The 2019-20 Premier League campaign is only 11 games old, and we already have no shortage of surprises. Did anybody expect Leicester City to be alone in third place this far into the season? Who had Tottenham Hotspur in the bottom-half of the table at this point? Everton are just 3 points ahead of the relegation zone. Okay, maybe not everything has been a total surprise.
One big factor in Leicester’s hot start has been the stellar play of Jamie Vardy. Vardy has already racked up 10 goals, which puts him in the early lead for the Premier League’s Golden Boot. Vardy finished the 2015-16 campaign as the runner-up for the award after bagging 24 goals, so this is hardly uncharted territory for him.
Vardy has risen all the way up to +450 to win the Golden Boot this season, which gives him the second-best odds behind Manchester City’s Sergio Aguero (+325). Tottenham’s Harry Kane has dipped to +500 after entering the season as one of the heavy favorites, while Liverpool star Mohamed Salah is all the way down to +700. Before the season began, most betting sites had Salah as the odds-on favourite to win the award.
While the general betting public may look at the current goal-scorer leaderboards and flock to options like Vardy, Aguero and Tammy Abraham, the fact that Salah is inching toward +1000 odds is remarkable. The current +700 odds are incredible, and this is a bet you should be jumping all over as quickly as possible.
Track Record Speaks for Itself
Mohamed Salah was hardly a household name when Liverpool spent around €42 million to sign him away from Roma in the summer of 2017. The Egyptian had spent a brief stint in England with Chelsea a few years before, but he struggled to break into the regular squad under Jose Mourinho.
All Salah has done since returning to England is score goals. He scored a Premier League record 32 goals in his first campaign back in 2017-18 and followed that up with 22 goals in his second season. He has won the Golden Boot in each of the last 2 years, though he did share last season’s honors with teammate Sadio Mane and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Some will say that Salah is off to a slow start by his standards. The 27-year-old has scored 5 times through 10 appearances in the league for the Reds, which puts him on a pace of right around 20 goals over the course of a full campaign. Last season, 22 was enough to win him the award. One crucial aspect of sports betting is taking advantage of depressed odds. Now is the perfect time to do just that with the 2-time reigning Golden Boot winner.
Production is There
Salah has averaged 0.67 expected goals (xG) per 90 minutes this season, which puts him ahead of Vardy, Kane and Aubameyang. Only Aguero (an absurd xG average of 1.07 per 90 minutes) is ahead of Salah among realistic Golden Boot contenders.
Salah has an overall expected goals total of 6.42 on the season, which means he is a little unlucky to have only scored 5 thus far. Vardy, meanwhile, has been the beneficiary of some incredible luck. His expected goal number is at just 4.52, so the fact that he has already cracked double digits is incredible. Aguero and Aubameyang both have negative expected goal totals, as well.
Salah has been among the most productive players in England yet again. It’s just that the final product hasn’t quite been there.
Of course, we saw a similar story last season. Salah through 11 games a season ago, Salah had scored 5 goals. His expected goal average was at 6.92, with an expected goal-per-90 average of 0.66. Sound familiar? Those numbers are remarkably similar to the numbers he has produced so far this season. We know how last season ended, of course. He wound up winning the Golden Boot.
Betting on a goal-scoring machine like Kane or Aguero is never a bad idea, but you won’t find nearly as much value on either player as you will right now on Liverpool’s star forward.
Salah’s Golden Boot odds to begin the season were comparable to those of Aguero, Aubameyang and Kane, but they have dropped as a result of his so-so start to the season. He is just 5 goals behind Vardy as of this writing. One fine afternoon this weekend can easily see him close the gap to 2 or 3 goals. At that point, the conversation will change entirely.
The betting odds will follow, which is why getting Salah at the current +700 odds represents a can’t-miss, buy-low opportunity for punters. A hat-trick type of performance combined with potential injuries to some of his Golden Boot competitors could result in the odds tumbling at any given time.
The goals will come at some point for Salah. He has proven that through his first two years on Merseyside. Liverpool are right there with Manchester City as the most daunting attack the Premier League has to offer, so the Egyptian is going to find his fair share of goals at some point. Assuming he can stay healthy, of course.
Liverpool are a team that has attracted no shortage of betting attention when it comes to their chances of winning the Premier League this season. One bet that seems to be going overlooked is Salah’s chance of winning a third consecutive Golden Boot. Now is the time to place your bets on the Egyptian King to achieve glory yet again.