CONCACAF Champions League Odds: Cruz Azul Leading Favorite; New England Given Best Odds of Any MLS Team

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  • Trio of Mexican sides listed as the top three favorites to win the CONCACAF Champions League
  • New England Revolution is the MLS side with the lowest odds, at +550
  • Read on for a look at all the odds for the tournament, a look at some contenders and a best bet

In a marked departure from the more famous European version of the Champions League, the CONCACAF Champions League (CCL) decided to scrap the league portion of its competition four years ago. As a result, 16 teams participate in a two-legged knockout tournament to decide the champion club of North America, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Mexico, whose clubs have won the last 16 Champions League/Champions Cup titles, gets four berths each season, with four for Major League Soccer, which are usually awarded to the winners of the MLS Cup, Supporters Shield, US Open Cup, and the other conference champion in MLS. However, with last year’s Open Cup cancelled because of COVID, that spot went to the team with the next best regular-season record.

Of the remaining berths, one is given to Canada, one to the champion club of the Caribbean, while the other six are given to teams who come through the CONCACAF League.

CONCACAF Champions League Odds

Team Odds
Cruz Azul +275
Club Leon +350
Pumas UNAM +400
New England Revolution +550
New York City FC +650
Seattle Sounders +800
Colorado Rapids +1100
Santos Laguna +1400
CF Montreal +2000
Santos de Guápiles +2500
CD Motagua +2800
Deportivo Saprissa +4000
CSD Comunicaciones +6000
Cavaly +8000
Deportivo Guastatoya +10000
Forge FC +10000

Odds as of February 15th at Barstool Sportsbook

Mexico In Driving Seat

It’s hardly a secret: When it comes to continental domination, Mexico owns the CONCACAF region in club soccer. Its teams have won CONCACAF’s top soccer competition on 37 occasions – 31 times more than the next-highest country, Costa Rica – so it’s hardly surprising that Cruz Azul, Club Leon and Pumas UNAM are the most heavily favored teams to win this year’s installment.

Six-time winner Cruz Azul, the favorite to win the entire tournament at +275, qualified for this year’s tournament by winning the 2021 Guardianes (or what is normally known as the Liga MX Clausura), while three-time winner Pumas, which is the +400 third favorite, got in by being the runner-up for the 2020 Guardianes title (or Apertura).

The Mexican contingent is rounded out by a pair of teams that have never won CONCACAF’s top club tournament. Club Leon, which lost in the final in 1993, is the second favorite this time around at +350 after gaining entry by winning the Apertura. And Santos Laguna, which has twice finished as runner-up, was the 2021 Guardianes runner-up behind Cruz Azul.

MLS’s Time to Shine?

Although both the Los Angeles Galaxy and DC United won the old Champions Cup, no MLS club has conquered the tournament since it switched to a Champions League format for the 2008-09 season. But there have been some close misses, with Real Salt Lake, Montreal Impact and Los Angeles FC all losing in the final, while Toronto FC only lost out in a penalty shootout against Guadalajara.

The New England Revolution, who qualified by winning last season’s Supporters’ Shield, may be the best hope this year, especially with the recent addition of Jozy Altidore, who played in that Toronto FC side. Bruce Arena’s team is a +550 fourth favorite, closely followed by reigning MLS Cup winner New York City FC at +650. New England and NYCFC are both again among the favorites in the MLS Cup odds as well this season.

The Seattle Sounders, who reached the semi-finals in 2012, are at +800 and qualified by virtue of having the next highest record behind the Revs, NYCFC and Western Conference champion Colorado, which is at +1100. CF Montreal, meanwhile, took the lone Canadian spot by edging TFC to win the Canadian Championship.

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Championship Material

When it comes to betting on futures and deciding who might win the whole shebang, it is hard to look past the Mexican teams. They’ve won 16 straight tournaments, 11 of which have been in finals contested by two Liga MX teams, so while MLS will try to break that stranglehold, the odds aren’t in that league’s favor.

However, the way the bracket has set up has three MLS sides on one side and three Liga MX sides on the other. Club Leon benefits by not having to meet domestic rivals until the final if they get there, while the same can be said for New England or Montreal, which are in the lower half of the draw. The drawback to that, of course, is the number of MLS or Liga MX teams those clubs would have to face.

Best bets: Santos Laguna (+1400); Seattle Sounders (+800)

Past Five CCL Winners

Year Winner
2017 Pachuca
2018 Chivas Guadalajara
2019 Monterrey
2020 Tigres UANL
2021 Monterrey

CCL Round of 16 Leg 1 Best Bet

With the first legs of the round of 16 taking place this week and beginning tonight, there are a number of interesting games to keep an eye on. It’s important to note, however, that while many of the Mexican teams are in midseason form, the MLS and other sides have yet to start their league campaigns.

One game to keep an eye on though is Forge FC hosting Cruz Azul, with the Canadian side becoming the first Canadian Premier League team to advance to the Champions League after reaching the CONCACAF League semifinals. Playing at Tim Hortons Field, where the Canadian national team upended the US in World Cup qualifying earlier this month thanks in part to the some inhospitable cold weather, I fancy Forge to make things difficult for its vaunted Mexican opponent, and force a draw on Wednesday.

Best bet: Forge FC vs Cruz Azul 1-1 (+600) 

The post CONCACAF Champions League Odds: Cruz Azul Leading Favorite; New England Given Best Odds of Any MLS Team appeared first on Sports Betting Dime.

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Author: Renee Castillo