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Updated Odds and Contender Analysis for the 2021 MLS MVP Award

| October 5, 2021 10:21 am PDT

Alejandro Pozuelo scooped the 2020 Landon Donovan MVP Award on the back of a standout individual campaign. This year, however, the Spanish playmaker has endured an injury-ravaged season and won’t defend his crown.

With the Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs on the horizon, it feels like the perfect time to examine the bookmakers’ updated MLS MVP odds and analyze the main candidates

New England’s Carles Gil has led the Power Rankings for much of the season, guiding the Revs to an inevitable Supporters’ Shield triumph in the process.

Can anyone stop the Spanish magician from clinching the MVP award?

I take a detailed look at Gil’s season below, as well as covering all the other contenders. First, though, let’s check out the latest odds for the 2021 MLS MVP award.

Latest MLS MVP Odds – October 2021

Here are the current 2021 MLS MVP odds, courtesy of the best Major League Soccer betting sites.

As you can see, Carles Gil is the bookies’ out-and-out favorite to win the award.

I mean, the New England playmaker has shone throughout the campaign, so it is no real surprise to see him atop the bookies’ 2021 MLS MVP odds list.

Minnesota United’s Emanuel Reynoso and New York City’s Valentin Castellanos are also in the mix, while Atlanta United’s Marcelino Moreno is the only other player priced below 10.00.

The MLS oddsmakers think Hany Mukhtar, Ola Kamara, Raul Ruidiaz, and Nani stand a relatively equal chance of scooping the prize, although they are nowhere near Gil.

Let’s take a closer look at the 2021 MLS MVP betting favorites.

Can Anyone Stop Carles Gil?

A couple of months back, Gil was at the top of my August power rankings for the 2021 MLS MVP Award. Fast-forward to today – he is still the undisputed #1.

The 28-year-old has been the driving force behind New England’s unstoppable rise this year, notching a colossal 16 assists in 23 games, along with three goals.

In fact, Gil finds himself at the summit of multiple MLS leaderboards.

CARLES GIL (2021 MLS SEASON)
Metric Number League Ranking
Assists 16 1st
xA/90 0.48 1st
Key Passes 111 1st
Passes Into Penalty Area 102 1st
Progressive Passes 217 1st
Through Balls 16 1st
Shot-Creating Actions 108 1st
Goal-Creating Actions 23 1st

You don’t have to be a genius to recognize that Gil is Major League Soccer’s king of creativity.

With the Revs sitting 19 points clear atop the Eastern Conference – and 14 points ahead of second-place Seattle in the overall standings – it is only a matter of time before they get their hands on the Supporters’ Shield.

Not only is Gil the best player in MLS right now, but he is also playing in the league’s best team. That is the perfect combo for MVP success.

Reynoso Needs to End the Season Strongly

As one of the most valuable Major League Soccer players in 2021, it is hardly surprising that Reynoso is in the running for this year’s MVP award.

With four goals and seven assists to his name, the Minnesota attacking midfielder has singlehandedly dragged his team through games this season.

Even when the Loons aren’t at their best, Reynoso invariably shines.

While Gil leads countless passing charts, Reynoso isn’t far behind. In fact, he ranks fourth for both key passes and progressive passes and third for both passes into penalty area and shot-creating actions.

He has also pulled off more nutmegs than any other player in the league this year, putting the ball through an opponent’s legs on no fewer than 13 occasions – three more than the Galaxy’s Samuel Grandsir.

If Gil loses form (unlikely) or gets injured (more likely), Reynoso could capitalize if he ends the campaign strongly.

Could Castellanos Scoop the Top Prize?

Not only is Castellanos among the favorites for the 2021 MLS MVP award, but he is also a realistic candidate for the Golden Boot.

The NYCFC forward has bagged 13 goals in 25 MLS appearances this year, along with seven assists. That means only two players – Daniell Salloi and Hany Mukhtar – have tallied more goal involvements in 2021.

You only have to take a quick glance at Castellanos’ underlying stats to understand why he is such a threat.

VALENTIN CASTELLANOS (2021 MLS SEASON)
Metric Number League Ranking
xG 18.4 1st
npxG 15.3 1st
Shots 108 1st
Shots on Target 46 1st
Shots on Target/90 1.92 1st
Progressive Passes Rec 234 1st

The 22-year-old Argentine has taken more shots and achieved more shots on target than any other player in the league this season. As a result, he has amassed the highest xG (expected goals) and npxG (non-penalty expected goals).

