Top goalscorer or the winner of the upcoming World Cup’s Golden Boot award is one of the most popular betting markets right now.
Betting on individual teams and group outcomes is pretty huge at a variety of land-based and online sportsbooks in the United Kingdom. Match betting will only kick off fully when the fixtures actually start on June 12th, but there are certain betting markets, which already see lots of activity, one of them is the Golden Boot winner.
One of the main reasons for this particular market’s popularity is the fact that the winner doesn’t always come from the title winning side, leaving betting options wide open. Another thing is that the nation is already out of the World Cup, the footballer with most goals can still win the prize, but of course those teams that move on to later stages are more likely to produce the Golden Boot winner.
Let’s take a look at what players are more or less likely to win the prestigious prize this summer, offering punters better chances to win under British gambling laws.
Betting on top goalscorer at the World Cup
• Lionel Messi is the hot favorite to score most goals
• Many online sportsbooks in the UK are already accepting bets
• There are some dark horses in the running worth considering betting on
Olivier Giroud – France
This season Arsenal have managed to grab a trophy finally, and although it wasn’t the Premier League title, it was very welcome nonetheless. Giroud’s performance might not have been the best, but his 22 goals speak for themselves.
The French center-forward might not possess the skills of Messi or speed of Bale, but he is particularly useful and dangerous inside the penalty area. The odds on him for winning the Golden Boot are a long shot at 41.00, but they might provide a hefty payout for those who bet on sports in the United Kingdom.
But of course Didier Deschamps will most probably use Karim Benzema as the main striker for Les Bleus, further downplaying Olivier Giroud’s odds of becoming the top goalscorer. However, Giroud’s recent performance against Norway in a friendly might very well change the manager’s mind. Olivier score two of the four French goals. It is natural to expect that Giroud will be given a chance to prove himself in the group stage.
The mid-range chances
Gonzalo Higuain – Argentina
Argentina of course has the world’s best footballer – Lionel Messi – in their midst, and there is Sergio Aguero as one of the main goalscoring forces. But Gonzalo Higuain could be the dark horse Alejandro Sabella will bring out to confuse opponents.
Higuain scored 24 times this season, and his contribution to Napoli’s success in the Coppa Italia was significant. Additionally Argentina’s coach might use Gonzalo as part of a three-man attack next to Messi and Aguero, giving Napoli striker room to shine and try to earn the Golden Boot.
Higuain’s recent performance for the Albiceleste has also been good with nine goals during the qualification including a hat-trick against Chile. That’s why the 21.00 odds from Bet365 on him winning the top goalscorer award may be a nice value for true believers.
Romelu Lukaku – Belgium
Another dark horse among the Golden Boot contenders is the young talent on the Belgian team. At his age of 21, Lukaku can already boast 74 goals at club level. He has an extra reason to prove himself this summer. Since he’s been on loan from Chelsea for the past two seasons, his Stamford Bridge future largely depends on his World Cup performance, something which will naturally boost his goalscoring thirst.
The main Belgian striker, Christian Benteke, isn’t going to Brazil due to injury, Lukaku became the main hope of Les Diables Rouge. His last season at Everton has revealed that Lukaku is capable of finding the back of the net in a variety of ways. Additionally, Belgian group consists of Russia, South Korea, and Algeria, giving the striker plenty of opportunities to score.
Belgian mid-field is also particularly strong with the likes of Kevin Mirallas, Eden Hazard, and Adnan Januzaj providing Lukaku with necessary passes. His odds of winning the Golden Boot are valued at 34.00, which could provide a hefty payday for any punter. His recent hat-trick against Luxembourg confirmed that Lukaku is on top form for the World Cup.
Neymar – Brazil
Neymar is considered to be Brazil’s best hope and not just this World Cup, but for several more to come. At only 22 years of age he has already put it 47 performances for the national team and scored hefty 30 goals so far. While he’s still 47 goals short of Pele’s record, the possibility that Neymar will end his career as Brazil’s topscorer.
This season at Barcelona, well its second part, was not so great for Neymar, his performance for Brazil was more than satisfactory. He scored a hat-trick against South Africa in March, and has helped Brazil win the Confederations Cup finding the back of the net four times.
While Neymar didn’t the best odds for the Golden Boot award, he is still second with 11.00 odds and a force to be reckoned with. With Croatia, Mexico and Cameroon in Brazil’s group there are plenty of opportunities to score, and in fact Group A is expected to become to top scoring one, further boosting the Brazilian’s chances of winning the prestigious award.
Lionel Messi – Argentina
The top man for the job is of course Lionel Messi. Considered by both experts and fans to be the best player in the world right now (and of all times for that matter), Barcelona striker is expected to shine in Brazil. His odds of winning the Golden Boot are equal to 7.50, which is by far the best line any other footballer going to Brazil got.
There are, however, factors which can prevent the Argentinean genius from getting the award. His form in the second part of the season has been far from his best, but some argue he has been saving himself for the World Cup. Another thing – is a pretty tough draw for Argentina in the knockouts: with possible Germany or Portugal awaiting them already in the last 16. But even in the unlikely event of them dropping out at that stage, Messi can very well rack up the required amount of goals during the group matches.