Is Bruno Fernandes is overpriced in the Premier League top scorer betting?
Each week I like to take a closer look at various top goalscorer markets to try and snaffle out some potential value, but this time I'm focussing on a specific player in the Premier League; one who has massively impressed since arriving on English shores at the start of the year and could represent great value for an each-way bet at 33/1.
Manchester United playmaker Bruno Fernandes has been a revelation since signing for the Red Devils back in January, and his statistics are quite something. Since January, Fernandes has been directly involved in 25 goals in 23 top flight matches, with his latest contribution coming in Sunday's dramatic 3-2 win over Southampton - a match United found themselves losing 2-0 at half-time.
The Portugal international has so far scored seven goals in this season's edition of the Premier League, alongside providing a further three assists for his teammates. While the 26-year-old is often referred to as a 'penalty merchant' due to the high volume of spot-kicks he has converted - 12 in all competitions since since signing for United - eight of his 15 league goals for the Old Trafford outfit have come from open-play or courtesy of a free-kick.
Indeed, it is Fernandes' ability from 12 yards that has seen him rise to the upper echelons in the Premier League's top goalscorer chart this term.
The former Sporting CP midfielder's seven-goal haul (three penalties) sees him sit behind only Harry Kane (7 goals), Mohamed Salah (8 goals), Jamie Vardy (8 goals), Son Heung-min (9 goals) and Dominic Calvert-Lewin (10 goals) after 10 games - each of whom are deemed as their respective side's main striker or attacking threat - unlike Fernandes, whose primary role is to create chances in United's midfield before focussing on scoring goals himself.
This season more than ever we are seeing a huge rise in penalties in the Premier League, with VAR's constant involvement in games boosting the amount of spot-kicks awarded week after week, and it is players like Fernandes who are the main beneficiaries.
Already this season there have been a total of 47 penalties in England's top table, with only Leicester (8) and Fulham (5) awarded more than Manchester United (4). It was the same situation during Project Restart in the summer, and while we can all agree that the vast majority of these decisions being made are hilariously soft and somewhat ridiculous, Bruno Fernandes will perhaps feel a lot differently as it will only serve to boost his already-impressive tally in front of goal.
Fernandes' odds in the Premier League top scorer betting have fluctuated throughout the early stages of the campaign. Interestingly, he actually started the season at a shorter price than he is now at 22/1 with Paddy Power, before drifting to as high as 50/1 and then 40/1 in early November.
His odds now stand at 33/1, however, and although it will be a tall order for the playmaker to keep up with the division's most lethal marksmen from now until the end of May, there could still be value in backing him each-way in this market.
This can often prove profitable for punters looking to back an outsider at higher odds, without their chosen player having to actually finish the season with the most goals. Last season Southampton's Danny Ings notched 22 league goals and therefore finished joint-second in the race for the Golden Boot, behind Jamie Vardy who scored one more with 23.
However, you'd have still won your bet had you have backed the Saints front man with an each-way bet at odds of 200/1, as these wagers pay out if the player you've bet on finishes in the top four, not just if they win. In this instance, a £5 e/w bet on Ings would have returned a healthy £245 profit (bet paid out at 1/4 of the odds).
While Fernandes's odds aren't quite as high as Ings's were in 19/20, a £5 each-way (£10 in total) bet on the Portuguese would pay just over £46 should he finish in the top four for goals scored, and £216 if he outscored his rivals and claimed the elusive Golden Boot at the end of the season - not too shabby.
There is, of course, still a long way to go until the campaign draws to a close but early indications suggest that Fernandes could be a good each-way bet in this market, and his astonishing goal involvement record at Old Trafford coupled with the amount of penalties we are seeing being given only further boost the hypothesis that the United talisman is overpriced at 33/1.
It is a price that will certainly shorten soon enough if the trend continues...