Through six games of the MLS season, no team has played anywhere close to as good as the Seattle Sounders. Their 16 points are four points better than anyone else, their goal-difference is five better than second-best and they’ve done it all while juggling injuries to key players and playing as many road games as all but two teams in the league.
While maintaining a 2.67 points per game pace is probably impossible — that would shatter the MLS points record by nearly 20 points for the full season — there does seem to be something like a consensus that the Sounders are now the clear favorites to win not just MLS Cup, but also the Supporters’ Shield.
FiveThirtyEight.com gives the Sounders a frankly hard-to-believe 35% chance of winning their second-ever Shield with an impressive 66 points and +29 goal-difference. That’s a 20% better chance than second-best New York City FC and 27% better than third-place LAFC, who opened the season as the favorites. There is one caveat to note here, though, and that’s the Sounders’ SPI, a metric that attempts to project their quality across leagues. The Sounders are only second by that metric, which might suggest some significant regression.
SportsClubStats.com is somehow even more bullish on the Sounders’ Shield chances, putting it at 47.4%, almost 40% better than anyone else in the field. The site is not quite as convinced about the Sounders’ MLS Cup chances — 11.6% — but that’s still best in the league.
At more traditional betting sites, the Sounders are just as overwhelming favorites. DK Nation has the Sounders at +130 to win the Western Conference and +450 to win MLS Cup. To put that in perspective, the Chicago Fire are +125 to beat Inter Miami AT HOME and Atlanta United is +460 to beat the Sounders at Lumen Field this week.
Oddschecker, a site that looks at a variety of online sportsbooks, finds nearly across-the-board consensus that the Sounders are MLS Cup favorites, with most sites vaguely agreeing with DK Nation. The one outlier is bet365, which has the Sounders as fourth-favorites at +1000 (actually the best value you could have gotten at the start of the year, as well).