Just like with 2020 MLS Cup odds, the golden boot landscape dramatically shifted after Josef Martinez’s ACL injury.
Martinez provided a credible challenger (and arguably, even a better shot given Atlanta United’s potential firepower) to Carlos Vela for top goal scoring honors. With Martinez out, it comes down to this: if Vela is healthy, he’ll win the golden boot. If he gets injured, who has got the next best shot?
2020 MLS top goalscorer odds
|Carlos Vela -118||Chicharito +900||Jordan Morris +900||Heber +1100|
|Raul Ruidíaz +1400||Diego Rossi +1800||Jozy Altidore +2800||Ola Kamara +2800|
|Gyasi Zardes +2800||Luis Amarilla +2800||Kei Ansu Kamara +3300||Bradley Wright-Phillips +3300|
|Alejandro Pozuelo +4000||Gustavo Bou +4000||Kacper Przybyłko +7500||Diego Rubio +8000|
Who can win other than Vela?
Again, this all comes down to Vela’s health. He’s winning the golden boot if he’s healthy. Last year’s #2 and #3 goal scorers are out of the race (Zlatan is in Italy, and Martinez is injured). Here are last year’s MLS top goal scorers after Vela, Zlatan and Martinez (penalty goals in parenthesis)
- Diego Rossi: 16 (0)
- Heber: 15 (0)
- Kacper Przybyłko: 15 (0)
- Chris Wondolowski: 15 (0)
- Kei Kamara: 14 (4)
- Gyasi Zardes: 13 (3)
The penalty goals are critical to the race. Vela tallied a MLS record 34 goals last season. However, 9 came from the spot. If Vela is healthy, he takes all of LAFC’s penalties. If he gets injured, then Diego Rossi becomes an interesting option. Subtract Vela’s penalty goals, and his 2019 total is 25. Rossi was fourth in MLS last season with 16 goals. So if you’re betting Vela, taking Rossi at +1800 is a good handcuff / security bet.
Chicharito isn’t bad value at +900, we are just lower on him than most. He may be washed. And he’s not getting any service.
Heber continues to impress and his +1100 is good value.
Jordan Morris had a brace in Seattle’s opener and is playing with confidence, but the +900 isn’t a good price as he’s not a traditional volume scorer. While not currently priced, either Pity Martinez (likely penalty taker) or Ezequiel Barco are worth monitoring as they may become the focal point of Atlanta United’s offense.
Otherwise though, it’s all about Vela. If he’s healthy, he wins it.