Total Goals and Both Teams to Score in the MLS

Updated: 683 Football

In this blog, we are going to look at the goal markets, whether it be Total Goals with lines set at 1.5 or 2.5 or Both Team to Score, we are going to dig into the MLS to see where and where not goals are scored.

Total Goals and Both Teams to Score in the MLS
Andy Powell Content Editor

Horse Racing stats man, Andy has contributed to OLBG for 18 years - An Ipswich fan and F1 fanatic, he also contributes EFL football and Motor Sport opinion.

MLS Goal Betting Strategies

Below in this blog, we are going to be focusing on goals in the MLS, are there some teams where their matches involve more goals than others? and do teams struggle to keep clean sheets under certain circumstances?

If you are interested in other markets then we have other blogs focusing on the MLS that at betting strategies around the teams and card markets.

The soccer sportsbooks offer an array of markets focused on goals, the Total Goals, Both Teams to Score, Home Goals, Away Goals, and plenty more!

MLS Goal Statistics

Over the last five seasons, there has been a total of 2,092 matches played in the regular season, and those matches have produced a total of 6,026 goals.

This works out to an average of 2.88 goals per game and a goal on average every 31 minutes, 3,574 goals have been scored by the hosts (A goal every 53 mins) and 2,452 by the visitors (A goal every 77 mins).

There has been a total of 2,686 goals scored in the first half of matches, which means 44.57% of the goals were scored before the half time with 55.43% of goals scored in the second half of matches.

The hosts are more likely to score in the first half with an average of 0.76 goals (1,597) compared to the visitor's 0.52 average for first-half goals (1,089).

Goals Galore!

On average over the past five seasons in the MLS, the league averages a goal every 31 minutes of games with matches averaging 2.88 goals per game.

Scoreless First Half

In total, 979 hosts went in at halftime having failed to score in the first half, so how does that convert to second-half goals?

Only 372 of those (38%) also failed to score in the second half meaning that 62% of those who failed to score in the first half went on to score in the second half.

Another impressive number is that 63% of the hosts who went in at halftime having scored one goal then also went on to score at least one in the second half too, 463 from 733 teams.

Follow the Hosts!

When the hosts either didn't score or scored just one goal in the first half, an incredible 62.5% of those went on to score in the second half of the game!

Best MLS Teams for Over 2.5 Goals

The most popular wager on the total goals market is using the 2.5 line and the over wager has been the most successful in the MLS with 57% of games having 3+ goals compared to 43% having fewer.

The 57% is quite a high number, the English Premier League last season only saw 53% of games go over, the Spanish La Liga was much lower with only 48%, and the league is more on par with the German Bundesliga, which had 59% last season.

In terms of which teams are involved in the largest percentage of games that have three or more goals then it is the Los Angeles Galaxy who top the list with 64% of their games (99-155) having three or more goals.

Twelve of the MLS teams have seen 60%+ of their games involve three or more goals and nineteen have seen 55%+ all bar three have seen over 50% of their games go over 2.5 goals and the only teams who haven't are New York City FC (48%), NY Red Bulls (47%) and Nashville SC (41%).

Here are the top five teams based on the highest percentage of games with 2.5+ goals:

TeamMPGFGATGAVEUnderOver
Los Angeles Galaxy1552401213612.3336%64%
Portland Timbers1562471003472.2237%63%
San Jose Earthquakes1562181053232.0737%63%
Real Salt Lake155215943091.9937%63%
Los Angeles FC155294883822.4638%62%

MLS Both Teams to Score Strategies

Like the total goals market, the Both Teams to Score (BTTS) also favors goals with 58% of matches finishing with both teams finding the back of the net compared to 42% which didn't.

The most successful team here is Portland Timbers who saw 67% of the matches involve goals at both ends and in total every team in the league saw rates of 50% or more.

In total, ten teams saw 60% or more of their games involved goals for both teams, and twenty-three teams in total saw 55% or more of their games with goals.

Here are the top five teams for games ending with both teams scoring:

TeamMPGFGATGAVEBTTS (Yes)BTTS (No)
Portland Timbers1562471003472.2267%33%
San Jose Earthquakes1562181053232.0766%34%
New England Revolution156244803242.0865%35%
Los Angeles Fc155294883822.4664%36%
Orlando City1562271053322.1363%37%

*Statistics only include regular season games, the home team is the official team listed as hosting, and figures for seasons from 2019 to 2023 are taken from football-data.co.uk.

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