Lionel Messi Props: Inter Miami Starter?

Messi Joins Inter Miami in MLS

Barcelona Legend to Become Highest Paid MLS Player

The biggest story in the soccer world over the past week has been Lionel Messi’s move to David Beckham-owned Inter Miami CF in Major League Soccer. Messi, one of the greatest and most decorated players of all time, chose Inter Miami over a lucrative move to Saudi Arabia. He’ll still earn over $50 million in Miami, excluding endorsement deals and the impact on ticket prices has been immediate. With the Argentine World Cup winner’s move to the USA on the horizon, we’ll take a look at some Lionel Messi props.

Will Lionel Messi Score in First Game as Inter Miami Starter?

This one is self-explanatory but it’s unclear when Lionel Messi will make his debut. Reportedly, Messi will not make his debut until July 21st in the Leagues Cup vs. Cruz Azul. However, that is not an MLS match so it’s possible his first MLS start doesn’t come until four days later vs. Atlanta. Currently, Inter Miami are in last place in the Eastern Conference, with five wins and 12 losses.

They could certainly use Messi’s goals and he shows -130 MLS betting odds to score in his first match as a starter. Messi did not find the net in his first match for PSG, back in 2021. A “No” bet comes in at -110 odds. Bettors can also take the odds on whether Messi will find the net twice, or more, in his first match as a starter. A “Yes” bet returns $625 on a $100 bet, while “No” displays -1400 odds. The 35-year old scored 16 goals in 32 appearances in Ligue 1 in 2022-23.

Will Messi’s Inter Miami Jersey be Top-Selling MLS Jersey in his First Season?

This is one of the most entertaining Lionel Messi Props. Before the rumors of Messi to Miami started, Inter Miami had around one million Instagram followers. Now, they have 8.1 million, which is more than any other MLS, NHL or NFL team. Also, ticket prices for Messi’s potential debut vs. Cruz Azul went from $29 minimum to $329 overnight. It’s safe to say that the Messi effect is real.

That could certainly translate to jersey sales as his legions of fans scramble to buy his new kit. Messi is reportedly going to wear the iconic number 10 for Inter Miami. His jersey sits at -300 odds to be the best-selling kit of the season. Meanwhile, punters can take “No” at +200 odds but signs point to Messi’s marketability being as high as ever.

Will Lionel Messi Lead League as Top Goalscorer in 2023 Season?

If Lionel Messi doesn’t make his MLS debut until July 25th, that only gives him 14 games to become the MLS top scorer. Currently, four players are joint-top scorers in the league, with 10 goals. So, it’s likely that Messi will need to average well over a goal per game to become the top scorer in the league in the 2023 season.

Without Messi, Inter Miami have scored just 12 goals in 17 matches. So, there’s a lot of work to do to make this one a reality. A “Yes” bet shows +425 odds, while skeptics can take a “No” at +825 odds.

In the last five full seasons, it’s taken at least 19 goals to win the MLS Golden Boot. Messi also became more of a facilitator than a goal scorer at PSG as he provided as many assists as goals in the 2022-23 season.

Over/Under Goals and Assists

As things stand, the oddsmakers list Lionel Messi’s over/under goals total at 7.5 goals. MLS scores have not been kind to Inter Miami lately, so they’ll certainly hope that Messi scores more than this. Still, it’s not clear how many games the 2022 World Cup Golden Ball winner will appear in.

He struggled for goals in his first PSG season, as he scored just six times in 26 matches. With Kylian Mbappe on his team, Messi didn’t need to be the main man but that should change in Miami. Over 7.5 goals are priced at -110 odds, while the under stands at -130.

Passing has always been a heavily underrated aspect of Lionel Messi’s game. He tends to draw a ton of attention from defenders, which often has the effect of leaving his teammates open.

Messi is capable of picking out a through ball and the stats show it. In his two seasons at Paris Saint-Germain, Messi totaled 30 league assists in 58 appearances. He also averaged nearly 13 assists per season in his last five seasons with FC Barcelona.

Here, his over/under assist total is 6.5 for the remainder of the 2023 season. He’s implied to be more likely to go over on assists than goals. Over 6.5 goals come in at -120 odds and the under has the same price.

Will Inter Miami win The 2023 MLS Cup?

Inter Miami are already seven points outside of the playoff picture and that gap could grow before Lionel Messi makes his debut. Therefore, this is one of the longshot Lionel Messi props. Even if Messi is at his best over the last 10-plus games of the season, it could still be an uphill battle just to make the playoffs. Notably, over half of MLS teams do qualify for the playoffs so it’s not remotely out of the question.

Inter Miami do have a bit of firepower as former Atlanta United striker Josef Martinez is also on the roster. Martinez became the fastest-ever player to 100 MLS goals but he’s scored just four times this season. Messi may be able to unlock his potential, but Inter Miami to win the MLS Cup still shows just +2800 odds.

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