Atlanta United’s Odds to Win MLS Cup Fall to +800 After Josef Martinez Tears ACL in Season Opener
A serious knee injury suffered by Josef Martinez this weekend has devastated Atlanta United's MLS Cup odds, which now sit at a lengthy +800.
Photo by @zonaesportiva (Twitter)
- Atlanta United have tumbled in the MLS Cup odds after star striker Josef Martinez suffered a serious knee injury
- Sporting average odds of +483 entering the weekend, the Five Stripes have now tumbled to a distant +800 bet
- See the updated MLS Cup odds after opening weekend
Atlanta United opened their 2020 MLS campaign on Saturday with a 2-1 victory over Nashville SC, but the win came at a massive cost, with Josef Martinez leaving the contest with a serious knee injury. Now faced with a future without the 2018 MLS top goalscorer, the Five Stripes have taken a tumble in the MLS Cup odds, dropping to +800 in soccer futures wagering at Bovada.
Odds to Win 2020 MLS Cup
|Team||Odds at Bovada|
|Los Angeles FC||+275|
|New York City FC||+800|
|NY Red Bulls||+2000|
|Sporting Kansas City||+2500|
Odds taken on Mar. 2. For all teams visit Bovada
Injuries Haunt Five Stripes Once Again
The Five Stripes entered this past weekend’s season opener well-positioned in MLS Cup wagering with average odds of +483. The club is coming off a solid campaign in 2019 that saw them finish second on the MLS Eastern Conference table. However, a rash of injuries hampered Atlanta’s bid to repeat as MLS Cup champions, with their playoff drive ending a with a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Toronto FC in the Eastern Conference Final.
Right knee injury for Atlanta’s Josef Martinez. Foot plant, pivoting mechanism into valgus (knee inward). May get lucky w/ just MCL. However, a risky & suspicious mechanism for ACL/meniscus injury. ? Clipped by opponent. Less likely bony injury. #MLS #ATLUTD #NASvATL pic.twitter.com/CXH1KyISgc
— InjuryMechanisms (@IMechanisms) March 1, 2020
Martinez played an important role in the Five Stripes’ success over the past two seasons. In addition to claiming the MLS Golden Boot with a league-leading 31 goals in 2018, the 26-year-old Venezuelan also took home MLS MVP and MLS Cup MVP honors two seasons ago, and followed up with 28 total goals last season in the regular season and playoffs.
With Martinez sidelined, it remains to be seen who will fill the goalscoring void in Atlanta. Martinez’ 63 total goals represent just under half of the Five Stripes total goal production over the past seasons, and the club has sorely missed him when he has been unavailable.
With Martinez sidelined, it remains to be seen who will fill the goalscoring void in Atlanta. Martinez’ 63 total goals represent just under half of the Five Stripes total goal production over the past seasons, and the club has sorely missed him when he has been unavailable. In addition to winning just five of nine contests last season when Martinez failed to score, the club recorded just one win in five outings without their superstar in the lineup.
2020 UEFA Europa League Championship Odds Tracker
Atlanta Likely to Sign Replacement Striker
Atlanta United are likely to try and fill the void left by Martinez by signing another striker, but face a tough decision as to whether they will place Martinez on the season-ended injury list that could limit the caliber of player that they can sign under the league’s Designated Player rules. However, with a roster spot still open, the club still has some flexibility as they consider their options.
— Adel 🇾🇪 (@__adel22) March 2, 2020
In any case, it is likely to be a more defensively-focused Five Stripes squad we see moving forward. The Atlanta United defense ranked fifth in the MLS last season while surrendering just 43 total goals but regularly surrendered big goal totals on the road, allowing 25 total goals over their final 12 league road matches of the campaign.
TFC, NYC Benefit from Atlanta’s Misfortune
And there will be no shortage of Eastern Conference rivals looking to take advantage of their misfortune. Now joining the Five Stripes at +800 in the MLS Cup odds, New York City FC represent Atlanta’s chief rival in the East, and now enjoy a clearer road to the top of the Eastern Conference table for a second straight year.
Toronto FC could also benefit from Atlanta’s struggles. With captain Michael Bradley sidelined indefinitely, Toronto come out of the opening weekend of the MLS season pegged as a soft +1200 bet in the MLS Cup odds. However, it is unwise to underestimate the battle-hardened Reds, who have reached the MLS Cup Final in three of the past four years, and overcame an ordinary regular season to knock off both NYC and the Five Stripes during an impressive playoff run last season. Indeed, with Atlanta significantly weakened, the Reds’ position at +1200 is tough to overlook for value bettors.
Pick: Toronto FC (+1200)
Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.
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