Man City star Erling Haaland appears poised to be the first Premier League player to lead the league in goals scored in back-to-back seasons since Harry Kane piled up a league-best 25 in ’15-16, then defended his Golden Boot trophy with 29 more in ’16-17.
Haaland ran away with the EPL’s Golden Boot last season in his first campaign under Pep Guardiola, eclipsing the previous record of 34 with a 36-goal haul at age 22. Not only did Haaland easily set the record for most goals in a season, he became the first player since Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah in ’17-18 to score more than 30.
Given his inexperience and the fact that the Norwegian pumped the brakes down the stretch – he scored his 35th goal of ’22-23 with five games left on the schedule, then scored just one more as City pulled away from Arsenal for the title – another season with 30-plus goals feels well within reach.
2023-24 Premier League Golden Boot Odds
But there’s a reason we so rarely see the same player lead the Premier League in goals scored in consecutive seasons. With that in mind, let’s look at Haaland’s top competitors, per bookmakers, for the ’23-24 Golden Boot. FanDuel, Caesars, bet365, and DraftKings are all offering futures odds for a number of players, starting with usual suspects Haaland, Salah, and Kane.
Erling Haaland 2023-24 Golden Boot Odds Analysis (-135 on DraftKings)
It’s not hard to come up with reasons why oddsmakers have made Haaland the runaway favorite. There are, however, a few valid questions, if not legitimate causes for concern, that anyone backing Haaland at -135 – or shorter – should consider.
City’s top assist man, midfielder Kevin De Bruyne (16 assists in ’22-23) is back this season, but winger Riyad Mahrez (10 assists) is now playing in Saudi Arabia. In addition to losing Mahrez, City also lost Ilkay Gundogan (4 assists) this offseason.
Even without Mahrez and Gundogan, Guardiola’s side by no means lacks creative players to facilitate for Haaland. Still, it will be interesting to see whether Haaland combines as well with whoever replaces Gundogan and Mahrez as he did with those two.
Pessimists may also wonder whether Premier League opponents will be better prepared for Haaland now that they’ve faced him, but that doesn’t feel like it will be a major issue. Last year, City’s opponents fared no better the second time around than the first.
The “questions/concerns” for Haaland are minor when you consider not only his total output in ’22-23 but his remarkable consistency. Haaland scored in eight of City’s first nine matches, then went the whole season without ever going more than two matches without scoring. He managed to “endure” just three such droughts, with one of them coming in his final appearances of the season — a pair of games City did not need to win at the end of the season.
The two most likely scenarios in which Haaland doesn’t lead the EPL in scoring this year are A) if he’s injured and misses significant time or B) if City clinch another EPL trophy even earlier, maybe around Matchday 32, and he plays limited minutes after that point.
Neither of those last two situations feel like realistic possibilities, which makes betting on Haaland – especially at -135 – solid value.
Harry Kane 2023-24 Golden Boot Odds Analysis (+850 on FanDuel)
No player in the Premier League has been a more consistent scorer than Kane since his first EPL season with 20-plus goals back in ’14-15. Kane was as good in his age-29 season last year as ever, tying his personal best with 30 goals for a Tottenham side that finished eighth in the table.
Kane, 30, is coming off back-to-back seasons in which he was asked to carry Spurs – he has started 74 of his team’s last 76 Premier League matches and played well over 3,000 minutes in both ’21-22 and ’22-23.
If anything, it’s easy to see his production dipping a bit due to fatigue from the past two seasons.
Additionally, it’s unclear how Tottenham will look under new Manager Ange Postecoglou, and who knows how Kane’s near-move to Bayern this summer will affect him when the season kicks off this weekend.
This season marks the final year of his contract, and that’s another reason to stay away. At 30, on a team facing stiff competition just to finish top-6 (Spurs are even money to finish sixth or better on FanDuel) much less top-4 (FanDuel lists them at +320), it’s easy to see Kane taking a cautious approach late in the season as he prepares to become a free agent next summer.
Mohamed Salah 2023-24 Golden Boot Odds Analysis (+1000 on FanDuel)
Liverpool’s Egyptian right winger has scored 19 goals or more every season since joining the Reds in ’17-18. He’s routinely in the mix for this award, having won it outright in ’17-18 (32 goals) and shared it in ’18-19 (22 goals) and ’21-22 (23 goals).
On paper, Liverpool’s attack will be much improved from ’22-23, when their next-highest scorer after Salah was Roberto Firmino. Assuming Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo stay healthy and improve in their second seasons at Anfield, Liverpool should have the balance up front to keep opposing back lines from giving Salah too much attention.
With the offseason additions of midfielders Dominik Szoboszlai and Alexis Mac Allister, plus the return of Curtis Jones, Diogo Jota, and Luis Diaz – all of whom missed time last season due to injuries – Jurgen Klopp will be able to surround Salah with talent in the final third. That group promises to make Liverpool dangerous offensively, but could it mean fewer shots for Salah?
Darwin Núñez 2023-24 Golden Boot Odds Analysis (+2000 on Caesars)
Speaking of Liverpool’s suddenly potent – but crowded – front line, Núñez is a player who flashed at times in ’22-23 with nine goals and three assists in 19 starts. The Uruguayan’s speed makes him a problem for center backs, and if he’s fully integrated at Liverpool in Year 2, he could be worth a flier at a price like +2000 at Caesars.
Portugal’s top division doesn’t hold up well in comparison to the Premier League, but it’s solid, and Núñez’s 26 goals for Benfica at the age of 22 in ’21-22 showed he has a chance to be an elite scorer for years to come in Europe.
Marcus Rashford 2023-24 Golden Boot Odds Analysis (+2300 on FanDuel)
Rashford easily led his team in goals last year. The English winger’s haul of 17 placed him among the top six scorers in the league, but he didn’t get enough help to keep ManU in the title hunt, as his next-highest-scoring teammate was Bruno Fernandes, who contributed eight goals.
ManU’s biggest offensive signing this summer was their acquisition of 20-year-old Danish striker Rasmus Højlund from Atalanta. In his first season in Serie A last year, he scored nine goals for Atalanta. He’s promising, but it’s hard to see him impacting ManU’s ceiling – or Rashford’s – in his first year under Erik ten Hag.
Gabriel Jesus 2023-24 Golden Boot Odds Analysis (+4400 on FanDuel)
The veteran Brazilian quickly made a splash at Arsenal after joining the Gunners from Man City last summer. He scored five goals in Arsenal’s first nine games, but then an injury sidelined him from mid-November until April.
If he’s healthy, Jesus has the talent and supporting cast to at least merit a look, especially at +4400 on FanDuel. It’s hard to say why FanDuel gives him such long odds, while bet365, Caesars, and DraftKings all price him at between +1800 and +2800, but if you’re bullish on Arsenal this preseason, consider a play on Jesus on FanDuel.
Read more: Premier League team futures odds