesses could do that as well), but the nature of the playoff structure in this league make determining the winner all the more difficult in predicting outcomes.
Will the odds affect how you cheer your team on? Of course not and it’s silly to think they ever would. Still, it’s always interesting to see what things Vegas gets right and what they get wrong in these cases. In regard to this year’s 40/1 shot for the Dynamo I think Lloyd Christmas said it best with "Sooooo you’re telling me there’s a chance?" and to look to DC’s brilliant run against the odds last year.