This article is part of our Betting on Soccer series.
We're a little more than a week away from the start of the 2020/21 Premier League season, which means we're well into digesting all of the futures odds associated with the league. One of my favorites to analyze is the winner of the Golden Boot, given to the league's most prolific goal scorer every season.
Matt Birnbach and I discussed some of our favorite Golden Boot bets on last week's RotoWire Soccer Podcast, which mostly touched on the longer-shot possibilities. The season-long player projections on RotoWire currently have Raheem Sterling and Jamie Vardy as the two highest goal-scoring players, though they only rank sixth and seventh, respectively, according to the three on-shore books reviewed (FanDuel hasn't posted any player futures yet).
Vardy won the Golden Boot last season by scoring 23 goals in 35 games (34 starts), finishing one ahead of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Danny Ings. Aubameyang was the 2018/19 winner, sharing the award with Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane with 22 goals apiece. Vardy's win was a bit of a surprise, not because he isn't a solid goal scorer (he had 18 in the 2018/19 season and 20 the prior term when Salah topped the chart with 32, followed by Harry Kane with 29) but because it was the first time a player from a non-top-six side led the league since Kevin Phillips scored 30 goals for Sunderland during the 1999-2000 season.
|2000–01||Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink||Netherlands||Chelsea||23||35|
|2002–03||Ruud van Nistelrooy||Netherlands||Manchester United||25||34|
|2006–07||Didier Drogba||Ivory Coast||Chelsea||20||36|
|2007–08||Cristiano Ronaldo||Portugal||Manchester United§||31||34|
|2009–10||Didier Drogba||Ivory Coast||Chelsea||29||32|
|2010–11||Carlos Tevez||Argentina||Manchester City||20||31|
|2010–11||Dimitar Berbatov||Bulgaria||Manchester United||20||32|
|2011–12||Robin van Persie||Netherlands||Arsenal||30||38|
|2012–13||Robin van Persie||Netherlands||Manchester United||26||38|
|2014–15||Sergio Aguero||Argentina||Manchester City||26||33|
|2015–16||Harry Kane||England||Tottenham Hotspur||25||38|
|2016–17||Harry Kane||England||Tottenham Hotspur||29||30|
|2019–20||Jamie Vardy||England||Leicester City||23||35|
Unsurprisingly, the players with some of the best Golden Boot odds for the upcoming season play for top-six sides, with Vardy crashing the party. Joining Vardy among the top 20 are Ings and Wolverhampton's Raul Jimenez, but otherwise we're looking at players from Liverpool, Manchester City, Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham as the most likely winners. We'll be tracking the odds and goal totals this season to see if any values open up, or if we see a big jump from anyone if they come out hot in the new season.
We also see some pretty significant differences at three of the online U.S. books for certain players, such as Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes at +1600 on DraftKings but +2000 at betMGM and +2500 on bet365. What's further interesting about those numbers is that Anthony Martial is +2000 at all three books, while Marcus Rashford is +1800 at betMGM but +2000 at the other two. Comparing the three, DraftKings is giving Bruno the best chance to win the Golden Boot, but he's behind the two at bet365 and sandwiched at betMGM.
We see another big difference at Chelsea, where Christian Pulisic and Hakim Ziyech are both +5000 at DraftKings but Pulisic is ahead at betMGM (+4000 v. +5000) but behind at bet 365 (+6600 v. +5000). Then again, they're both firmly behind teammate Timo Werner, who is +1000 at two of the books and +900 at the other.
Going deeper on the list increases some of the differences, such as Michail Antonio +6600 at betMGM but +15000 at bet365. Realistically, it doesn't really matter because he's so unlikely to finish as the league's highest scorer, even with the second-highest xG per 90 after the restart (trailing Sterling), according to StatsBomb. But if you're really interested in long shots, just make sure you shop around for the best odds because why try to turn your $100 on a Jack Grealish Golden Boot into $10,000 on DraftKings when you could turn it into $25,000 on bet365?
|Kevin De Bruyne||MCI||+6600||+5000||+8000|