With Inter Miami Move, Messi’s MLS Betting Impact Already Felt

Those 150-1 numbers are long gone, of course


Jun 21, 2023

Lionel Messi is bringin’ the heat to Miami.

His first game with his new team, Inter Miami, is set for July 21 against Mexican club Cruz Azul. A ticket for the debut match is being resold with a starting price of around $1,000. To no surprise, all Inter Miami home and away games quickly sold out after the announcement.

It’s been a few weeks now since the news shook the sports world, and oddsmakers have been busy adjusting MLS lines accordingly. However, because of how bad Inter Miami has been this season, you’re still getting good odds for them to come back and win it all.

If you’re looking to buy in on the hype, consider sprinkling a small bet on the team to rise to the top with the addition of the football phenomenon.

Inter Miami has lost six straight MLS games and is in last place in the 15-team Eastern Conference, which put them at 150-1 odds to win the MLS cup before Messi’s announcement. With the addition of the Argentinian legend, though, those odds initially got cut all the way down to 18-1 with books settling around 23-1. That’s a significant drop, but a $10 bet still wins you $230 and a $100 bet would win you $2,300 if it cashes.

The odds shift may seem like an overreaction with just how bad Miami has been this season, but professional bettor Nigel Seeley says he’s not surprised.

“Messi is still, in my opinion, the best footballer on the planet, even at 36 years of age,” Seeley said. “We saw what he was capable of doing in the World Cup where he took his nation all the way to being crowned world champions.”

Can one player really have that big of an impact on an 11-man effort? Well, Messi has more Ballon d’Or awards than any player in history, holds the record for most goals in La Liga and has the most recorded assists for any player in the history of the sport.

Oh, and he’s the only player to win five and then six European Golden Shoes. So … yeah, kind of a big deal.

Still, Seeley says his impact goes beyond just his physical talent.

“Not only is he an influence on the pitch but he is one off the pitch as well,” he added. “We will see players on the roster raise their levels and improve as players just by having Messi around the club.”

While Messi’s move to Miami was a blockbuster addition that slashed the club’s odds considerably, Seeley believes we could see a domino effect and that number come down even more.

“I think the important thing now is who else will (David) Beckham bring to Miami? There are rumors that Spanish World Cup winner Sergio Busquets will join his good friend Messi and if that is the case I would expect the odds to fall even more.”

Seeley’s instincts likely will prove to be true.

“We envision a price around 10-1 or 12-1,” BetMGM senior trader Halvor Egeland said about opening a price for the team next season. “Messi alone will have a huge impact. A lot of their current roster will benefit just due to his gravity. It’s strictly speculation at this point, but we envision some pretty decent additions for Inter Miami CF going into next year.”

The story behind the odds shift goes deeper than just the presence of Messi himself, and this might just be the beginning.

Thumbnail photo via Yukihito Taguchi/USA TODAY Sports Images

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