On top of all that, he averages almost two shots on target per game – making him one of the most dangerous forwards in Major League Soccer.

If he carries on the way he’s going, he will only enhance his chances of being named the 2021 Landon Donovan Most Valuable Player.

Moreno is Enjoying a Breakout Year

When Moreno arrived in the States back in September 2020, Atlanta United was struggling.

The DP managed two goals and one assist in six appearances at the end of the previous campaign, but he was unable to prevent ATL UTD from finishing third from bottom in the East.

Throughout his first full season, Moreno has starred – racking up seven goals and five assists in 2021. As a result, the Five Stripes find themselves firmly in contention for a playoff berth.

Most Progressive Carries (2021 MLS Season)

  • Marcelino Moreno – 261
  • Yeferson Soteldo – 216
  • Carles Gil – 213
  • Luciano Acosta – 207
  • Emanuel Reynoso – 183

As the list above details, Moreno sits miles clear at the top of the progressive carries leaderboard – looking down on MVP rivals Gil and Reynoso.

He also ranks second for goal-creating actions and fourth for both through balls and shot-creating actions.

Although the midfielder has enjoyed a phenomenal season up till now, it feels like he needs to up his game even further to catch Gil. If the Five Stripes reach the playoffs, expect Moreno to be at the heart of the action.

2021 MLS MVP Sleepers to Consider

In my eyes, there are only three realistic outsiders to keep an eye on if you’re betting on the MLS MVP in 2021.

Gil is the favorite, of course, while Reynoso, Castellanos, and Moreno are also in the mix. But if you’re looking for an outside MVP bet, the players below are certainly worth considering.

  • Hany Mukhtar – Nashville SC: Most Goal Involvements (22)
  • Ola Kamara – DC United: Most Goals (17)
  • Raul Ruidiaz – Seattle Sounders: Second-Most Goals (16)

Having chalked up 13 goals and 9 assists this year, Nashville’s Hany Mukhtar has more goal involvements than any other player in the league. With the Boys in Gold flying high in the East, the German will surely add to his impressive tally in the remaining games.

Sitting atop the Golden Boot leaderboard, DC United’s Ola Kamara is another MVP sleeper to track. He has bagged 16 goals in his last 17 outings and doesn’t look like he’s slowing down anytime soon.

Seattle’s Raul Ruidiaz is also worth keeping an eye on. He is set to push Kamara all the way for the Golden Boot and could cause a stir in the MVP rankings, too.

The Peruvian notched a half-century of goals for the Sounders earlier in the season and is already well on his way to 100.

Betting on the 2021 MLS MVP Award

The bookies’ odds for the MLS MVP award suggest that Carles Gil is in a league of his own. Having compared the New England star with his nearest rivals, I can’t really disagree with the oddsmakers.

Ultimately, Gil has been the best player in Major League Soccer this year. On top of that, the Revs have been the best team.

Barring something extraordinary, I can’t see anyone beating the Spaniard to the award. Although guys like Reynoso, Castellanos, and Moreno have enjoyed outstanding seasons so far, there is no denying that Gil is a cut above the rest.

With 19 goal involvements in 23 games (3 goals, 16 assists), Gil is the best bet for the MLS MVP award in 2021.

In fact, I recommend jumping on his price of 2.50 as soon as possible. He will almost certainly produce more magic in the coming weeks, meaning his odds will only shorten.

Fancy betting on the 2021 MLS Golden Boot, too? Check out my Golden Boot betting preview for analysis, insight, and tips.

MLS Golden Boot Odds and Contender Analysis – October 2021 Update

As we approach the business end of the 2021 Major League Soccer season, the race for the Golden Boot is heating up. DC United’s Ola Kamara (17 goals) currently leads the way, with Seattle’s Raul Ruidiaz (16 goals) and Sporting KC’s Daniel...

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Ben Morris

Ben is a sportswriter and tipster who specializes in soccer. Currently based in the UK, he has traveled all around the world watching – and betting on – his beloved sport.

Alongside his regular soccer content, Ben publishes blogs and picks for cricket, Formula 1, Aussie rules, darts, and various other sports.

Ben is a diehard fan of Nottingham Forest and England, so he hasn’t had much to cheer about in recent years!

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