The Premier League season is right around the corner -- the first match is August 5th -- so it's a great time to jump into the EPL futures market on FanDuel Sportsbook.
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, starting with two of the favorites
Erling Haaland, Manchester City (+300)
Haaland, Mohamed Salah (+470) and Harry Kane (+650) are priced as the favorites. Outside of those three, no one else is better than +1100.
While Kane and Salah own three Golden Boots apiece, Haaland could run away with it this season if he hits the ground running. That might not be a big if, but it's an if. We never know for sure how quickly new signings will acclimate to their new teams, but given Haaland's track record and City's need for a striker, the Norwegian has a chance to explode onto the EPL scene.
City have been a goal-scoring machine in recent seasons, and they've done a lot of it without a true number-nine or a top-notch aerial threat in the box. Haaland fills both of those holes, and he should find himself on the end of a ton of chances.
Last season, City led the league in goals (99), shot-creating actions per 90 minutes (30.2), completed passes into the 18-yard box (562) and shots on target per 90 (6.3). They're going to create chances -- and lots of them.
Of course, it's not as easy as just plugging an elite striker into the system and the City machine keeps rolling along. City will need to adjust how they have been playing to account for the presence of a number-nine, and Haaland will need to acclimate himself to Pep Guardiola's system. It might take a little time. We saw Jack Grealish struggle to find his footing in his first year with City.
But Haaland gets the benefit of a full preseason this summer, and he's adjusted quickly to new surroundings before, scoring 13 goals in 11 Bundesliga starts in his first half-season with Dortmund. He ended up netting 62 goals in 59 Bundesliga starts before departing for City, so this is a striker with a top-shelf goal-scoring record.
Another hole Haaland might fill for City is penalty-taker, and if he's City's first choice on spot kicks, that will boost his goal-scoring numbers. He's cashed 26 of 28 penalty tries in his career (in all competitions), and that figures to get him a long look as the guy to lock down a penalty gig that's been a revolving door for City in recent seasons. City have averaged 9.7 penalty attempts per season in EPL play over the last three years, so if Haaland wins the job, this +300 price might not be low enough.
All in all, Haaland deserves to be priced as the favorite, and I think you can argue he should be an even bigger favorite. The Golden Boot-winning goal tally has been 23 in each of the last three years. With 49 goals in 47 Bundesliga starts over the last two seasons, Haaland can push for 30-plus goals if he stays healthy and doesn't need a long adjustment period.
Mohamed Salah, Liverpool (+470)
You can make a strong case for both Salah and Kane (+650).
With Kane dropping deeper more often in recent seasons to get involved in build-up play, the Tottenham talisman produced just 0.47 goals per 90 last season -- his worst-ever mark with Spurs -- and has been held to 18 or fewer goals in three of the past four years.
Give me Salah.
We know Liverpool will generate chances and goals, and Salah's goal-scoring record on Merseyside is nothing short of phenomenal. Since moving from Roma, Salah has tallied 32, 22, 19, 22 and 23 goals across five EPL seasons. He's won three EPL Golden Boots. His clip of 0.75 goals per 90 in 2021-22 was his best number since he put up 0.99 goals per 90 in his remarkable debut season with the Reds.
Salah has always had a hint of selfishness -- in a good way for those betting on his goal tally -- in that he isn't afraid to take on shots when, at times, passing might be the better play, and he hunts goals no matter how lopsided the score is, something that matters with him playing for such a dominant side. He also handles penalties, adding an average of 5.5 goals from the spot per season over the last two years.
With Sadio Mane leaving this summer and Darwin Nunez coming in, Liverpool's front three will look different this season, but Salah should be a constant out on the right wing. There's no reason to expect anything other than what we've seen from Salah in recent campaigns, and that kind of effort should put him in the mix for another Golden Boot, although I prefer Haaland at his number.
Jamie Vardy, Leicester (+3400)
Among the longshots, Vardy stands out.
Vardy has put up at least 15 goals in five straight seasons for Leicester City, averaging 17.7 goals per year over the past three campaigns. In 2021-22, he scored 0.75 goals per 90, a career-best mark for him in the Premier League and a rate that tied Salah for tops in the Prem. The only thing missing for Vardy was health, as he was able to start only 20 matches.
Health is once again a fair concern for a striker entering his age-35 season. But prior to last year, Vardy had started at least 30 matches in six consecutive seasons, and as he showed when he was on the pitch last year, he hasn't lost much in the pace department.
Leicester aren't going to be as high-scoring of a side as the top teams are, but on the flip side, the Foxes don't have as many goal-scoring options as those squads do. Vardy is the main man at Leicester, and he's also good on penalties, making 26 of 31 from the spot in his Leicester career.
Vardy has never scored more than 24 goals in an EPL season, so if someone nets 30-plus, Leicester's number-nine almost surely won't be able to match that. But Vardy won the Golden Boot in 2019-20 with 23 goals, a number that would've been good enough for each of the last four Golden Boots, and he's capable of a similar output this season if he stays healthy.
All in all, I think Vardy is well worth a roll of the dice at +3400.