2024 MLS Season Kicks Off Tonight – February 21


Yes, MLS is back. It’s only February, but the star-studded Inter Miami CF will host Real Salt Lake at Chase Stadium in Fort Lauderdale tonight to kickoff the 2024 MLS regular season. Lionel Messi, acquired by Inter Miami last year, will be joined by his former Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez, who makes his MLS debut tonight. Of course, Miami has been the focus of MLS since Messi’s arrival, but are they the favorite to win the MLS Cup this season?

2024 MLS Season Kicks Off Tonight - February 21
Messi and Suarez are former Argentina teammates

Despite the addition of Suarez, Inter Miami is not the experts’ pick to win the MLS East. Most soccer gurus believe the defending MLS Cup champion Columbus Crew have a better shot at winning the East this year. Last year’s win was the third MLS Cup in the history of the franchise and the Crew kept their roster intact and brought back coach Wilfried Nancy. The Crew will begin MLS play on Saturday when they face another East contender, Atlanta United.

Favorites to Win the MLS Cup

Inter Miami is the betting favorite to win the 2024 MLS Cup. Oddsmakers give the nod to Messi, Suarez, and the rest of the squad, installing them as +250 favorites. It’s an incredible leap from last season when Inter Miami finished 14th out of 15 teams in the East standings. After Messi’s arrival in Miami last year, he led the club to a Leagues Cup title. It was the first major win for Inter Miami in its four years of existence.

2024 MLS Season Kicks Off Tonight - February 21
Inter Miami is the betting favorite to win the 2024 MLS Cup

Messi’s impact was immediate last year. Before his arrival, Miami had a league-worst 18 points and was terrible on offense. In a span of 12 games before Messi suffered a hamstring injury, Inter Miami went 8-0-4 and outscored opponents 33-14. Messi appeared in 11 of those 12 matches and scored 11 goals and had five assists.

Still, many believe teams like LAFC, Columbus, and FC Cincinnati are the teams to beat this year. LAFC has made it to the last two MLS Cup finals. The club won the title in 2022 and is given +650 odds to win the MLS Cup this season. Columbus (+875) is the only other club given better than +1000 odds. FC Cincinnati, which had the best regular season record in MLS last year (20-5-9) is listed at +1150.

Top 5 Cappers Almost Perfect

Our Sports Hub handicappers will have the opportunity to put their MLS winning picks into the system today for the Inter Miami CF-Real Salt Lake match tonight. Our leading soccer expert is Geovanny Araya, who is No. 7 on our overall 30-day leaderboard. He’s up $1439 over the last 30 days. 

2024 MLS Season Kicks Off Tonight - February 21
Sports Hub’s Top 3 soccer handicappers

Yesterday, our top-5 was nearly perfect, missing just one of 17 total picks. Sports Investors was yesterday’s leader, hitting on six of seven picks. The only loss was an NHL pick. That was the only loss recorded by our top-5 handicappers yesterday. 

Let’s see how they did.

2024 MLS Season Kicks Off Tonight - February 21
A near perfect day for our Top 5
  • Sports Investors: Our leaders yesterday went 6-1 and won $420. The six correct predictions were all college basketball picks. Over the last seven days, the Sports Investors are now 17-8 and have added $828 to their bankroll.
  • Sports Central: Sports Central got back into the top-5 with a 3-0 performance yesterday. Sports Central had the Los Angeles Kings to cover the puck line at +102 and ended up earning $302 in the process.
  • Robert Ferguson: Robert also went 3-0 last night. All three wins were on college basketball picks and all were at -110 odds for a total of $300 in winnings. 
  • Neal & Gino: Two more Sports Hub experts rounded out yesterday’s top-5. Neal Harris and Gino De Luca each went 2-0 and took home $200 yesterday. Over the last 30 days, Neal is ranked No. 3 among our top soccer handicappers. Geovanny Araya is No. 1 and our friends at Madjack Sports are No. 2.

Check out These College Football Moves

The College Football Playoff committee finally agreed to a decision on its new 12-team playoff. New Alabama head coach Kalen DeBoer made a decision that could affect whether or not the Crimson Tide make that initial 12-team playoff.

Let’s see what’s trending in sports today.

  • Alcaraz out: Carlos Alcaraz, the world’s No. 2 ranked tennis player, is out of the Rio Open. He suffered an injury to his right ankle just two games into his first match against Brazil’s Thiago Monteiro.
  • Tide football staff moves: Alabama head coach Kalen DeBoer hired Nick Sheridan and JaMarcus Shephard as co-offensive coordinator. They replace Ryan Grubb who left to become the new offensive coordinator for the Seattle Seahawks.
  • CFP approves 5+7 model: The College Football Playoff committee approved the 5+7 model for its new 12-team playoff that begins this season. The five highest-ranked conference champions will make the playoff along with the next seven highest-ranked teams. The four highest-ranked conference champs will receive first-round byes in the playoff.
  • MLS: The MLS begins the 2024 regular season tonight with the Inter Miami CF versus Real Salt Lake match. The rest of MLS will start the season either on Saturday or Sunday.

New MLS Season Begins

It’s the first match of the 2024 MLS season tonight in Fort Lauderdale. Inter Miami FC hosts Real Salt Lake tonight. The rest of the league will start the season on Saturday and Sunday. The NBA enjoys the last night of its All-Star break while another big night of college basketball lies ahead on this Wednesday night.

Let’s look at tonight’s schedule.

  1. NHL: Five games are on the NHL schedule tonight. TNT will broadcast a doubleheader starting with Philadelphia at Chicago at 7:30 p.m. The late game has Boston at Edmonton, which has just three losses in its last 23 games. 
  2. MLS: If you haven’t gotten it by now…Inter Miami FC hosts Real Salt Lake in the first MLS match of the season. It starts at 8 p.m. ET.
  1. NCAAM: After a huge night of college basketball last night, we get another one. No. 1 UConn was upset by Creighton last night. Tonight’s highest-ranked team on the floor is No. 7 Marquette. The Eagles host Big East bottom dweller DePaul. There are a total of seven games involving AP Top 25 teams. No. 24 Florida plays at No. 13 Alabama in the only matchup of ranked opponents.
  2. International soccer: UEFA Champions League play continues with two matches today. There is also one in the UEFA Europa Conference League. It’s a huge day in Copo do Brasil with 16 matches. Get all your MLS and international soccer picks right here at Sports Hub.
  3. Tennis: Check our database for tennis picks too. The men continue play in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, Qatar ExxonMobil Open, Rio Open, and Mifel Tennis Open. The women are still competing in the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships and the Mexico Series Puerto Vallarta 125.