It’s finally looking like we have a title race worthy of note in the Premiership with Rangers set to push Celtic all the way to the line and hopefully pipping them to the post come May.
Gerrard’s side are looking to go one step further this time round, but that’s not the only race ‘Gers fans have to be excited about right now.
Defoe is leading the line
Former Premier League star Jermain Defoe has made an instant impact since being brought into the fold by Gerrard at the start of the season. In his first start against Hibernian the 37 year old took home the match ball after bagging a hat trick in the 6-1 demolition of Hibernian at Ibrox back in August.
Since then Defoe has understandably played second fiddle to first choice Alfredo Morelos, but has been coming off the bench to remarkable effect.
According to the BBC’s current list of Scottish Premiership top scorers Defoe, currently on 10 goals from 12 matches, has had 56% of his shots on target so far this season. When you look at the top five contenders for the golden boot, his accuracy, shot rate and chances created are all comparable despite playing less minutes.
The bookies currently have Defoe as favourite to be top scorer in the Premiership come the end of the season, with odds currently at the 2/1 mark. Those are solid odds for a decent bet, but with Defoe likely to remain playing second fiddle, and given that his contributions have somewhat dried up over October, it does represent some risk.
Having said that, Defoe isn’t the only Rangers attacker in contention if you’re looking to back one of our own.
Will consistency be key?
It’s true that as Gerrard’s understudy striker this season Defoe will be hindered from finishing first in the goalscorer charts if he doesn’t continue his blistering form when called up upon. He has supplemented his goal tally with two hat tricks that while impressive, cannot always be counted on as a safe bet as the season continues.
On the other hand, a man who has every advantage afforded him is first choice striker Alfredo Morelos. Gerrard’s preferred striker has proven to be a handful in a disciplinary sense during his time in Scotland, but has definitely delivered the goods.
Morelos is currently trailing Defoe by one with nine goals to his name so far this season. At odds of 11/4 and current third favourite, considering he’s a likely starter throughout the campaign, this has to be the best value bet.
At present the most competitive odds are being offered by emerging bookmakers rather than the established brands. According to sports betting experts BetBlazers these companies are going to be the go-to new betting sites in 2020.
When it comes to Morelos, despite missing out on the title last season he finished top scorer with 18 goals and won’t be looking to give away his crown any time soon.
Even stevens between the Old Firm
It wouldn’t be a true tussle in Scottish football if there wasn’t a Rangers vs. Celtic edge to it, and that’s exactly the case in the top scorer race as well.
Jermain Defoe and Alfredo Morelos are joined in the top five favourites table by Celtic’s Odsonne Eduoard and Ryan Christie. Like Defoe, Eduoard has scored two hat tricks in the Premiership and is a proven goalscorer from Celtic’s title winning side last season, averaging around a goal every two games.
Aberdeen’s Sam Cosgrove is also in contention, currently on seven goals, with comparable stats to his immediate competitors when it comes to created chances and shots on target.
When all is said and done, it will be minutes on the pitch that will make all the difference. The first choice strikers will be the ones in the mix come the final games of the season. The likes of Morelos, Edouard and Cosgrove are not only a safer bet, but with Defoe topping the charts for the time being they’re a better value bet than ever.