Looking at the Championship top scorer table for me there looks to be a standout candidate in a rather poor betting heat.
Aleksandar Mitrovic is top scorer with 8 goals in 11 games and for me it’s 3/1 he doesn’t get injured. Last time he was in the Championship when he joined Fulham on loan in January 2018 he plundered 12 in 20 matches (18 starts). Overall it’s 20 goals in 31 Championship games. What’s more impressive is that as Fulham’s designated penalty taker only one of those goals has come from the spot. If we extrapolate his record over a 46 game season it would work as 29 goals. It’s not an exact science but it gives a rough idea. 29 goals would be enough to win in every season bar one since 2004/05 (Glenn Murray 30 in 2012/13). However, we should also expect him to pick up some more goals from the penalty spot.
He’s taking by far the most shots per-game in the league at 4.10 per-game, nearly one more than anyone else (0.80). And the good news is these aren’t just wayward attempts after wayward attempts, 3.10 come from inside the penalty area. The other good news is he’s played every minute this season and has yet to be subbed. All in all as previously mentioned I think this is 3/1 he doesn’t get injured. He signed a five year contract extension with Fulham in July.
The regular MLS season finished on Sunday and now we enter the play-offs to decide who lifts the MLS Cup. Los Angeles FC are favourites and rightfully deserve favouritism status. They set the record for the most points in a regular season, 72 from 34 games, with Carlos Vela breaking the goalscorer record with 34 strikes. But that’s more than reflected in their price at just 6/4. Last seasons winners Atlanta Utd finished 2nd in the Eastern Conference and look a much more interesting prospect at 10/1.
There’s been a few changes from last season. They lost Miguel Almiron to Newcastle but replaced him well with Gonzalo Martinez from River Plate who chipped in with five goals and seven assists. Justin Meram was another astute signing and the development of 20 year-old striker Brandon Vazquez has assisted Josef Martinez in the goal getting. The biggest loss was manager Tata Martino to Mexico who was replaced by Frank de Boer. And whilst he hasn’t done as well as Tata, it hasn’t been that big a drop off.
They sit 4th for most shots in the penalty area, fewest shots conceded and for most possession, so they are doing the main things very well. And crucially the underlying data is reflective of the odds they are going off at to win games. On Sunday they were 1.37 to beat the New England Revolution and the same match one year ago they were 1.30, so clearly the syndicates and professional bettors are still happy with their performance data.
The play-offs are split in two, Eastern and Western, with Atlanta being in the former. By coincidence they face New England Revolution again at home in a one off tie before facing either Philadelphia Union or New York Red Bulls at home. They were 1.51 to beat both of these during the regular season. Next they are predicted to face New York City away but they have a tough assignment against either Toronto or DC Utd, and if either of those qualify, Atlanta will be at home because they finished higher in the table. And that really is their fortress with a record of 12-3-2 compared to 6-1-10 away. Win that and they would be in the final against probably LAFC and anything can happen in a one off game. They only lost 4-3 in the corresponding game where there was just 0.07 xG between the sides.
Overall 10/1 e-w for last seasons champions where their performances have hardly changed and the best team can only be met in the final looks very good to me. They were less than half the price this time last season.