Premier League Betting: Who Will Win the Golden Boot in 2021-22?
The Premier League season is right around the corner -- slightly more than two weeks away -- so it's a great time to jump into the EPL futures market on EPL odds.
We could see some big names moved during the rest of this transfer window, which makes any futures market a little more volatile than usual, but that uncertainty can also work in our favor.
A wager that is always fun to make each preseason is betting on who will win the Golden Boot. Let's take a look at some intriguing options at various odds.
Harry Kane (+270)
Kane and Mohamed Salah (+360) are well clear of the rest of the pack as the lone players listed at a price below +1400. Kane -- a three-time winner already in his career -- is certainly a deserving favorite.
One of Kane's three Golden Boots came last season, when he netted 23 goals in 35 matches to edge Salah by one goal. Those two were the only players with more than 18 goals, so it's no wonder they're in their own tier.
Kane is an elite goal-scorer who takes penalties and stays healthy, playing at least 28 EPL matches every year since bursting onto the scene in 2014-15. He checks nearly every box, and the one he doesn't -- playing for an elite team -- could get checked if his rumored move to Manchester City ends up happening.
But with Kane at +270, I prefer rolling the dice on others unless you think he's definitely City bound.
Mohamed Salah (+360)
Liverpool's star man has two Golden Boots in four seasons since his move back to the EPL, and he nearly bagged a third last year. Salah handles penalties for the Reds and has missed only seven league matches across the last four seasons.
While Salah may never again reach the heights of his 32-goal campaign in his first season on Merseyside, he's a safe bet for around 20 goals, which will likely put him right in the mix when it comes to the Golden Boot. And the Reds are due for positive regression in the goal department. After recording averages of 86 goals on 73 expected goals (xG) in Salah's first three seasons, per FBRef, Liverpool netted only 68 goals last year despite posting 72.6 xG.
Salah will enter the year more rested than most of his Golden Boot competitors after getting the summer off of international duty, but he'll also miss up to six matches in the middle of the year due to the African Cup of Nations. That certainly dings Salah's chances, but it's also likely the reason he's not closer to Kane's odds.
All in all, I'd rather take Salah at +360 than Kane at +270.
Timo Werner (+1400)
This range is where money can be made if you hit on someone, and it's not like these guys are super far-fetched options.
Werner's debut season with Chelsea didn't go all that well on an individual level as he compiled a catalog of missed chances. His six goals in 35 EPL appearances is a pretty brutal return, especially considering he finished with 11.9 xG.
Here comes the but -- but when looking at all competitions, Werner tied for the team lead in goals with 12, and he also added a team-best 12 assists. He did some good things.
This coming year, Werner could deliver the goods.
We know he will be playing for a top-notch side with studs all around him, and even when he was struggling last year, Werner kept his place in the starting XI most every week, making 52 appearances, the second-most on the team. Plus, this is a guy with a track record of scoring goals, registering 28 goals in 34 appearances in his final season with RB Leipzig. And if you want to take a stroll down narrative street, he's surely all sorts of motivated to prove he can do it in England after what happened last year.
If your mind goes to images of Werner missing sitters whenever you go to bet on him, I get it, but I think he makes a lot of sense at his +1400 price.
Raheem Sterling (+1800)
Sterling is another player who had a down season a year ago, which has lowered his odds to a level where he's an intriguing buy.
After scoring 20, 17 and 18 in the three campaigns prior to last year, Sterling totaled just 10 goals in 2020-21. His xG of 12.2 was his lowest single-season mark in FBRef's xG data, which dates back to 2017-18. It was a bad year -- there's no way around it.
And what makes Sterling a scary bet is that he lost his place in the starting XI down the stretch last year (until oddly getting it back for the UCL final), so he's not a lock to start every week given how much attacking talent Pep Guardiola has to choose from. Playing time isn't an issue for anyone else in this piece.
On the flip side, Sterling still played in 31 of 38 league matches last year, starting 28, and he showed out in the Euros. He's just 26, so there's plenty of tread left on the tires, and if City aren't able to land Kane -- or another elite striker -- there are goals up for grabs in what will surely be a free-flowing side once again.
I like Sterling's chances to bounce back this year, and I'm willing to put some cash down on him at this price.
Jamie Vardy (+2900)
This is probably my favorite bet of the bunch.
Vardy won the Golden Boot in 2019-20 with a 20-goal season, and he was seventh in goals a season ago with 15. His 19.7 xG last campaign was the third-most in the league, just 1.2 off Salah's league-high 20.9. He's been in the top four in xG in the EPL in each of the four seasons for which FBRef has xG stats.
Vardy is still very much the key cog in Leicester's attack, and he also handles penalty duties. Under Brendan Rodgers, the Foxes should continue to be a quality side that can create lots of chances -- even if they lose someone like James Maddison or Youri Tielemans -- and Vardy is plenty capable of pouring in goals. Plus, he got the summer off, so he should be rested and ready to roll right away.
Is Vardy likely to win the Golden Boot? No. That's why he's +2900. But I like Vardy's chances way more than that number implies, and you can stuff your pockets if he hits at these odds.