JOE's betting guide for the World Cup Golden Boot 9 years ago

JOE's betting guide for the World Cup Golden Boot

One of the most popular betting markets at every major tournament is the race for top scorer. Here we analyse the runners and riders for the Golden Boot in Brazil.

Gary Lineker, Miroslav Klose, Ronaldo, Oleg Salenko; the names of (nearly) every World Cup top scorer are burned onto our brains. Some, like Ronaldo, drive their team to ultimate glory with a glorious run of goals while others, like that man Salenko, do all the damage in the group stage and hang on for the win.


How will this year's winner be decided? Well, let's look at the stats first. The last player to win the tournament and the Golden Boot is Ronaldo in 2002 but to win the top scorer gong, you really need to reach the semi-final stage and play the full schedule of seven games.

That said, an easy group is a big help, with over half the top sorers in World Cup history getting the majority of their goals in the group stage. And, while Thomas Muller nabbed the award the last time, this is, naturally, a strikers' market, so don't be tempted to plunge on a midfielder, it simply goes against reason.

Okay with those caveats in place, here's our picks.

The Outsiders


Jackson Martinez 66/1

With Falcao sadly missing out, it will fall to the Porto man (below) to do the goal scoring for Colombia. He nabbed 23 goals for his club this season and with Greece, Ivory Coast and Japan in with Colombia in Group C, it is a wide open field. If they can get out of the group, we could see Colombia making a run and that combined with Martinez' undoubted class makes him a great value bet at 66/1.


Edin Dzeko 50/1


Bosnia have a sticky enough group, with Argentina, Iran and Nigeria but we think the Manchester City man is hitting the World Cup in superb form. With 10 goals in qualifying, and an impressive 26 for City this term, Dzeko is somehow underrated and if the coaches of Argentina, Iran and Nigeria make the same mistake, he will punish them. The entire Bosnian team is set up to feed him, and he could run riot. No matter how well he plays, I can't see Bosnia make the semis, but Dzeko might just do enough early on to win the goalscorers prize.

Romelu Lukaku, 28/1

Belgium are now the most famous dark horse since Black Beauty but they could still have a big impact on the World Cup. Personally I think the quarter-finals may be as far as this internationally inexperienced side can go but that could be all that Romelu Lukaku needs to shine.



With a point to prove to Jose Mourinho, or any other manager who might want him, and with the Belgian team sure to provide plenty of chances for their sole striker, Lukaku could have a field day against any or all of their Group H opponents (Russia, Algeria, South Korea). A recent hat-trick, against Luxembourg, has shortened up the Chelsea striker's price, but 28/1 will be looking very good if he starts well in Group H.

Before we get to our pick for glory, let's look at a few of the big names that head the market.

Top of the shop is Lionel Messi at 8/1. It makes a lot of sense too. He is one of the two best players in the world, has an easy-ish group, Argentina could easily make the final four and, oh yeah, it's LIONEL BLOODY MESSI. His tally of 34 goals in 84 games is more than respectable and he has increased his ratio in recent seasons. But despite all that I believe that Messi will be more of a facilitator than a scorer for Argentina and that, at 8/1, is just too short for me.

Neymar, at 10/1, is logical as most folks assume Brazil will make the final but the doubts over whether the youngster will wilt or rise to the occasion put me off. And as for Cristiano Ronaldo at 14/1, well, we love Ronnie but that Portuguese side is not going to carry the great man far enough to win this, especially in a dicey Group G.

Luis Suarez is tempting at 18/1, but the injury concern over his knee, plus the doubts over Uruguay even getting out of Group D put us off. The same goes for RVP. 25/1 is very appealing but the Manchester United man may not make it to the last 16 in a group with Spain and Chile.


Okay, after all that, it is time to unveil our pick.

Gonzalo Higuain 20/1

His compatriot Sergio Aguero is ahead of him in the market too, at 16s, but the third Argentinian in the betting is the one for us. Messi and Aguero tend to stay wider for their country, meaning Higuain is the focal point of La AlbicelesteĀ attack.


His international record is superb, with 21 goals in 36 games for his country and he bagged four at the last World Cup in South Africa. In our view he has improved as a player since then and he could nab a hatful in the games against Bosnia, Iran and Nigeria. We also see Argentina going quite far in Brazil, maybe not far enough to win it, but enough to make the last four. Easy group, seven full games. Yep, Higuain fits the bill for us.

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