MLS Top Goal Scorer: Golden Boot 2024 - Odds, Prediction, and Best Picks

Written by: Angelo Zarra
Fact-checked by: James Whitelock
Updated July 15, 2024
8 min read

The new season of the Major League Soccer (MLS) is well underway, and the race for playoff qualification is expected to be intense. While the clubs fight for a ticket to the knockouts, a few players will gear up to become top contenders for the Golden Boot and Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the season.

After scoring 20 goals in 31 appearances during the regular season, Denis Bouanga clinched the MLS 2023 Golden Boot. The Los Angeles FC added five more to his tally during the playoffs, but the knockout stage goals do not count in the Golden Boot race. The winner of the individual award is decided before the playoff season begins.

FC Cincinnati’s Luciano Acosta and Atlanta United’s Giorgos Giakoumakis were tied for second place, with both players scoring 17 goals. The former was eventually named the MVP of the MLS 2023 campaign after he ended the campaign with 31 goals. The Argentine scored 19 goals and provided 12 assists in 36 games.

Juan Hernandez was influential in Columbus Crew’s title-winning run last year. At the end of the regular season, the Colombian had a goal tally of 16. He scored five more goals during the playoffs, including the opener against Los Angeles FC in the final. This season, Hernandez is off to a great start again, as he has scored two goals in two games.

MLS Top Goal Scorer 2024 - Odds

Odds courtesy of bet365 sportsbook. Head over to bet365 to place your bets and claim a bonus: $1,000 Safety Net Bet OR $150 in Bonus Bets.

PlayerOdds
Cristian Arango+175
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Christian Benteke+400
BET HERE
Lionel Messi+400
BET HERE
Luis Suarez+700
BET HERE
Denis Bouanga+800
BET HERE
Brain White+2500
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Juan Hernandez+4000
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Petar Musa+4000
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Lewis Morgan+4000
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Lionel Messi will be the top competitor for the Golden Boot in any league that he plays in. Hence, the bookmakers have backed him as the firm favorite to win the award prior to the Copa America but things have changed in the market. His former Barcelona and current Inter Miami teammate, Luis Suarez, his odds have fallen, currently ranked fourth, while Real Salt Lake’s Cristian Arango is now in pole position to capture the 2024 Golden Boot after two-thirds of the MLS season completed.

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MLS 2024 Golden Boot Winner – Analysis

All the accolades have been said there is not much more to add to one of the greatest players of all time to grace a soccer pitch. Lionel Messi is a goal-scoring machine every time he ties his boots up and takes the field. In 12 MLS appearances this campaign, the Argentine has recorded 12 goals and only one of them coming by the way of a penalty. The 36-year-old is showing no signs of slowing down yet, making him one of the favorites to win the 2024 MLS Golden Boot. Participating in Copa Americ,  Messi was on international duty for Argintina, missing six MLS matches with Inter Miami. With that amount of games missing in action could hurt the Argintina legend chances on clinching the top scorer in MLS as he is five goals off the pace.

Cristian Arango is currently priced the with the same odds as Messi to capture the allusive goal-scoring trophy. The 29-year-old Columbian is the MVP of Real Salt Lake, bagging goals and helping his side collect results. Arango is currently leading the MLS Golden Boot race with 17 goals on the year. The striker has slowed down off his scorching pace only registering one goal since his his hat-trick against the Austin FC  on June 1.

Messi’s teammate is enjoying MLS life as Luis Suarez's introduction is off to a blistering start. In 16 league appearances, the Uruguayan has found the back of the net 12 times. The 37-year-old is exceeding expectations, and his age was a concern coming into the season but the lethal Inter Miami number nine is proving the doubters wrong. Through 16 MLS showings, Suarez is making the most of his opportunities sitting with an x.G of 7.64, he’s carrying the load and will go to no surprise if he sails over his expected goals from the analytic side of things.

Benteke opened the campaign in style with a stunning hat-trick. The 33-year-old is still maintaining a solid goal-scoring form bagging 10 goals in his 14 previous matches after his opening weekend display which has currently moved him into second place in the MLS Golden Boot race. The only concern with wagering on Benteke is the D.C United product has only been able to catalog a goal in back-to-back matches once this campaign. Benteke was not called up to represent Belgium at Euro 2024, making him a worthy candidate to expand the distance on the stat sheet between him and one of the odds on favorite Messi.

Bouanga is ranked surprisingly low in the outrights table still after hitting home 10 goals through 16 matches. Though the Gabonian is the reigning title holder and no player in history has ever won the MLS Golden Boot in two consecutive seasons putting Bouanga at a disadvantage to repeat.

A dark horse on the list is the Is Vancouver Whitecaps striker Brian White. The 28-year-old American is on heat of late bagging seven goals in a five-game stretch. He has been the main reason why Vancouver is in the conversation in the Western Conference. Through 127 games with Vancouver, White has found the back of the net 49 times.

Budging his way into the Golden Boot chat is the 26-year-old Croatian striker Petar Musa. In his first season in MLS, the FC Dallas product has fitted in nicely to his new surroundings cashing in on 12 goals so far. Musa is blazing on the score sheet inking his name on the statsheet in three consecutive MLS matches. Don't look now but if the striker can continue his form he will be tooth and nail with his peers in the Golden Boot race.

New York Red Bulls forward Lewis Morgan has entered the fray as a top goal scorer in this year’s competition. The Scottish striker in over 1100 minutes played, has hit the back of the net nine times. In recent weeks Morgan has fallen behind in the goal-scoring race, currently riding a three-game goalless run. All it takes is one monster performance on the pitch for Morgan to climb back into the leading goal conversation. 

Budging his way into the Golden Boot chat is 28-year-old Anderson Julio. The Real Salt Lake product is one of the hottest forwards in recent time finding the back of the net four times in his last 179 minutes of work. He is a long way behind his teammate Cristian Arango but with half the season left to compete for, Julio can make some to climb up the chart if his fine form continues.

MLS 2024 Golden Boot Winner – My Pick

Cristian Arango (+220) at FanDuel

It’s hard to go against one of the greatest players this soccer generation has ever seen but Inter Miami will give Messi the load management treatment as the season progresses and his departure to the Copa America 2024. Taking away his appearances should equate to fewer goals so for this reason going to select the current top scorer in MLS Cristian Arango +175. He is showing no signs of slowing down and currently leads the race by a three-goal margin. The spotlight won’t be focused on the Columbian and if the 29-year-old forward can avoid the injury sword he should be able to start close to every game with Real Salt Lake.

Bet on Christian Arango (+175) at FanDuel 

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Angelo Zarra

Soccer Betting Analyst

Expertise:
MLS
Liga MX
Betting Picks
Hailing from the great white north in Canada, over the last 15 years, Angelo has been wagering on sports and, more specifically, the sport that’s in his blood, soccer. Well-versed in soccer leagues across the globe, keeping tabs on what’s happening in the world of soccer. Since 2022, Angelo has published MLS betting previews on various websites, including on Major League Soccer's official betting page for a short while. Through the power of social media, Angelo has been invited to talk soccer betting on national TV & radio on Sports Grid. In Angelo’s free time, he can be found walking his dog and lounging at home watching any game that's on while enjoying his second favourite thing after sports: food! 
Nationality: Canadian
Education: Accounting and Payroll
Favourite Sportsbook: bet365 Sportsbook
Favourite Casino: PowerPlay Casino
Experience:
15 years
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